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Vision Loss for Few Minutues

I am a 38 year old female. I am in the process of going through tests and had a question on whether losing vision in an eye for a few minutes is a symptom anyone else had.

Some history: The issue which brought me to the neurologist was, starting approx. 2 months ago I was having issues were my right eye losing all vision for 1-2 minutes and then slowly come back. I have my eyes checked every year because I wear glasses/contacts, about three months after my last exam I started having blurry, somewhat double vision, halo's around lights, hard time driving at night, pain in both eyes when moving eyes side to side and my vision had gotten really bad, I couldn't read street signs, road signs, etc unless I was right on top of them.
Within a 2 week period prior to going to the eye doctor I lost my vision in my right eye approx. 5-6 times and finally made an appointment with the eye dr, but was sent right to an optometrist instead, he found my cornea's are titled, very dry eyes, tear ducts were blocked and I seemed to have lost my peripheral vision. He set me up with a Field Vision test and the results were general loss of some left peripheral vision - common for age, loss of large amount of right peripheral-not common for age, and huge loss (blackout) on top right peripheral vision-not common for age.
He said the blackout looked to him like a lesion on the brain, however one of his colleagues thought it looked more like a blood flow issue, sent to my primary dr for follow up.
Primary Dr. ordered a carotid Doppler, which came back normal, also in Sept 2012 I started having a kink on the left side of my neck, which has never been resolved and has turned painful and has spasms at times, I did have an ultrasound, CT and Cervical MRI without contrast, nothing showed except for hoshimoto's thyroid and 2 enlarged lymph nodes, which were told was not abnormal. I've been treating my thyroid for approx. 4 years. Primary Dr. sent me to a neurologist.
The neurologist did a neurological exam, which I tripped and stumbled on walking toe to heal, my balance has gotten worse in the past few months, been getting dizzy and feels like things are moving when I'm standing still. My right side reflex's in my ankle and knee also were hyper, he barely had to hit the spot and my entire leg to my hip would jump. When he ran the sharp thing on my right foot it went up and kind of locked and wouldn't relax, I can't always lift my foot if I'm standing, my toe/foot area only will lift slightly off ground. If I am tired or have been walking a lot my right foot stiffens and kind of drags.
I am scheduled for 3 MRI's and a MRA next week. 10 years ago I was diagnosed with trigeminal nerologia and had a brain scan which showed no lesions, my right side of my face is still numb from half my nose down my check, when I'm stressed or very cold or extremely hot almost my whole right side of my face will get numb and tingly. I have also complained on and off since then of terrible fatigue, and body aches which some days is horrible, my hands/part of arms, feet and part of lower legs and upper thighs, strip across my back will go numb and tingly sometimes, it is worse in the cold and extreme heat. I had a EMG last year on my hands and only a little bit of carpal tunnel was detected in my left hand. I've had lower back pain on and off for a few years and last year it was bad enough they did an MRI without contrast and sent me to PT, the MRI only showed degenerative disk, and a few other things but was told that it shouldn't cause the amount of pain I had, PT helped some, also I've had issues with going to the bathroom - starting the stream, it can take up to 45 min before I will finally go, a gyneurologist did an exam about a year ago and everything was normal other then my pelvic muscles being very tight. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about 10 years ago also but in 2010 I was with celiac and a wheat allergy and have since gone gluten free, this took care of my joints swelling up but it didn't get rid of the extreme fatigue or the body pain, I don't believe I have fibromyalgia and neither does my new primary Dr. I could probably write a book on weird, odd issues I've had!

I asked my primary Dr. if vision loss like this could be a symptom of MS because the neurologist I seen 10 years ago said just because my brain scan was normal didn't mean I didn't have MS. Primary said no it was not a symptom. My neurologist didn't comment yes or no on if it was a symptom just that MS was a possibility due to my other symptoms. Just worried and want to get my scans done and have an answer....

  1. I started out with double vision seeing optometrists. Seen several physicians and tests taken to no avail. After many doctors went to an MS specialist who diagnosed me finally as having MS. All your signs and symtoms would lead me to beleive that you probadly should find a neurologist that specializes in MS. I know of one in Ala. and one in Tn.

    1. Hi Angela - we'll have a moderator get to your question shortly. In the meantime, here is a link to our page that speaks specifically about vision problems that may occur within MS patients:

      MS Team Member

      1. Hi Angela,

        It sounds as though your neurologist is considering MS as a possible cause of your symptoms and is willing to do the testing, and that's a good thing.

        If in fact we do have undiagnosed MS, and if we also have other medical conditions that can mimic MS symptoms such as disc problems, thyroid issues and connective tissue conditions such as Fibromyalgia, that situation can delay a diagnosis for years. I have degenerative spine disease, for example, and that condition confounded my neurologist for six years until an MS flare made him test my spinal fluid and finally diagnose me based on that abnormal test result.

        Testing for MS should include brain MRIs with and without contrast, a cervical MRI, a lumbar puncture to test for the presence of o-bands in the spinal fluid, evoked potentials to test your vision and hearing, and a neurologic exam that tests your strength, reflexes, coordination, sensation, balance, and vision.

        Though it is true that the absence of lesions does not rule out MS, not many neuros will give you an MS diagnosis without MRI evidence of at least two or three white matter lesions.

        I hope you'll give us an update on your test results. If you aren't happy with the findings, you can, as Sandra suggested, seek out an MS specialist for a second opinion. If your neuro can't give you a referral, you can get a list of specialists in your area from your local chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

        Good luck with your testing. I hope it isn't MS, but if it is, know that we are here for you.


        1. hi angela. I'm new to Ms, just got diagnosed in August, but think i have had it for years. Been diagnosed with belles palsy about 5 times due to facial numbness. Finally went to see Neurologist when i started having tingling, burning sensation down and difficultly moving my left leg. after a battery of test finally dx with MS. Several months ago i noticed, esp when i'm tired i get a very bright semicircle in my peripheral vision field. it is so bright and has triangles around the edges with a prisim effect (reminds me of a resses peanut butter cup wrapper). when it starts i loose my peripheral vision. I can't tell which eye it is because even when i close my eyes it is there. usually after a few minutes of lying in the dark with my eyes closed it will go away. It usually on lasts about 30 minutes, but have been noticing a more increase in blurred vision. My MRI did not show any brain lesions either. I hope you get answers soon. Good luck.

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