Multiple sclerosis most often affects adults between ages 20 and 50. In fact, it is the most common disabling condition among individuals of this age group.
Despite its prevalence, people who have MS may struggle to get a diagnosis because of the diversity of symptoms of this autoimmune disease.
MS can manifest with mobility issues. People who have this disease may display unsteady gait, impaired coordination, tremors, shock sensations with some motions, and weakness or numbness in the extremities or torso.
People who have MS may also experience problems with vision. They often report blurry vision, double vision that lasts for longer than a few minutes, and complete or partial vision loss in one or both eyes. Some people also experience pain when they move the eyes.
Other symptoms that can signify MS include unexplained pain or tingling sensations, dizziness, unexplained fatigue, mood swings, depression, forgetfulness and slurred speech. Many people also experience sexual dysfunction or bladder or bowel incontinence.
Often, symptoms of MS following a relapse-remission pattern. That means people who have the disease may experience symptoms for weeks or months. They worsen and then get better for a time before returning again. Eventually, however, about 50% of people who have this form of MS develop ongoing symptoms and rarely experience remission.
Individuals struggling with these symptoms should visit a health care provider for a thorough medical history and examination. Documenting all medical care can support the application process for Social Security disability for those who cannot work after an MS diagnosis.