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Age At First Symptoms/age At Diagnosis?

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My understanding was always that ms usually hits by the time you are 30, so as I got older, I thought I was okay. I have just turned 41, and never had any symptoms. I recently experienced optic neuritis. I have no other symptoms, and the doctors are saying that it could be random -- if I have any other symptoms, they will do mris, etc. My father had ms, and his symptoms started in his mid-20s, and he was diagnosed about 10 years later -- I think it was more difficult 30 years ago. My neighbour had her first symptoms when she was 17, but I don't know how long until she was diagnosed.

I am just wondering at what age people got their first ms symptons, and then at what age they were actually diagnosed?
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replied June 29th, 2004
Years Between Symptoms And Diagnosis?
Ms is such a variable illness that there is no standardized reply to your question. I was not diagnosed with ms until I was 41 myself. Thinking back, I remember one incident of symptoms which "could" have been a symptom of ms but could also have been a symptom of half a dozen other things. Usually if the symptoms come before a diagnosis, they are attributed to other common problems. The only symptom in my past that I can think of that "might" have been due to ms was a severe episode of vertigo; I had to lay flat on the bed as every time I even barely moved, it felt as though my mattress was tipping and I would fall off.

I got someone to take me to the er (such was my insurance at the time) where they merely diagnosed me with an inner-ear virus which of course could cause the same vertigo problems. I didn't give them a second thought once the initial episode cleared up. The symptoms that my doctor did give a second thought to was an episode of total numbness in the entire right half of my face, including scalp, eyeball, skin, inside mouth and down the throat, ear... Everything on the right side. This was probably at least 10 years since the vertigo incident, if not more.

I think the general line of thinking now is that a diagnosis will most likely come between the ages of 20 and 40, but that is by no means hard and fast. I've read where teenagers have had symptoms, and then people over 40 (like myself) are diagnosed for the first time, too.

I've read where optic neuritis is very often the first symptom presented in a case of ms. I have never had it (and i'm so thankful) although during one of my few exacerbations, I had to endure double vision. I believe the disease was much ignored even as recently as 15 years ago because the medical technology just did not exist to confirm or rule out ms. It seems to me that the mri is the most used test to make a diagnosis from, and yet mris were not invented yet 15 years ago.

I do know that the earlier you are diagnosed and go into active treatment, the less permanent disability you are likely to have. I am surprised that your doctor is not taking your situation more seriously, given your presenting symptom of optic neuritis plus your family history.
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replied July 2nd, 2004
I was 17 when I first started noticing I wasn't normal. I had frequent fainting spells, but I wrote it off as just low blood sugar or something.
After I turned 21 is when I got hit hard. I thought I was going blind in my left eye. It kept getting darker and darker untill I could not see. So I went to the eye doctor and he suspected m.S., so he reffered me to a doctor who reffered me to a neurologist. I had an mri done and they found I already had three good sized lesions. But it wasn't until I had a spinal tap done that they confirmed I had m.S.
So I was diagnosed at age 21. That was only two years ago, but at least I know what is wrong with me now.
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replied June 26th, 2011
I started to notice symptoms when I was 19. I was diagnosed a few months later.
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replied August 1st, 2011
I'm sorry, I'm from Russia, so, my english is not so good. I was diagnosed with MS when i mas only 13, but the first symptoms appeared when I was 11. It is really terrible, that our disease is getting "younger"!=(
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replied February 22nd, 2012
I AM 29 NEWLEY MARRIED HAD BEEN GETTING BAD HEADACES AND LIKE ELETRIC SHOCK PAINS AND PINS AND NEEDLES IN MY LEGS THEM AFTER ABOUT 3 DAYS OF BAD HEADACES WHICH I THOUGHT WAS JUST FROM THE POLYN LEVELS AND ALERGYS STARTED TO NOTICE MY EYE WAS REALLY SORE IN MY LEFT EYE AND LIKE BEHINDE MY EYE NOTICE BEFORE REALLY BAD DEPRESSION BUT LIKE I WOULD NOT FEEL MY SELF TIERED ALL THE TIME ALSO COULDNT SLEEP VERY WELL AT NIGHT TOSSING TURNING IN PAIN THEN NOTICE A FOG OVER ,MY EYE WHICH I THOUGH WOUOLD GO AWAY AFTER A FEW DAYS LIKE AN EYEINFECTION BUT I DIDNT IT STARTED GET REALLY SORE AND BLURREY AND WHITE FOG LIKE I COULDNT SEE WHEN TO HOPSPITAL AFTER IT TOOK THEM A WHILE WITH ALL THE EYE TEST TO TELL ME I HAVE OPTIC NETURIS WHICH I DIDNT HAVE A CLUE WHY THIS WAS HAPPENING TO ME NEVER HAD IT BEFORE BUT NOTICE FOR YEAR I STARTED NOT FEELING MY SELF AT ALL AFTER HAVING SEEING A NEURO I HAD MIR WITH THE BLUE DIE THEN BLOODTEST AND FURTHER EYETESTS MY EYESIGHT TOOK A A MONTH TO COME BACK WHICH IT WAS SO SCAREY MY EYE DOESENT SEE RED COLOURS VERY WELL AND ITS ALITTLE BLUREY AND DRY ALOT ADTER HAVING MIR I WAS TOLD TO HAVE FURTHER TESTING THEY FOUND LESIONS AND HAD TO HAVE FURTHER TEST LIKE A SPINAL TAP WHICH WAS ABLE TO LEAVE HOPSPITAL AFTER 4 AND HALF HOURS AFTER HAVING IT DONE BUT TO KNOW I WOULD GET THE ANSWERS TO WHATS WRONG WITHN ME WAS BETTER SO I HAD TO WAIT 3 MONTHS TO GET MY RESULTS WHICH I ALREADY NEW I HAD IT HOW I WAS FEELING AND THE SYMPTONS IAM 29YEARS OLD AND WAS DIGONOSED 2 WEEKS AGO WITH MS I WAS REALLY SAD THE DAY I FOUND OUT BUT HAVE GREAT LOVING FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO HELP ME THROUGH AND GLAS I KNOW I HAVE IT IF THEIRS ANYONE CONCERNED ALWAYS GET A CHECK UP BEACUSE YA BODY LETS YA KNOW WHEN SOMETHINGS WRONG I HAVE CHANGED ALOT WITH MY DIET EXCERCISE AND WELBEING AFTER KNOWING THAT THIS CAN HELP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE DONT BE SCARED AND KNOW THIERS ALOT OF PEOPLE THAT HAVE THIS AND WE ARE ALL HERE TO TALK WHICH IS GREAT SO MANY QUESTIONS I HAVE AS WELL AS BEING AT MS THANKS
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replied February 22nd, 2012
newly diognosed with ms
I AM 29 NEWLEY MARRIED HAD BEEN GETTING BAD HEADACES AND LIKE ELETRIC SHOCK PAINS AND PINS AND NEEDLES IN MY LEGS THEM AFTER ABOUT 3 DAYS OF BAD HEADACES WHICH I THOUGHT WAS JUST FROM THE POLYN LEVELS AND ALERGYS STARTED TO NOTICE MY EYE WAS REALLY SORE IN MY LEFT EYE AND LIKE BEHINDE MY EYE NOTICE BEFORE REALLY BAD DEPRESSION BUT LIKE I WOULD NOT FEEL MY SELF TIERED ALL THE TIME ALSO COULDNT SLEEP VERY WELL AT NIGHT TOSSING TURNING IN PAIN THEN NOTICE A FOG OVER ,MY EYE WHICH I THOUGH WOUOLD GO AWAY AFTER A FEW DAYS LIKE AN EYEINFECTION BUT I DIDNT IT STARTED GET REALLY SORE AND BLURREY AND WHITE FOG LIKE I COULDNT SEE WHEN TO HOPSPITAL AFTER IT TOOK THEM A WHILE WITH ALL THE EYE TEST TO TELL ME I HAVE OPTIC NETURIS WHICH I DIDNT HAVE A CLUE WHY THIS WAS HAPPENING TO ME NEVER HAD IT BEFORE BUT NOTICE FOR YEAR I STARTED NOT FEELING MY SELF AT ALL AFTER HAVING SEEING A NEURO I HAD MIR WITH THE BLUE DIE THEN BLOODTEST AND FURTHER EYETESTS MY EYESIGHT TOOK A A MONTH TO COME BACK WHICH IT WAS SO SCAREY MY EYE DOESENT SEE RED COLOURS VERY WELL AND ITS ALITTLE BLUREY AND DRY ALOT ADTER HAVING MIR I WAS TOLD TO HAVE FURTHER TESTING THEY FOUND LESIONS AND HAD TO HAVE FURTHER TEST LIKE A SPINAL TAP WHICH WAS ABLE TO LEAVE HOPSPITAL AFTER 4 AND HALF HOURS AFTER HAVING IT DONE BUT TO KNOW I WOULD GET THE ANSWERS TO WHATS WRONG WITHN ME WAS BETTER SO I HAD TO WAIT 3 MONTHS TO GET MY RESULTS WHICH I ALREADY NEW I HAD IT HOW I WAS FEELING AND THE SYMPTONS IAM 29YEARS OLD AND WAS DIGONOSED 2 WEEKS AGO WITH MS I WAS REALLY SAD THE DAY I FOUND OUT BUT HAVE GREAT LOVING FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO HELP ME THROUGH AND GLAS I KNOW I HAVE IT IF THEIRS ANYONE CONCERNED ALWAYS GET A CHECK UP BEACUSE YA BODY LETS YA KNOW WHEN SOMETHINGS WRONG I HAVE CHANGED ALOT WITH MY DIET EXCERCISE AND WELBEING AFTER KNOWING THAT THIS CAN HELP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE DONT BE SCARED AND KNOW THIERS ALOT OF PEOPLE THAT HAVE THIS AND WE ARE ALL HERE TO TALK WHICH IS GREAT SO MANY QUESTIONS I HAVE AS WELL AS BEING AT MS THANKS
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