For those recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the initial shock and depression can skew your view of just how normal life can be for you. There are some who live in fear of their life after the diagnosis before they are able to see just how many things they can still do despite the diagnosis.
Driving is one such activity newly-diagnosed MS patients may be afraid to deal with. But the reality is each person’s experience with multiple sclerosis is different. If you pay attention to what your body is telling you, you will be able to make the right choices before involving in an activity like driving.
MS affects the muscles and the cognitive functioning of its sufferers so there may be some situations where driving is not a safe option. Vision problems can also reduce the opportunities one should drive. If you are taking prescription medication to treat your MS-related symptoms, it will be important to check with your doctor first to ensure the medications will not affect your ability to drive.
For those suffering from more chronic symptoms of MS, it is highly recommended they either abstain from driving, especially alone, or they seek a driver’s evaluation to determine their needs. Those with reduced muscle function may be able to accommodate their vehicle with specialty devices to ensure more driver safety. These devices can be especially helpful when muscle strength is depleted.
Cognitive issues may also play a big role in the decision to retire your keys for good and turn the driving responsibilities over to someone else. MS affects the central nervous system and as a result your ability to make quick decisions or maintain a good memory may be difficult. It can be easy to be on the road and suddenly forget where you are going or become emotionally unstable when facing different situations on the road. Rely on the advice of your doctor and be prepared to find reliable transportation in the event driving is no longer an option.