Multiple sclerosis symptoms generally appear between the ages of 20 and 40. The onset of MS may be dramatic or so mild that a person doesn't even notice any symptoms until far later in the course of the disease.
The early symptoms of MS can include:
- Loss of balance
- Weakness in one or more limbs
- Blurred or double vision
- Slurred speech
- Sudden onset of paralysis
- Lack of coordination
- Cognitive difficulties
With the progression of this disease, you may encounter other symptoms such as sensitivity to heat, muscle spasms, fatigue, thinking and perception changes, and possibly some sexual annoyances.
- Fatigue- Of all the symptoms, this is most common. It often occurs in early after noon but not limited to just then. During these periods you may feel mentally fatigued, muscle weakness, drowsiness, and some restlessness.
- Heat Sensitivity- This occurs in the majority of people with MS. When exposed to heat, even in a shower can cause the worsening of symptoms and there appearance.
- Spasticity. Muscle spasms are a common and often debilitating symptom of MS. Spasticity usually affects the muscles of the legs and arms, and may interfere with a persons ability to move those muscles freely.
- Dizziness. Many people with MS complain of feeling "off balance" or lightheaded. Occasionally they may experience the feeling that they or their surroundings are spinning; this is called vertigo. These symptoms are caused by damage in the complex nerve pathways that coordinate vision and other inputs into the brain that are needed to maintain balance.
- Impaired thinking . Problems with thinking occur in about half of people with MS. For most, this means slowed thinking, decreased concentration, or decreased memory. Approximately 10% of people with the disease have severe impairment that significantly impairs their ability to carry out tasks of daily living.
- Vision problems . Vision problems are relatively common in people with MS. In fact, one vision problem, optic neuritis, occurs in 55% of people with the condition. Most vision problems do not lead to blindness.
- Abnormal sensations. Many people with MS experience abnormal sensations such as "pins and needles," numbness, itching, burning, stabbing, or tearing pains. Fortunately, most of these symptoms, while aggravating, are not life-threatening or debilitating and can be managed or treated.
- Speech and swallowing problems . People with MS often have swallowing difficulties. In many cases, they are associated with speech problems as well. They are caused by damaged nerves that normally aid in performing these tasks.
- Tremors . Fairly common in people with MS, tremors can be debilitating and difficult to treat.
- Difficulty walking. Gait disturbances are amongst the most common symptoms of MS. Mostly this problem is related to muscle weakness and/or spasticity, but having balance problems or numbness in your feet can also make walking difficult.