Sensory symptoms are the most common symptom of MS, with up to 90% of people with MS reporting some form of numbness and tingling. The sensation usually appears in the hands and/or feet, then moves progressively closer to the core of the arms and legs, although it can appear anywhere.
Vision problems are relatively common in people with MS. In fact, one vision problem, optic neuritis, occurs in 55% of people with the condition. This can result in blurring or graying of vision or blindness in one eye. However, most vision problems in MS do not lead to blindness.
Gait disturbances are amongst the most common symptoms of MS. Mostly this problem is related to muscle weakness and/or spasticity, but having balance problems or numbness in your feet can also make walking difficult.
Many people with MS complain of feeling "off balance" or lightheaded. Occasionally they may experience the feeling that they or their surroundings are spinning; this is called vertigo. These symptoms are caused by damage in the complex nerve pathways that coordinate vision and other inputs into the brain that are needed to maintain balance.
In both men and women, this can include a decrease or loss of sex drive, decreased or unpleasant genital sensations, and diminished capacity for orgasm.
Individuals with MS have a greater risk of experiencing a depressive episode at some point in time. Fifty percent of individuals with MS will become depressed during their lifetime, compared to less than 20 percent of the American population. However, if you know you are at risk, you can be proactive: watching for signs and symptoms, and seeking help as soon as warning signs appear.