Multiple sclerosis is commonly associated with vision problems. Blurry vision and eye pain are some of the common manifestations of multiple sclerosis in the eyes. Multiple sclerosis is often abbreviated as MS. The symptoms of MS usually come and go without medical treatment, but severe symptoms may require a consultation with your doctor. Treatments to protect your sight and the right course of action to take if you start having trouble seeing should be discussed with your eye doctor.
Vision Problems Related to Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis can cause vision loss when the optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain becomes inflamed. This is what we call optic neuritis.
About 50% of the people with multiple sclerosis may experience this condition at least once. It is often the early sign that someone has MS. However, optic neuritis does not always indicate MS. It may also be linked with other medical conditions.
Signs and Symptoms of optic neuritis commonly appear abruptly. They include:
- Grayish vision
- Blurred vision
- Temporary blindness in one eye (especially during an MS flare)
- Pain while moving eyes
Optic neuritis is rare to happen in both eyes at the same time. Vision loss may progress for a few days before it goes away on its own. The swelling of the optic nerve could endure from 4 to 12 weeks.
As soon as you experience any symptoms of vision loss, inform your doctor immediately. You may be prescribed with IV steroids to treat the first occurrence of optic neuritis. However, the public advised considering higher risks of recurrence when taking oral steroids for optic neuritis.
Although the symptoms can be disturbing or disabling, the best treatment for this may be no treatment at all.
In MS, double vision may occur when the eye muscles responsible for eye movement are not coordinated. Symptoms of double vision may become worse when your eyes are tired. The best way to manage double vision is to rest your eyes.
Unintentional Eye Movements
People suffering from MS may develop small, rapid, and uncontrolled eye movements. They may lose control of their eye movements from side to side and up to down, which is usually termed as a quiver. This condition is called nystagmus which can deter normal vision in severe cases. Medications and special eyeglass prisms may help relieve discomfort and improve vision.