maintaining vision


A problem for many of us with MS is optic neuritis–by definition, this is an inflammation of the optic nerve, but in MS patients, the nerve can become demyelinated. As this nerve provides visual processing, damage can lead to devastating results, and catching any problems early on is important.

In fact, many people are initially diagnosed based on their optic neuritis symptoms–they have blurry vision in one eye that doesn’t go away after a day, and they get sent to an opthalmologist… leading to an MS diagnosis. (This was not my diagnostic pathway…)

I have had moments of my eyes not tracking together when I get tired–I look to the left, and one eye moves quickly, while the other is slow to follow. This is not an optic nerve problem, but rather a known result of MS lesions in the brainstem. I occasionally have trouble, as you might imagine, coordinating stereo vision. Luckily, this is a rare symptom for me.

A few months ago, I had faint blurriness at the edges of my field of vision around my left eye… or so I thought. It was so faint that I didn’t know if I was imagining it. But I think a healthy level of paranoia is a good thing, considering the potential consequences. I called into my specialist, who got me into a neuro-opthalmologist (6 weeks later… by that point, my symptoms had calmed…)

The opthalmologist and staff did a lot of testing and, much to my relief, declared that the fuzziness must have been due to several migraines that I’d had at the time. (Apparently the patterning I had matched migraines more than MS.) Also, I have a “slightly thin” optic nerve from being very nearsighted, but I’m told it’s nothing to worry about with regards to my MS…

One less symptom to worry about.


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