Our collection of MS Frequently Asked Questions

MS is not generally considered to be a fatal disease. Most people with MS have a normal life expectancy. Only a small percentage of patients experience a rapidly progressive type of MS, which may cause more significant health issues early in the disease.
Currently no cure exists for MS, in terms of permanently stopping and reversing nerve damage. However, there are several approved disease-modifying therapies now available for the long-term treatment of MS. These have been shown to slow disease activity by reducing the number and severity of MS flare-ups, reducing the number and size of lesions in the central nervous system, and for many, slowing disease progression, improving function and quality of life. Research advances every year, including research to find a cure.
While MS is not hereditary, individuals may be genetically susceptible, increasing their risk of MS. This risk is slight, with only a three-to-four percent chance of a child of a parent who has MS being diagnosed with MS sometime in their future.
Yes. MS does not affect fertility or childbirth and most women with MS experience fewer relapses during pregnancy. If you learn that you are pregnant, contact your MS Community Advisor, especially if you’re on treatment as some treatments are safer during pregnancy and breastfeeding than others.
Commonly called ‘attacks’, ‘exacerbations’, or ‘flare-ups’, MS relapses happen when new symptoms suddenly appear or old symptoms worsen for more than 24 hours. Relapses can last from several days up to several weeks.

You may not know if you are having a relapse. MS symptoms can come and go. You may feel worse than normal if you do too much, get too hot, get overtired or sick, or have surgery. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re having a relapse.
Most people who have MS usually get around without help. But there may be a time when you’ll need to use a cane or a walker to make it easier. About 25% of people with the condition eventually need a wheelchair.
Optic Neuritis is the inflammation of the nerve that connects your eye to your brain. It can cause:
– Pain in the eye
– Blurred or graying of vision
– Blindness in one eye
If you notice any of these symptoms, tell your doctor right away.

Optic Neuritis usually happens to one eye at a time, though it can affect both at once. It’s often the first symptom that someone has MS. About half of people with MS will have optic neuritis at least once. It can happen to people who have other health problems, too, so it doesn’t automatically mean that someone has or will get MS.

The key to protecting your eyesight is to catch the problem early. Your doctor can treat you with steroids to fight the inflammation in the nerve. Most people with optic neuritis recover fully, sometimes without any treatment.
A regular program of exercise and physical activity is one of the most important and beneficial things a person with MS can do to maintain their health. Exercise techniques like, swimming, tai chi and yoga can relax you and give you more energy, balance, and flexibility. Always check with your doctor before you start a new fitness routine. Having a positive attitude can lower your stress and help you feel better.
It’s always a good idea to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet but with so many diet options it is very easy to get overwhelmed. Refer to our guide on Diet and Nutrition on this website, but talk with your GP before you make any major changes to your diet.

Any other questions?

Please contact us for help with any other MS questions