Visual disturbances are common for persons with Multiple Sclerosis. Visual acuity is measured as a fraction of normal vision. Vision that is 20/20 indicates “normal” vision. The following outlines eye disorders that can occur with MS:
Double vision or the awareness of two images of the same object. This occurs when there is a failure of the eyes to work in a coordinated fashion. The use of an eye patch is sometimes helpful in easing this symptom.
Floaters can take many forms from little dots, circles, lines, to clouds or cobwebs. Sometimes people experience one large floater which can be distracting and make things difficult to read while others experience many floaters. Floaters are often times described as “lines”.
Nystagmus is rapid and involuntary movements of the eyes in horizontal or vertical directions. This symptom can cause dizziness.
Optic Atrophy is a degeneration of the optic nerve fibers which can lead to a loss of clarity, changes in the field of vision or both. Symptoms of optic atrophy are loss of sight but can vary from slight blurring of an image to serious site loss affecting one or both eyes.
Optic Neuritis (ON)
Optic Neuritis is inflammation of the optic nerve and is many times the first recognizable symptom in diagnosing MS. The symptoms of ON is pain behind the eye, blurring of vision, color blindness, blind spots in the field of vision, difficulty in seeing low contrast and difficulty seeing in bright light.
Uveitis is inflammation of the area behind the eye (usually the blood vessels). Symptoms include light sensitivity, blurring of vision, floaters, pain and redness of the eye.
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