Inflammation of the optic nerve, called optic neuritis, is a result of the demyelination of the nerve that connects the eyes to the brain.(2)
Patients with optic neuritis experience blurred vision, decreased color vision and eye pain. Non-visual symptoms include numbness, tingling, fatigue, weakness, stiffness, muscle spasms and difficulty walking.(1)
There is no single test for diagnosing MS. A person having symptoms of MS undergoes a medical history, neurological examination and lab tests in order to rule out other causes. In order for MS to be diagnosed, there must be(1):
- Evidence of damage in at least two of these areas of the central nervous system: brain, spinal cord and eye.
- Evidence that damage has occurred one month apart.
- All other possible diagnoses ruled out.
8) Types of MS
There are four different disease courses of MS, differentiated by symptoms and progression:
For detailed descriptions of symptoms and progression of these various types, read What are the 4 Types of MS.
9) Living Well After Diagnosis
Diet, exercise and stress management are the best tools for managing the disease. There are currently 13 FDA-approved prescription drug therapies for slowing MS activity and progression. (6)
People with MS are often heat-sensitive, and heat and humidity can aggravate symptoms of MS.(6) The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) has a Cooling Program that offers cooling vests and accessories to help people with MS manage their illness.
For more information or for personal support after a diagnosis of MS, contact the following organizations:
1) What is MS. NationalMsSociety.org. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
2) Optic Neuritis and MS. MSFocus.org. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
3) The History of MS. NationalMSSociety.org. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
4) World Map of Prevalence of Multiple Sclerosis milt-sclerosis.org. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
5) Jean-Martin Charcot: The Father of Neurology. NIH.gov. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
6) MyMSAA.org. Retrieved March 10, 2016.