Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance. It’s a lifelong condition that can sometimes cause serious disability, although it can occasionally be mild.
Multiple Sclerosis is like a snowflake. No two cases are the same. Every person has different symptoms and many times symptoms for one person will even vary from day to day.
Which symptoms a person shows depends entirely on where in the Central Nervous System the myelin is damaged, and how severe that damage is.
Vision disturbances are a very common symptom of Multiple Sclerosis.
- Blurred vision
- Optic neuritis
- Double vision and involuntary rapid eye movements are very common, and usually clear up either with or without treatment.
- Total vision loss is possible, but very rare.
The most well recognized MS symptoms are those that effect coordination and movement.
Many people have:
- Loss of Balance
- Dizziness/ Vertigo
- Coordination loss
- Trouble walking due to weakness or numbness of the legs.
- Cognitive difficulties such as trouble concentrating, short term memory loss and difficulty reasoning.
- Emotions can be effected, also.
In addition, the person with MS may experience tingling or numbness of any part of their body, a sensation similar to that of limb that has been a sleep, burning, or a needle like pain, anywhere in the body. Some people experience facial pain and muscle pain.
Fatigue is the most common symptom among those with MS. MS fatigue is different than just being tired, the person may feel overwhelmingly tired, limbs may feel heavy and impossible to move.
Many people experience intermittent stuttering, or slurring of their words. The normal rhythm of their speech may change as well.
Some people with MS experience urinary urgency, incontinence, and bowel control problems.
Adults with MS may experience varying levels of sexual dysfunction. Decreased sensation, diminished arousal, and impotence are common.
People with MS are often extremely sensitive to heat. All other symptoms tend to worsen when the person becomes overheated. They may become dizzy, or fatigued much faster in very warm temperatures.
Although the list of MS symptoms is long, it is unusual for one person to exhibit them all.
Medication and various therapies can help the MS patient cope with troublesome symptoms.