Early signs of MS
There's no typical pattern that applies to everyone - people can have different symptoms at different times.
A problem with vision, known as optic neuritis, is one of the more obvious early symptoms. This is often because it's a more 'concrete' symptom as opposed to 'vaguer' neurological symptoms like numbness or tingling. You shouldn't assume these symptoms are a sign of MS though - not everyone who experiences them will get an MS diagnosis.
Are my symptoms MS?
MS symptoms can include:
- loss of balance and dizziness
- stiffness or spasms
- bladder problems
- bowel trouble
- vision problems
- problems with memory and thinking
If you've searched for symptoms online or you know someone with MS, it may be at the front of your mind. But many symptoms of MS can also be symptoms of other conditions.
Only a neurologist can diagnose MS. If your GP thinks your symptoms need further investigation, they'll refer you to a specialist. It's best to make an appointment with your GP about any symptom that worries you.
Some people describe this period of time as 'limbo' - where they don't have a diagnosis but they're experiencing symptoms.
Download our information booklets
Have I got MS - and why is it taking so long to find out
PDF, 253.1 KB
Just diagnosed (booklet)
PDF, 4.2 MB
Living with the effects of MS - booklet
PDF, 1.5 MB