Multiple Sclerosis Home > Early Symptoms of MS

The most common early symptoms of MS often include vision problems, such as blurred or double vision, red-green color distortion, or even blindness in one eye. Early signs and symptoms of the condition can have varying degrees of severity among patients, ranging from mild and temporary to severe and long-lasting.

Early Signs and Symptoms of MS: An Overview

Most people experience their first symptoms of MS (multiple sclerosis) between the ages of 20 and 40. Although scientists have documented cases of MS in young children and elderly adults, early symptoms of MS rarely begin before age 15 or after age 60.
Depending on the area of the nervous system that's affected, early symptoms of MS may be mild or severe, temporary or long-lasting, and may appear in various combinations. Complete or partial remission of MS symptoms, especially in the early stages of the disease, occurs in approximately 70 percent of MS patients.

Specific Early MS Symptoms

The early symptoms of this condition include:
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Red-green color distortion
  • Blindness in one eye.
For some reason, visual problems tend to clear up in the later stages of MS.
Approximately 15 percent of people with MS with have optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve that causes visual problems) as an early MS symptom. This has led to general recognition of optic neuritis as an early MS symptom, especially if tests also reveal abnormalities in the patient's spinal fluid.

Other Early Symptoms of MS

Other possible early symptoms can include:
  • Vague feelings of weakness
  • Persistent clumsiness
  • Unexplained exhaustion
  • One or more areas of your skin can feel numb and tingly.
Usually, these multiple sclerosis symptoms come and go unpredictably. The times when you are having multiple sclerosis symptoms are called episodes or MS attacks. The episodes may last a few days or for weeks at a time.
(Click Symptoms of MS for more information on the early symptoms of this condition.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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