Most Common MS Symptoms

The most common MS symptoms

Learn about the most common symptoms of MS

As multiple sclerosis (MS) attacks the nerves, it can lead to a variety of symptoms. Their severity can vary from person to person. Not everyone with MS will have the symptoms listed below. You may have some symptoms that are not mentioned here.

Remember that having one or more of these symptoms does not mean you have MS. Only a doctor can diagnose MS, so be sure to discuss your symptoms with a healthcare professional.

Fatigue   

People with MS may become more easily worn out after physical activity than usual. There is also a type of fatigue called “lassitude” or “MS fatigue” that many believe to be unique to people with MS, which is generally more severe than normal fatigue.

Numbness or tingling

It’s common for someone with MS to have sensory changes. These can include numbness, tingling, itching, burning, or even feeling cold in the face, body, or extremities.

Vision problems

Many people with MS may experience vision problems. These can include blurred vision, loss of normal color vision, blindness in one eye, a dark spot in the field of vision, double vision, and uncontrolled eye movements (or “jumping vision”). Some of these symptoms may occur when MS attacks the nerve connecting your eye to your brain.

Memory or focus problems

MS may affect the ability to remember things. It may also make it more difficult to think and focus.

Mood changes

People with MS may also have mood disorders, such as depression.

Balance and coordination issues

People with MS frequently have balance and coordination issues, which can be a result of damage to nerves that control the movement of muscles.

Muscle pain  

Some people with MS may experience tightness or tension in their muscles.

Bowel and bladder control issues

Many people with MS develop issues with controlling the urge to urinate, or experience frequent nighttime urination. They may also have trouble with constipation or controlling their bowel movements.

Sexual issues

The nerve damage caused by MS can lead to issues with sexual function.

Heat sensitivity

Many people with MS experience a temporary worsening of MS symptoms when exposed to heat or dealing with a fever.

At any point in your treatment, it’s always helpful to communicate with your doctor about your symptoms. Our Symptom Screener tool can help. Download this tool and find a variety of questions that can help you:

  • Think about how you’ve been feeling
  • Take an inventory of your recent symptoms
  • Evaluate your treatment with your doctor

Learn more about your MS symptoms here.