Visual Impairment - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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Visual Impairment

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In this article

Overview

Visual symptoms are common in MS. Optic neuritis is the presenting symptom in 25% of MS patients.

The Psychosocial Implication related to visual impairment is that visual symptoms can threaten independent functioning (e.g., driving), increase fatigue, and interfere with activities at work and at home

Symptom: Optic neuritis

Description

  • Temporary loss or disturbance of vision, often accompanied by pain; may also cause a “blind spot” (scotoma) in center of vision

Treatment

Medications:

  • High-dose corticosteroids

Interventions:

  • Training in visual compensation, environmental modifications, adaptive equipment, as needed

Symptom: Diplopia

Descriptoin

  • Double vision

Treatment

Interventions:

  • Training in visual compensation, environmental modifications, adaptive equipment, as needed

Symptom: Nystagmus

Description

  • Rhythmic jerkiness or bounce in one or both eyes

Treatment

Medications:

  • Baclofen, clonazepam, gabapentin

Interventions:

  • Training in visual compensation, environmental modifications, adaptive equipment, as needed

Resources for clinicians

Resources for patients

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