Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Question:
Can multiple sclerosis (MS) cause blurred vision?

Answer:
MS is a condition in which the insulating sheaths protecting impulse-conducting nerves are attacked, which disturbs the conduction and causes changes and sometimes losses in the function of the nerves. In some cases, the nerves to the eyes are affected. Three principal effects can be noted. If the optic nerve (the main conductor of visual impulses to the brain) is involved, the vision can become blurred and may drop substantially. This is one of the common first events in someone who later is diagnosed with MS after reporting this symptom. MS can also cause shaking of the eyes (termed nystagmus) which can sometimes be interpreted as blurring the vision. And MS can also cause a weakening of the ability to coordinate the movements of the eyes causing misalignment and doubling of the image which can sometimes be experienced as blur. MS does not affect the focusing of the eyes or the basic refraction (need for glasses). These events can usually be reversed with treatment.

Answered by: Richard Bensinger, MD Dr. Richard Bensinger

Categories: Eye Diseases

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Answered: Oct 30, 2013

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