One of the more multiple sclerosis symptoms is optic neuritis. There are over 50 documented symptoms of multiple sclerosis and due the nature of the disease the chances of any two patients experiencing exactly the same symptoms are extremely minute. Vision problems however are one of the earliest symptoms of MS and can range from blurry vision to double vision and even temporary blindness. If you find yourself experiencing sudden changes in your vision you should seek prompt medical help from your doctor.
Before we look at the symptoms of optic neuritis as it relates to multiple sclerosis, you should first know that optic neuritis is the medical term for the swelling of the optic nerve. There can be several different causes for this condition along with an equal number of treatments available to take care of the problem. It is considered a very common symptom of MS because there is a high possibility of the diseases causing lesions to form around the optic nerve which would create inflammation and swelling.
What are the Symptoms of Optic Neuritis?
1. Pain: Most people describe the pain as a burning sensation behind one eye. This pain occurs in at least 90% of all people with optic neuritis and will usually go away in a couple of days as the swelling goes down.
2. Loss of Visual Acuity: Many patients with this problem suffer from some form of vision problems including but not limited to blurry vision, an absence of color or seeing too much of a one color, a reduction in the amount of light they see, Phosphenes or flashes of light that occur when they move their eyes or a blank spot or scotoma in the middle of the vision of the affected eye.
3. One Eye: These symptoms usually only occur in one eye, if you are experiencing the problem in both eyes you probably have a different problem
4. Onset time: In most cases the problems occur over a very short period of time hitting their peak within 24 to 48 hours.
How Common is Optic Neuritis?
In patients who have multiple sclerosis, research shows that approximately 30-40% of all patients will exhibit some symptoms of optic neuritis at some time in their lives. In many cases it is the one symptom that is responsible for helping their doctor to make the diagnosis of MS. Studies show that of all the people that have a single episode of optic neuritis and average of 50-60% of them will eventually be diagnosed with MS.
With this in mind if you exhibit any of the symptoms of optic neuritis, you should talk to your doctor about being tested for multiple sclerosis. The earlier this disease is detected the better your chances of getting started on a treatment that can help slow down or stop the progression are.