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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 and approximately 50% of MS patients will experience optic neuritis during the disease course (Nilufer, 2016).

Psychosocial implication:

  • Visual symptoms can threaten independent functioning (e.g., driving)
  • Increase fatigue
  • Interfere with activities at work and at home

Symptom: Optic neuritis

Temporary loss or disturbance of vision, often accompanied by pain with eye movements; color desaturation; afferent pupillary defec

Treatment
  • High-dose corticosteroids
  • Training in visual compensation, environmental modifications, adaptive equipment, as needed

Symptom: Diplopia

Descriptoin

  • Double vision

Treatment

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

Symptom: Nystagmus

Ehythmic jerkiness or bounce in one or both eyes. May cause decreased vision and impaired depth perception. May affect balance and coordination.

Treatment

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

Resources for clinicians

Resources for patients

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