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Eye Problems With MS

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Old 06-11-2001, 11:03 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Wheeling, IL USA
Posts: 9
wirenut8 HB User
Question Eye Problems With MS

I am interested in knowing whether or not anyone has experienced eye problems along with other symptoms of MS, who had normal visual Evoked Potentials? I have been through all of the diagnostic testing to date, including a spinal tap, and all results have been normal. The only exception is a slightly elevated ANA. Recently, I had a normal VEP and I went to my eye doctor, who gave me a Visual Fields test, and it too was normal. Despite all of this, I have pain in the backs of both eyes, and sometimes the pain is more intense in the left eye. At times, I experience a sharp, stabbing like pain in the left eye as well. I am interested in hearing from anyone with similar experiences. I have been experiencing numbness, tingling, burning, some unexplained shaking, and some dizziness for months now. So far, nothing is showing up in the testing that my neurologists is conducting.

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Old 06-11-2001, 08:46 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Texas
Posts: 37
bain HB User

maybe it's just too early to find it, if
you have MS. I am not sure I've had the
VEP, but I did take a test years ago
in which I had to look at stripes and
spinning things and the like. It was
negative...It took me the better part of
a decade (at least) and having every
classic symptom, before finally getting
a diagnosis.

When my eyesight messed up (it's mostly
back, now - unless I exert, or get hot)
anyway, I thought I had a dirty contact.
Then I took them out over a weekend, and
thought my eye must be scratched. Saw
the eye doctor, who gave me some Clerz
and told me he didn't see a thing (and
he did all kinds of tests) In a week,
I looked at something orange, closed my
good eye, and it looked like dark gray
worms wiggling! Terrifying! During this
time, my eye ached at the back, as if there
was a piece of sand that had scratched the
back of my eyeball, or like I had sinus,

I had a visual field test, and I had lost
60% of my vision in my right eye, which made
me hysterical. I saw retina specialists,
spent thousands on 3 different doctors
who come here once a week for surgeries.
They put dye in my eye, etc. And the
consensus among them: Optic Neuritis, get to a neurologist, NOW.
Before I got to the neuro appt, I had
an appt at Sears for new glasses, and
interestingly, the Sears optometrist told
me my optic nerve had an odd pallor. I had
not mentioned yet that I had a problem with
that eye, but she caught it immediately and
started questioning me, while my opthalmalogist and the retina specialists took 3 LONG visits in 3 weeks
to figure it out! Pale optic nerve is
a sign of optic neuritis, apparently. My
eye was already getting better by the time
they figured it out. It's about 90% now,
and is not driving me crazy like it did
in the beginning, so it can improve!

And optic neuritis, especially with people
in their 40s, according to what I was told,
indicates MS, most of the time. My doc told
me "people don't just get optic neuritis
for no reason, usually"
I had to be talked into a
spinal tap, but was glad I did it, to remove
the question mark from my mind over this.

So, keep watching your eye (so to speak)
but my Visual Field test was very telling,
as was the pallor in the nerve.

If one doctor doesn't make you feel comfortable, see another one. My ophthalmalogist was too busy and not
thinking along the lines of optic neuritis,
because it is unusual, I guess. But I was
pretty frantic by the time I finally got

good luck with finding a diagnosis of
something -- it helps to know something
one way or the other.


[This message has been edited by bain (edited 06-11-2001).]

Old 06-30-2001, 09:06 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA. ; USA
Posts: 17
meflynn HB User

A few years ago when I was having flashes of lights in my vision and scotoma (blind spots), I was referred to a retinal specialist and on to an Optho-Neurologist. The retinal specialist said my left optic nerve looked paler than the right - but he said no big deal. About that time, I also had some numbness in my left fingers and tingling in my left leg for a few weeks. The Optho-Neurologist sent me for an MRI - which came back clean. Both of these Doctors diagnosed me with Opthalmic Migraine. I am in the midical field and can't help but wonder if I have MS??? I have also been seeing a Rheumatologist for Lupus-like symptoms. Lupus and MS can mimic each other - particularly in the area of nervous system symptoms. The Rheumatologist says I definitely have an autoimmune illness - but that at this time it's "unspecified" type. Isn't pallor of the optic nerve an MS symptom - along with the transient numbness in my hand/leg???

Old 07-01-2001, 10:27 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 145
Caring HB User
Red face

OK, this is really starting to freak me out. Reading about the left eye thing has got me seriously thinking that MS is a possiblility.

My story is long, and I don't have the energy to type it all right now. But I will mention about a couple of things.

Before my really bad upper body tremors/TICS started a few months ago, I started getting major twitching in my left eyelid. I've been having bad pains just above the left eyebrow since then, and a feeling pressure behind my eyes.

Will optic neuritis show on an MRI? Do they have to be looking for it, or is this an obvious visible physical condition?

I have not been diagnosed with MS (yet) but am trying to figure out what is causing my many symptoms.

Do any of you see small shadows that appear to be something moving, particularly off to the side of your eye, but nothing is there? (or am I just nuts? He he he.)

Have any of you had an occasion where you are looking at something and suddenly everything becomes dark and fuzzy, almost like a circle closing in on your pupils until everything is gray, then slowly the light comes back?

(PS I do not use, nor have I ever used drugs.)

Please let me know if this sounds familiar.
Thank you.

Old 07-29-2001, 03:29 AM   #5
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Location: Maryland
Posts: 20
TheTrueDiva HB User

I had eye problems too. I was even seeing double at one point.

Old 07-29-2001, 03:32 AM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Maryland
Posts: 20
TheTrueDiva HB User

It's me again! Yeah, I even have had that pain shoot in the back of my eye is well. Just like you, I've seen everyone. I started to think it was all in my head. I keep headaches a lot also. Have you had a problem with those?

Old 08-09-2001, 11:57 AM   #7
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Columbia, MD, USA
Posts: 1
Wylbe HB User

Optical Neuritus is related to MS in that it is caused be demylination of the optic nerve. In my case it causes a blurring of vision in the left eye at some times...middle of the day, when I excercise, and when my body temp is raised (by eating hot food or a hottub or shower). I have lesions appearing on MRI but this is not conclusive. The conclusive test for optical neuritus is the Visual Evoked Potential test which will show if signals are getting messed up between the eye and brain. I have only had one attack leaving me with the residual sight damage but no further (luckily) so at this point it is not diagnosable as "MS". Hope this helps...

Old 08-09-2001, 12:26 PM   #8
Lily Blue
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Richmond, Virginia USA
Posts: 55
Lily Blue HB User

The only real way to tell if you have or have had optic neuritis is to see an eye care professional. MRI's and cat scans can be inconclusive as MS effects people differently. I was diagnosed with it in 1988. I had numbness, mainly in my fee and arms. Extreme weakness and fatigue and the inability to remember simple things. NOw I run 5 miles a day and work out in the gym 6 days a week. I have never been healthier in my life. I know the fatigue can be debilitating, but exercise releases "endorphins" and "serotonin" into the blood stream which makes you feel good. Good luck to everyone.

Old 08-09-2001, 04:06 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 145
Caring HB User

Lily, are you taking any medications for your MS. I've read that MS is about a 15 year course. So has the lifespan of your MS passed, or are you taking some really helpful medications or special foods to help?

Thank you for the info.

Old 08-10-2001, 12:23 PM   #10
Lily Blue
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Richmond, Virginia USA
Posts: 55
Lily Blue HB User

Hi Caring, yes actually Avonex and Beta Seron. My MS is still somewhat active, they never have mentioned anything to me about a specific span. My Doctor simply encourages me to remain active and to report symptoms or flare ups immediately. I was a nurse for several years and have a degree in holistic medicine, so I tend to try different things. As for the diet, I eat only chicken,fish, fruits and veggies. I really think the exercise is what has kept me from atrophy and progression. Thanks.

Old 10-04-2001, 09:04 PM   #11
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Halifax, NS, Canada
Posts: 21
strandedagain HB User

Caring, you are not alone or crazy. and definetly not on drugs. : ) I too have had the same feeling of seeing something out of the corner of my eyes that makes me think that something or someone is there but it just turns out to be some kind of grey shadow. Have you ever seen purple spots in your eyes, or have your fingers, arms or legs just jerked for no reason and certainly uncontrolablly? The more I read these posts the more I see similar symptoms.


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