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Raising Awareness About Color Loss as a Potential Early Symptom of MS

Color Vision Test Chart

An optometry practice in Mt. Pleasant, PA, H. Arnold Papernick OD, is raising awareness about the possibly of degrading color vision being an early warning sign of MS. The practice offers advanced eye functioning tests and exams, including color vision tests, which can potentially detect early signs of such issues.

"Color vision or color loss problems can be caused by a number of things," said Dr. Papernick. "There's certainly no reason to jump to the conclusion that MS is the culprit. However, by being aware of the connection, we feel that patients can make more informed decisions about their health," he added.

Multiple sclerosis can trigger various vision problems. The most common visual symptoms of MS include seeing flashes of light and experiencing general eye pain. What's less commonly known is that this very phenomenon can also cause loss of color vision. Oftentimes, MS sufferers start noticing that they are struggling to see certain colors or that they suddenly have trouble distinguishing between certain colors. "When someone who has been diagnosed with MS experiences these symptoms, it's typically due to optic neuritis," said Dr. Papernick. "In an otherwise healthy individual, however, the condition is not necessarily caused by MS."

Still, the doctor and his team want local residents to be aware of the potential connection between color loss and multiple sclerosis and are raising awareness to promote the importance of getting regular eye exams. A study regarding the phenomenon discovered that approximately one in five people with MS have at least some impairment of their color vision. As such, changes in color vision should be addressed immediately, even in those who are not diagnosed with MS. The inflammation of the optic nerve, which may be triggered by MS, affects the ability of special cells in the retina called rods and cones to process light into color and to relay the information to the brain, which is why these symptoms often appear.

The doctor is quick to note that when MS triggers impaired color vision, it's not actual color blindness. The phenomenon is caused by the inflammation that causes MRI lesions to develop on the brain. Also, while the practice can test patients' color vision, they are not equipped to diagnose a condition such as MS. "If issues are noted, the next step is for the patient to be referred to a neurologist or to their primary care physician," the doctor stated. "The sooner such symptoms are addressed, the sooner any additional steps that are needed can be taken," he added.

H. Arnold Papernick OD is located in Mt. Pleasant, PA, and serves residents of the surrounding area. Those who would like to schedule eye exams to check their color vision can do so by calling (724) 547-5711, or can visit their website for more information at

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by 7THSPACE
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length 

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