February 7, 2014 | Resources | Living with MS

Reporting your eye symptoms

Eye problems are one of the most common and earliest symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Symptoms can include blurred vision, seeing flashes of light, and eye pain that worsens when you move your eye or touch it. This is called optic neuritis (ON), and in MS the most common type (called retrobulbar ON) is inflammation of the optic nerve that lies behind the eye.

Vision problems typically develop over several hours or days. Vision loss is generally at its worst about 1-2 weeks after the problem starts, then begins to improve after 2-4 weeks. For most people, vision goes back to normal within a few months, although it can take the optic nerve up to a year to recover completely. Some people have a permanent loss of vision but this is uncommon.

Eye symptoms may indicate that you’re having an inflammatory flare-up, so it’s important to tell your neurologist and MS nurse about any problems you’re having with your eyesight. To help you record your symptoms, we’ve added a list of questions about vision problems on our Pre-Visit Questionnaire. After you complete the form, print it out and show it to your doctor/nurse at your next clinic visit.

Click here to access the Pre-Visit Questionnaire.

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