Spring 2016 Summary of Responders

More than 7,500 NARCOMS participants completed Spring 2016 Update surveys!  The average age of survey responders was 60 years. Responders ranged in age from 19 to 96 years old. Half of responders had lived with MS for at least 19 years. Some responders were newly diagnosed, while others had lived with MS for more than 70 years. Responders reported their degree of difficulty with walking. One in four participants reported normal or mild disability. One in four participants reported that they need two canes, two crutches or a walker.


Vision Performance Scale

Over 7,300 participants told us about their vision using the Vision Performance Scale:

  • Over 1/3rd of all responders reporting Normal vision
  • Half reporting Minimal or Mild Visual Disability
  • Fewer than 5% reporting Severe or Total Visual Disability


Use of Vision Healthcare 

Over 90% of responders reported seeing at least one healthcare provider between November 2015 and April 2016. Of those, 38% reported using a vision healthcare provider: 20.4% reported seeing an ophthalmologist and 14.3% saw an optometrist, and 3.3% saw both types of eye care providers.


While most respondents did not use any vision healthcare, participants with higher vision scores were more likely to report having seen either an ophthalmologist or optometrist compared to those with lower vision scores. Understanding how often persons with MS visit eye care professionals can help inform MS care providers about the overall health of their patients.