Better Off Alone
What to Do When You Think You’re Having an MS Flare
Should I wait 24 hours to make sure I am having a true MS flare?
Not necessarily. If a person with MS develops a new neurological problem that is severe, affects functioning, or causes significant worry, I always recommend calling the doctor's office as soon as possible.
Your healthcare provider will ask you a series of questions that will help to determine whether they should see you immediately, advise you to wait, or advise a visit to the hospital emergency department.
Do not try to self-diagnose. Relapses or other serious issues often go ignored when a person tries to self-diagnose. Additionally, if you do not report relapse symptoms to your MS provider until a scheduled appointment that is, for example, three to four months off, you miss the opportunity to discuss the possibility of changing your MS treatment earlier rather than later.
You also miss the opportunity to get started early with rehabilitation therapy or drug therapy for relapse symptoms.
Should I go to the emergency department for a relapse?
Usually the answer is no, but there are circumstances where that’s appropriate, such as the onset or worsening of a neurological symptom that is affecting physical or cognitive (thinking) function, causing severe pain, or is suggestive of stroke (such as a sudden inability to move the face, an arm, or a leg).
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