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Does blurred or loss of vision mean I have multiple sclerosis (MS)?

ANSWER

You’re reading a book and suddenly you see two of the same line or the page becomes a gray jumble. Vision problems caused by multiple sclerosis usually come on suddenly. They include:

  • Blurry, gray, or double vision
  • Blindness or a dark spot in one eye
  • Eye movements you can’t control

If your sight is slowly getting worse, there’s most likely another issue to blame. Some blurriness is a normal part of aging -- you may just need a new pair of glasses. A more serious issue, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, or diabetic retinopathy, can also lead to vision problems like blind spots. To rule out these diseases, have a checkup with your eye doctor.

SOURCES:

Britt Stone, MD, neurologist, Baylor Scott & White Health, Round Rock, Texas.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: “What is MS?” “Fatigue,” “Vision problems,” “Speech problems,” “Pain.”

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “NINDS Multiple Sclerosis Information Page,” “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Fact Sheet.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Multiple sclerosis: Q&A,” “Avoiding dehydration, proper hydration,” “Dizziness,” “Aging and Your Eyes,” “Acute vs. chronic pain.”

American Diabetes Association: “Peripheral Neuropathy.”

National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Disease: “Hypoglycemia.”

CDC: “Postural hypotension: What it is and how to manage it.”

Nahin, R. The Journal of Pain, August 2015.

Reviewed by Christopher Melinosky on September 14, 2020

SOURCES:

Britt Stone, MD, neurologist, Baylor Scott & White Health, Round Rock, Texas.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: “What is MS?” “Fatigue,” “Vision problems,” “Speech problems,” “Pain.”

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “NINDS Multiple Sclerosis Information Page,” “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Fact Sheet.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Multiple sclerosis: Q&A,” “Avoiding dehydration, proper hydration,” “Dizziness,” “Aging and Your Eyes,” “Acute vs. chronic pain.”

American Diabetes Association: “Peripheral Neuropathy.”

National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Disease: “Hypoglycemia.”

CDC: “Postural hypotension: What it is and how to manage it.”

Nahin, R. The Journal of Pain, August 2015.

Reviewed by Christopher Melinosky on September 14, 2020

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Does slurred speech mean I have multiple sclerosis (MS)?

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