Multiple Sclerosis ribbon on person's hand

How to Recognize Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

As a progressive immune system disease, multiple sclerosis can be a difficult and scary diagnosis. Your body begins to attack itself and it can have drastic symptoms impeding everyday life and leading to fatigue and numbness and in some more serious cases, vision loss and decreased brain function. It’s vital to recognize the signs of multiple sclerosis early on to begin treatment and try to mitigate symptoms.

Vision Issues

Vision issues can come as one of the most common signs. This can be blurred or double vision or even loss of vision. It is important to see a specialist if you suspect you are suffering from this symptom. Colors may appear bland and you may experience deteriorating night vision. It can cause pain in the affected eye as well. About half of people may experience an episode of optic neuritis while suffering from MS. These can lead to feelings of dizziness and balance issues as well.

Balancing Difficulties

Another symptom of multiple sclerosis is difficulty balancing. It can also result in walking abnormalities. Multiple Sclerosis can affect the three parts of balance: the input, the processing, and the output. These three parts are affected by the brain communicating late or wrong with misleading information. The inner ear can be affected by MS interrupting the message pathways between the inner ear and brain, while the sensory problem that comes in from MS can also cause the brain not to get the right singles and knock off balance.


Numbness in your legs and feet can be a sign of multiple sclerosis. It can also go across the length of your body as well and can come and go while occurring in specific areas as well. Four types of numbness are divided into paresthesia, which is the “pins and needles” feeling, dysesthesia, which is a burning sensation in the nerve, hyperpathia is increased sensitivity to pain and finally, anesthesia is the complete loss of sensation.


Multiple Sclerosis can also cause massive feelings of fatigue, with as much as 80% feeling fatigued. The types of fatigue can be separated into two types. Primary fatigue is caused when MS damages the spinal cord and brain. This causes more effort in messages being sent along damaged nerve endings, causing fatigue. While secondary fatigue can be from the other symptoms causing pain or even disrupting sleep.

Speech Difficulties

Speech difficulties can affect those who have MS. This may occur because the MS is disturbing the primary language function and disturbances of word-formation. During dysarthria, the patient may experience difficulty speaking due to possible nerve damage. This can affect the movement of facial muscles, the throat, or the tongue. While aphasia can affect written or spoken words due to possible loss of memory.

Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence

Multiple Sclerosis can be a difficult and daunting disorder to live with. Many of the systems can be painful and heavily affect an individual’s quality of life. At Foothills Neurology we can listen intently to your possible symptoms and figure out the best course of action for you. Our MS Center of Excellence has numerous resources to support and provide studies that can improve your knowledge of MS and how to live with it.

Foothills Neurology