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Advice

Hi I am after some advice - I know this is really early days and I maybe jumping the gun but my18 year old son has been diagnosed as having optic neuritis of the right eye and having looked into this every website I read mentions the association with MS. He is seeing a Neurologist this week and before he goes to see him/her I was wondering whether I should mention MS to him as a possible cause. I am fretting over this as I don’t want to worry him unnecessarily but also his only worry is that he is going to have permanent vision problems in his right eye and I can’t imagine how he will feel if it is just thrown at him without any warning. I just don’t know what to do and how to handle this, any advice will be greatly received. Thanks

Hello and welcome :slight_smile: Unless your son is a very unusual 18yo, I would guess that he has been checking websites too and is worried about whether or not to tell you what he’s found. Possible? Either way, in my opinion, I think it’s important to be honest (and very calm) when dealing with these sorts of things so that there are no nasty surprises, but also no unreasonable fears. The fact is that of the people who get optic neuritis (ON) without any previous symptoms have a 50/50 chance of developing MS. So, if this is the only symptom that your son has / has had, there is a good chance that it will stay the only thing. Saying that, there are actually quite a lot of things that can cause ON, including vitamin B12 deficiency, one-off reactions to infection and some genetic conditions, so it’s important to have them ruled out. Maybe, “I’ve been reading a bit about ON on-line and apparently it can happen on its own, but it can sometimes be a sign of some other conditions too so I would guess that the neurologist will want to check them out, just in case.” That should open the conversation anyway. How much further to take it depends on your son and you know him best. Please know that the thought of MS is often worse than the reality. MS gets portrayed really badly in the media, but the reality is that people with MS can still have long, happy and fulfilling lives. It is NOT the end of the world. I hope this helps and that everything turns out well. Karen x

Hi Karen, Thank you very much for your informative reply. I have been speaking to my husband and we have decided to take your advice and speak to him like you suggested by mentioning having read up about the condition and the possibilities of what the neurologist will want to look in to. Thank you again.

Hi Karen, Thank you very much for your informative reply. I have been speaking to my husband and we have decided to take your advice and speak to him like you suggested by mentioning having read up about the condition and the possibilities of what the neurologist will want to look in to. Thank you again.