One of the early symptoms of multiple sclerosis is vision loss; it is usually only temporary and only seems to occur in one eye. Over 80 % of all MS patients report that they have vision problems that may come and go over time. In rare instances these can lead to permanent blindness, but the percentages of this happening are extremely low.
The more common complaints from people with multiple sclerosis are the loss of vision quality. These losses of vision quality can be the result of several different things happening in the body all of which can come and go without warning causing little or no permanent damage in most patients.
Perhaps the most common cause of vision loss in multiple sclerosis patients is Optic Neuritis. This is an inflammation of the optic nerve that occurs when MS attacks the optic nerves. It usually results in graying of your vision, blurred vision, seeing spots or possibly loss of vision in one eye. On rare occasions it can cause temporary loss of vision in both eyes.
It is usually accompanied by pain around the eyes and possibly a burning sensation. In most cases it will reverse course by itself in a period of time with most of the vision issues resolving themselves within 5 weeks or so. Treatment for this type of vision loss in the multiple sclerosis patients is usually done using corticosteroids administered by injection for the first few days and then orally for up to 4 weeks.
A nystagmus has been found to cause quality loss in the vision of multiple sclerosis patients. The sudden onset of this involuntary jerking motion of the eyes is considered to be an early indicator of the onset of MS in many patients. It can be very mild and have no effect on the person's vision or it can be severe enough to require the use of medications and special glasses or prisms to correct their vision well enough to function.
If you suspect that you are suffering from either of these eye problems or are experiencing any change in your vision whatsoever see your doctor or optometrist as soon as possible to avoid the possibility of lasting eye damage.