Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that impacts the central nervous system, which is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. It causes the immune system to attack the protective covering of nerve fibers. That results in nerves having difficulty communicating between the brain and other parts of the body. As time goes on, nerves may sustain permanent damage, which can lead to disability.
MS can cause a wide variety of symptoms, which can be different from one person to the next. This makes it an unpredictable disease so that it is hard for family caregivers to know what to expect and how to respond. Having some idea of the symptoms that may occur because of MS could help you to prepare.
Below are some of the symptoms that your aging relative with MS may experience.
Feeling Numbness or Tingling
The nerve damage caused by MS can cause a lack of feeling, or numbness, in parts of the body. The most common areas for this to occur are in the face, legs, or arms. Numbness typically affects one side of the body and often goes away on its own. Tingling sensations may be a result of the nerves sending mixed messages.
Problems with Vision
MS can affect the optic nerve, which can result in impaired vision. In fact, vision problems are one of the most common symptoms of the disease. Inflammation in the optic nerve can cause double vision, blurry vision, or vision loss. People with MS sometimes don’t notice that they are having vision problems because they occur slowly.
MS can cause a dizzy feeling or vertigo, which is the sensation of the room spinning around you. It can also make your aging relative feel lightheaded and off balance.
Fatigue is another common symptom caused by MS. It occurs in around 80 percent of people with the disease. MS fatigue can be so severe that it makes it hard to do regular daily tasks, like making a meal. It can make them feel worn out on a daily basis, tired in the morning even after sleeping well, or it can come on suddenly. Fatigue may also be worse in warm temperatures or when it is humid.
Senior care can assist older adults with MS to cope with whatever symptoms may occur. A senior care provider can help with tasks around the house that may be difficult because of the disease, such as cleaning and doing laundry. A senior care provider can also cook healthy meals for your aging relative, which can support their overall health and leave them feeling better from day to day. In addition, senior care providers can offer transportation if MS affects the older adult in a way that makes it impossible for them to drive.