Out of Sight – Not So Out of Mind

Visual disorders are among the list of hidden symptoms associated with MS. Challenges with eyesight are typically considered early symptoms of MS. You could walk by a stranger on the street, and you would never know that they have MS. Hidden symptoms of MS are just that, hidden from the world. However, they are very real experiences for MS warriors. Out of sight is not always so out of mind for MS fighters.

Common Visual Disorders

Optic Neuritis is a frequently mentioned visual disorder associated with MS. Optic Neuritis occurs when inflammation and damage affects the optic nerve (the nerve that connects the brain to the eye). This visual disorder is actually the first symptom experienced in 1 out of 5 individuals with MS and is completely invisible to the outside world.

Diplopia, commonly known as Double Vision, is another visual disorder that is associated with MS. This disorder “occurs when the muscles that control a particular eye movement are weakened and not coordinated” (2013, MSAA). Diplopia is most common during an MS exacerbation, but fortunately resolves once the exacerbation resolves.

If you are experiencing visual changes and challenges with your eyesight, an optometrist or an ophthalmologist are the most appropriate specialists to contact for an appointment. If you know someone with MS, remember, just because their symptoms might be out of sight does not mean they are out of mind.

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  • Kim Brooks says:

    Hi Selena,
    I was recently diagnosed with optic neuritis and uveitis in my left eye. My primary dr and 2 eye dr’s are suspecting MS. I am waiting for a neurological consultation. This is all so unreal and scary. I just wish I knew of a way that I could get in contact with some people who have been diagnosed with MS. Is there a support group that you know of that I could ask some questions?
    Thank you for your time!

    • Selena Fisher says:

      Hi Kim, thank you for reaching out. I am so sorry to hear that your doctor suspects MS. It can certainly be a scary time when you are awaiting answers regarding a diagnosis, and I hope you know that you are not alone in this. We have an online peer support community where you can talk to others living with MS where stories, experiences, and encouragement are shared. This online support forum is called My MSAA Community, https://mymsaa.org/msaa-community/my-msaa-community-forum, and it is a great way for you connect with others who are living with MS. If you have other questions please feel free to email MSQuestions@mymsaa.org, and someone will be able to assist you further. Thank you again for your comment.
      Selena, MSAA Client Services Specialist

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