Multiple Sclerosis Community
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961762 tn?1265233311

is STARING an MS symptom

i promise, this will be my last question today.  i just feel so lost and am questioning everything.

so, is staring a symptom of MS.  i cannot find it listed anywhere though i see double vision and loss of vision often.  i guess, it somewhat stands to reason since MS can affect/attack the optic nerve but i wonder if staring is directly related to the optic nerve?  

anyway, just wondering if you have seen staring mentioned anywhere or heard of it as a symptom.  i would ask the same question of yawning BUT i'll save that for a different day (like tomorrow)  :)

18 Responses
338416 tn?1420049302
Not sure what you mean by staring - describe your behavior and maybe we can help...

Staring off into the distance and getting lost in thought happens more often when you're emotionally upset, so keep that in mind.  Not an unusual thing to happen in somebody diagnosed with MS.
961762 tn?1265233311
i guess, several times a day, i find myself staring.  i am still aware of what is going on around me and i even say in my head "hey, you're staring at that pencil (or whatever), knock it off" and then i pull myself away from the staring.  it probably lasts about 10 seconds or so.  i may have done this most of my life but i have really noticed my staring in the past 5-8 years.  my husband comments on it once in awhile but by that i mean a few times a year so i guess it is not happening so much that people think i am strange or anything.  

it bothers me though.  i feel like it is not normal to stare off into space so much.  i have mentioned this to my MS doctor and he didn't say anything about it - he neither confirmed or denied it as a symptom and now i am curious.

thanks for your thoughts - as always - this board is a lifeline.
338416 tn?1420049302
I don't know about you, but I had some cognitive problems last year that really changed my behavior.  I wasn't always tracking what was going on, and sometimes I'd find myself looking at something while my mind was full of nothing!  

Being aware of it is a good thing.  As long as it's not noticeable, or interfering with your life, it should be okay.

I wouldn't know what to do if I didn't have these MS forums.  I visit MedHelp and MSWorld regularly - they help me feel not so alone with these strange symptoms.
147426 tn?1317269232
I agree with jen, this is likely an "attentional"  problem related to the cognitive probems that are famous in MS.  In the case of staring aimlessly it would be the problem of keeping your mind on whatever task you are doing.  In kids with Attention-Deficit, they have "daydreaming".  When you ask them what they were "thinking" about they will honestly say "nothing."

All sorts of attentional problems are seen in MS, from classic Attention-Deficit (the inability to stay on task), to inability to split their attention between two or more tasks (problems with multi-tasking).

So, it's not your eyes, but your gray matter, your higher so-called "executive" functions.

OH, Look!  There's a squirrel!!!

1176711 tn?1265341941
well I dont know what it is or why it happens but it happens to me alot too. it started when I was 20 and has gotten to the point where I cant keep focus much at all anymore...I guess I just chalk it up to fatigue.and I think you did a great job discribing this
429700 tn?1308011423
I have this problem with staring, and difficulty with following conversations as well.  My neuro told me that it was attention deficit disorder and increased my Provigil that I'm taking for fatigue.  It really helps!  I'm far from perfect, but I can follow most conversation and find that I don't stare off into space near as much as I used to.

987762 tn?1331031553
When i was in my mid 20's, i started having these weird episodes, I'd had bad tonsils for ever and it was put down to the infection from my tonsils, they removed them at age 29 but it didn't solve the problem.

The weird episodes i was having was staring into space (like a zombie lol), i was running a national computer dept at the time, life was just about as good as it could get, well i though so at the time. I didn't know i was staring though, i just seemed to zone out, i'd feel ok, until i'd regain focus and find someone in front of me clicking their fingers in front of my face, or doing the wave saying "helo, you still in there" then i'd feel confused by the other person's weird behavior, i was still unaware i was the weird one.lol

It wasn't something that i'd always done, or something that made any sense to me but when i mentioned it to the dr, i was told my toncils where probably poisoning me after all these years. I saw a specialist and with in a week i was having my tonsils removed, i expected the staring to never happen again.

The last time i found my self loosing focus and staring was 2009, i now think its connected to my brain, cog fog from fatigue, maybe. When i was in the middle of last years episode, i would find my self driving along, id zone out and be staring, seeing nothing, off with the fairies but driving, my son's yelling at me would penetrate the fog and i'd again be back in the land of the living, though somewhat freaked out.

When it first started happening i can honestly say my executive functioning was tops, though now its gone to rubbish, ADHD without the hyperactivities would be about right.


648910 tn?1290666683
I have the same thing you describe and yes I have deficits in my executive functions including attention

I know when I am doing it and I have to work to snap myself out of it.  It actually feels comfortable????
572651 tn?1531002957
Just to throw one more idea into the mix - have you ever considered absence seizures as a possibility?    This seizure disorder is much more common than recognized.  Google it and read more and then you might want to discuss this with your doctor.  

One thing we always have to keep in mind is not everything that's wrong with us is connected to our MS.

my two cents,
1156009 tn?1262810367
I too  have this same problem.  All of the symptoms affecting my mind are the most scary.  Times of staring off almost uncontrolabley, no memory, inability to assign meaning to what I am hearing, lack of ability to concentrate.  I often, when listening to someone can't tell you five minutes later what they said.  I have no diagnosis yet, after five years of trying and 10 years of symptoms.  But I see a new neuro soon.
1176711 tn?1265341941
.... um lets see I was told adhd also.....NOT!!! I was tested for a seizers... includeing 24 hr eeg. and nothing. I was given meds for adhd, it exaperated all my symptoms. I was told it was because "i am diabetic" ....NOT had that testing too. had a complete psycho work up.... nothing... next week I see neuro-opthmo....hopeing for an answer.
all I can say is that I dont drive anymore because it happened and I drove off the road with my kids in the car. thankfully we were all ok and god saw to it that I didnt hit or damage anything. but I have been driving for 25 years and never got "out of control" behind the wheel it was enough to scare me out of driving. I can also say that I reciently had a optic nerve test and it was fine... lol. good thing I have a sence of humor or I would feel phychotic
hope someone can help
293157 tn?1285877039
I get this problem from the Meds I'm taking... when I take a certain one that might be new to my system.. it happens and it's like I zone out for abit... difficult to stay in focus.. but then at times it happens when I'm not taking a new med?  So... I don't really know.. sorry

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