A 32-year-old woman with known multiple sclerosis has noticed increased floaters in both eyes. What is going on?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease resulting from demyelination and inflammation of the central nervous system. The cause is unknown; autoimmunity, neurodegeneration, and latent or persistent viral infection have been proposed.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Fatigue
  • Vision problems
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Muscle spasms, stiffness and weakness
  • Mobility problems
  • Pain
  • Problems with thinking, learning and planning
  • Depression and anxiety.

Increased floaters for a person with multiple sclerosis is a sign of intermediate uveitis. This is an inflammation in the anterior vitreous, ciliary body and the peripheral retina. Debris from the inflammatory process creates vitreous floaters sometimes called snowballs which are whitish focal collections of inflammatory cells and exudate, usually most numerous in the inferior vitreous. An ophthalmologist can help reduce inflammation.

 

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