(Editor’s note: Tamara Sellman continues her occasional series on the MS alphabet with this first of two parts on terms starting with the letter “E.”)
When it comes to multiple sclerosis, mastering an understanding of the disease means you need to mind your Ps and Qs, dot your Is, cross your Ts, and recite your ABCs. There is so much to know about this complex disease. But the more you know as a patient, or caregiver, the more informed you will be in making critical healthcare decisions.
This week, I offer several terms that start with the letter “E” that you might want to master.
Symptoms of MS
Brief spasms of the eyelids (clinically termed benign essential blepharospasms) aren’t always caused by multiple sclerosis. Consuming too much caffeine, smoking, vitamin deficiency, sleep deprivation, stress, or eye strain also can cause eye twitching.
If your eye twitches after ruling out these factors, it’s likely a symptom of MS. Twitching occurs due to faulty signals between the brain and the optic nerve. This can feel like butterfly wings fluttering or become strong enough to cause involuntary winking, with companion neck or shoulder spasticity.
Fortunately, most cases are minor. If the twitching becomes severe or spreads to the face, contact your neurologist to rule out a flare-up (see “exacerbation” below) or the onset of optic neuritis.
For problematic eye twitching, you can discuss treatment with Botox or a special diet with your neurologist.
EVP (Evoked Potential)
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