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Ocular problems in early stages of multiple sclerosis.

PURPOSE: In its early course, multiple sclerosis (MS) manifests in a variety of symptoms so that ophthalmologists should know that the ocular problems are often the first sign of the disease and may predict additional demyelinating events.

METHOD: The author have reviewed the data in the recent literature about the ocular problems in the early stages of MS.

RESULTS: The initial signs of MS are: optic neuritis (acute, unilateral), blurred vision, diplopia or oscillopsia (illusory visual motion) due to oculomotor disorder, chronic bilateral uveitis, facial palsy (similar to an idiopathic Bell's palsy), paresthesias, numbness or/and pain in one or more areas innervated by the ramifications of the trigeminal nerve.

CONCLUSION: Ophthalmologists should be aware that these symptoms are suggestive of a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system.

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