Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lasting Effects of Being Blind with Multiple Sclerosis

This last week my wife went in to get her eyes checked for the first time in a while. The poor Optometrist really didn't have a clue about MS or the condition of her eyes. When we explained to him that she had been blind four times, had a retina detachment with a buckle, and how one of her eyes is dim, he seemed a little overwhelmed. It is almost humorous to see doctors that don't have any kind of background in MS. He looked her eyes over and started the process of getting her a prescription, and we were happy that her eye sight hasn't changed much from the last time she had her eyes checked.

With the damage that has been done to her eyes, it is no wonder he couldn't get 20/20 vision in both eyes. Her left eye he was able to get to 20/20 even though she has gone blind in that eye, and we know that there was damage. She sees pretty well out of that eye, with full peripheral and good depth perception. The right eye is a different story. With the times she's gone blind in it, her optic nerve has apparently been damaged. She can see, but it is half the brightness. He was able to get her to 20/60 in that eye, and I know she has some issues with night blindness and peripheral in her right eye. She is still blessed to be able to see out of that eye as well as she does, and we are hoping her new prescription will help even more with some issues she is having.

In both eyes, she has gone completely blind for days, and then the eye sight came back through using steroid drips. This is one of the few times that we use any type of drugs to treat her MS, and we both feel it has saved her eyesight. I have had a few questions about whether you can get your eyesight back if you've been blind with MS, and my wife is a living testimonial to that. She doesn't see great out of her right eye, but her left eye is still normal. We also found out that she has some issues seeing colors. The doctor ran a few simple color tests, where they have letters or numbers in color on a page with other dots or designs, and she had a hard time seeing very many of them. Yes, the MS has affected her vision, but she is so happy that she can still see and enjoy her eye sight. Her few bouts with going blind have damaged her eyesight some, but overall we are very pleased with how well she can still see.

12 comments:

Janelle said...

I always enjoy your topics. Thank you for sharing.

Sara said...

Thanks for the post. Going blind has got to be my biggest fear with MS, it's nice knowing it doesn't have to be permanent.

Bob said...

My prayers will be with you and your wife. The Lord has His reasons for everything. I'm sure that you as a family will live to be the best you can be in His ways. As I've told you before, my wife has MS, and is having trouble with her sight. We went last week and got her new glasses, which are helping her.

Anonymous said...

i helped my wife with her injection tonite.sometimes i forget what she going through, we're hoping her vision will come back

The Wife with MS said...

I appreciate everyone who feels comfortable & moved enough to make comments on here.I love my husband so much for being compelled to share our lives with others in hopes of helping folks.

I just want to say to "Anonymous" on here that I too will pray for your wife's sight to come back. I would love to get an update on her please. My pitch black blindness never lasted longer than 3 days in any one of my episodes; however, when the light began to creep back in it was ever so slowly. Each time there was slight damage & because one eye was hit several times it has more damage. I CAN see & that is a God thing. Please do let us know how she is doing.

You spouses don't realize how much you are needed & appreciated even when we don't always "remember" to tell you :)

I do have something a little funny, as in strange, to share about my blindness - my eyes used to BOTH be blue-GREEN, but after my bouts with blindness, the one hit the hardest has changed color drastically& turned brownish. I look like a stray dog :) We don't really understand the reasoning for this but it doesn't change the fact that it has now changed color. Its just funny! Oh, that silly MS!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting your experiences here. I have MS and have experienced the color distortion and pain of optic neuritis, with my visual acuity going to 20/80 in my right eye; then returning to 20/25. I'm afraid that I may go blind some day, and I pray that I do not. I have a friend, recently diagnosed with MS, whom I think likely has Leber's Syndrome. She became totally blind, except for some limited peripheral vision, within a few months. This has me really frightened. I'd never heard of this happening in this way with MS befor, and she's had extensive testing...now she'll be taking Copaxone...

Cory said...

Hey anonymous, I know my understands your fear better than I do. When she was first diagnosed she started the Swank MS diet, and to keep herself from eating "bad" foods, she would tell herself that she could go blind by eating it. That strong feeling would keep her from eating things that she shouldn't eat, and she stuck to it for years. Luckily, she has gained back most of her vision and hasn't had any eye issues in some time. Please let us know how it goes, and as you can see in the comment above you, my wife is very passionate about helping others with MS. Also, if you have any questions you can always email us at mywifehasms@gmail.com.

Anonymous said...

I like what you wrote about keeping away what your wife said from "bad" foods if one does not follow the Swank MS diet. Like me, when I eat fatty foods, I now know what to say to myself,"I'll get an MS relapse!!" Now, I've got MANY symptoms so, it should help me to say that!!

Paul said...

I stumbled across this site as a result of a google search for "has MS affected my eye sight".

I was diagnosed with MS a couple of years ago as a result of waking one morning with terrible doubled sightedness. This lasted for about 2-3 weeks and as a result I was diagnosed with MS.

Since then I haven't have any further relapses until the past week. I am pretty sure this is the MS at work again - my eyesight has suddenly deteriorated to the extent that most things are blurred - it's difficult to type this now! Having always had 20/20 vision this is getting quite frustrating and I suppose scary!

I have taken some comfort from your post that even the worse effected sight can return to an eliminate of 'normality' and hope that sight will too return.

Jim said...

My prayers to you and your wife. My wife was diagnosed in 2006. I would'nt say she has bad/good days, but bad/good months maybe. Anyway, this month she has lost eyesight in both eyes. I really didn't understand all she did until now. I feel bad for her because her world, what it was, has come to a screeching halt. Doctors all say give it time, but for her that is hard to hear. For now it is steroids,her favorite, and rest.

Cory said...

Jim, I'm sorry your wife is having eye sight issues. My wife has been through that so many times, and it is really scary. We have done the steroids too, and each time it has helped to return her eye sight. Praying for you and your wife.

Anonymous said...

I also feel your pains my wife has been suffering now for over 35 years. I would caution you to use an Ophthalmologist and not an Optometrist. An Ophthalmologist should watch her optic nerve for any thinning. If this does start occurring the her blindness can become permanent. As in my wife's case.