sphere 21/02/17
Last reply 1 year ago
Need help with understanding letter

What does the following excerpts mean from a letter I received.

Has near left exophoria with good recovery, does have a relevant afferent pupillary defect.

OCT test of discs shows a normal left disc and some mild infratemporal thinning of right optic disc. Current findings could be consistent with a recovered left optic neuritis. Patient has been discharged from clinic today.

I don’t understand the medical words used. I’ve been suffering with attacks of optic neuritis over the past few years but have had clear Mri scans also my spinal tap showed matching bands.

I have not yet received a diagnosis of any condition but know something is wrong due to other symptoms hoping I get some answers soon it’s been a long journey so far.

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stumbler
1 year ago

Hi @sphere and welcome.

I can understand why you’ve joined us as you’re searching for answers, which the Doctors aren’t able to give you at the moment.

MS is a condition which is notoriously difficult to diagnose. The symptoms associated with MS also present in other conditions too.

There’s a set of criteria (https://www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/mcdonald-criteria) that need to be satisfied before a diagnosis is made.

The oligoclonal bands in your CerebroSpinal Fluid (CSF) is an indication of neural inflammation, which is a sign of MS. However, the absence of lesions on Your MRI, whilst not unheard of in MS, does make a definite diagnosis difficult.

Doctors use a lot of medical terms in their letters. It’s taken them years of study to learn these terms, so the chances of us understanding them are small. I wouldn’t get too hung up on them.

Doctors don’t rush into a diagnosis until they are absolutely sure. A diagnosis of MS is with you for life, so they don’t want to get it wrong.

The journey to a diagnosis can be long and frustrating. You just have to be patient whilst their investigations are ongoing.

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