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Seeing Things?

  I am in the process of being diagnosed w/ MS. I've already been told that I
  do have a mild case of Optic Neuritis, which became apparent about 1.5 yrs
  Recently, I've noticed that, when I move my head, or keep my head still & just
  shift my eyes, I'll see things moving in my peripheral vision, which upon
  looking more closely, are not there. It usually appears to be a small black
  object, like a large ant or something, & is generally in the lower outside  
  corner of my eye, mostly the left side. It only lasts a split second.
  Does this sound like something that can happen w/ ON? I've looked through
  past posts to this board, & haven't seen anything mentioned about it by
  anyone else. It's not really a problem, & it doesn't happen constantly (maybe
  3 or 4 times a day), so I don't want to call my doctor just for that! It's
  just that I'm curious.
Thanks for your question.  Optic neuritis can be one of the initial
presentations of MS.  The visual field impariment most often associated
with optic neuritis is a so called "cecocentral scotoma", that is a
defect near or right at the center of your visual field.  Although it
is counter-intuitive, such a prominent "hole" sometimes is NOT noticed
by the patient because the nervous system has the ability to mask/masquarade
such defects.
The symptoms described in your message are more suggestive of a peripheral
visual field defect.  I would suggest the help of an ophtalmologist,
preferentially a neuro-ophtalmologist.  Furthermore, it might be very
useful to have a "visual field evaluation", an exam that maps the field
of vision in each one of your eyes.
I hope this information is helpful.
This information is provided for general medical education purposes only.
Please consult your doctor regarding diagnostic and treatment options.

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