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Multiple Sclerosis and Eye Examinations

POSTED ON August 20, 2010

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If I have to be open and honest (and I will be here) I am a bit of a hypochondriac.  Nothing too severe but I am definitely an over-thinker and worrier when it comes to major illnesses or health concerns.  Recently I read up on multiple sclerosis or as it is commonly abbreviated, MS.  I had heard about MS before in the media and just from being intrigued by the world of medicine and healthcare, but I didn’t really understand the disease until I ...

If I have to be open and honest (and I will be here) I am a bit of a hypochondriac.  Nothing too severe but I am definitely an over-thinker and worrier when it comes to major illnesses or health concerns.  Recently I read up on multiple sclerosis or as it is commonly abbreviated, MS.  I had heard about MS before in the media and just from being intrigued by the world of medicine and healthcare, but I didn’t really understand the disease until I looked further.

After some research I found a connection with MS and eye health.  Vision symptoms such as blurry vision, complete loss of vision in one or both of the eyes, or pain during eye movement are connected to MS.  Other symptoms I found are fatigue, numbness in the face and body limbs, walking/coordination problems, sexual dysfunction, cognitive problems, bladder and bowel problems, spasticity or muscle stiffness and involuntary movements.  Someone with MS could have many of these symptoms or just a few which makes diagnosing the disease very difficult.

Looking deeper into eye health and MS, I found that optic neuritis can be one of the first presenting symptoms of MS and it is an inflammation of the optic nerve.  Optic neuritis typically affects one eye and the loss of vision may develop over a period of days to weeks which can be very scary.  A Dr. Tavel optometrist in Indianapolis or at one of our other Indiana vision centers can help detect symptoms such as optic neuritis as well as double vision or nystagmus.  Nystagmus is the involuntary rhythmically repeated oscillations in one or both eyes in any or all fields of gaze.  By performing a routine eye examination, optometrists can decipher if symptoms such as these may be related to MS or other diseases.

MS affects the body’s central nervous system as communication between nerves is interrupted resulting in these varying symptoms mentioned above.  MS should be on my radar as a 20-something as adults between the ages of 20-40 typically are diagnosed with the disease although children and teens can suffer too.  My findings from my research just go to show me how truly vital it is to get a yearly eye examination for not only my visual health but my overall health!

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