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Multiple Sclerosis and the Eyes

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system, causing a wide range of symptoms, including vision problems. In fact, visual disturbances are often the first symptom of MS, and they can occur at any stage of the disease.

One common vision problem associated with MS is optic neuritis, which is inflammation of the optic nerve. This condition causes sudden, temporary vision loss in one eye, along with pain and discomfort. Some people with optic neuritis also experience color distortion, reduced contrast sensitivity, and other visual abnormalities.

Another common vision problem in MS is double vision, also known as diplopia. This occurs when the eyes are unable to align properly, causing images to appear doubled or overlapping. Double vision can be temporary or permanent, and it can affect one or both eyes.

Other vision problems associated with MS include nystagmus (involuntary eye movements), blurred vision, and difficulty seeing in low-contrast environments. These symptoms can make it difficult for people with MS to read, watch TV, drive, and perform other daily activities.

Fortunately, there are treatments available to manage MS-related vision problems. For example, corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and speed up recovery from optic neuritis. Prism lenses or eye patches can be used to correct double vision, and medications such as baclofen can help control nystagmus.

If you have MS and are experiencing vision problems, it's important to talk to your doctor. They can recommend the most appropriate treatment options based on your individual needs and symptoms. In addition, regular eye exams can help detect any changes in your vision and ensure that you are receiving the care you need to manage your condition effectively.

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David Greening David Greening, ABOC, BS(HONS) Ophth. Dispensing David is our resident optician, and has been in optics since 2002. He attained his Bachelor of Science degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing in Kent, England (2014). He has extensive experience, having managed his own practice for many years prior to arriving at Astorino & Associates Eye Center. He is a licensed American optician (ABOC) and is well-recognized for his quality of service, attention to detail, and patient care.

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