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Selma Blair and 5 Signs You Might Have MS

Selma Blair’s new documentary opened eyes.

MS, also known as multiple sclerosis, is a condition that affects the brain and spinal cord systems. This can make it difficult to move, walk, or talk. MS also can damage your nervous system. Actress Selma Blair opened up about having MS in 2019, and has put her disease front and center in a new documentary, Introducing, Selma Blair, in theaters now and streaming Oct. 21 on Discovery+. MS has signs and symptoms, so if you or a loved one experience any of these, make an appointment with a doctor. Read on for 5 of them.


Numbness or Weakness in Limbs

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According to the Mayo Clinic, a common sign of MS is feeling numb or weak, specifically in your limbs. The official post on the Mayo Clinic's website tells people to look out for "Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs that typically occurs on one side of your body at a time, or your legs and trunk." Selma Blair said in a New York Times interview that a key moment for her was when she suddenly lost feeling in her leg, while modeling in a runway show, and says that she has trouble walking in certain areas. "I can walk better in my house, but outside it's like a sand pit," she said. Blair has been seen using a cane to support her while on the red carpet.


Trouble with Movement


MS affects the spinal cord and causes nerve damage, which makes it difficult for someone to move. The Mayo Clinic cites that tremors are a common symptom of MS, and that certain neck movements can be difficult. 


Loss of Vision


MS patients will experience different types of vision problems. This can span from blurriness, to seeing double. However, some patients will experience vision loss, usually only happening in one eye. "Patients describe it as 'looking through smudged sunglasses' on one side," Robert Bermel, MD says to The Cleveland Clinic.




Another symptom of MS is dizziness, which can affect someone's movement and vision. ​​"With MS, dizzy spells can cause you to have trouble walking down a hallway, for example, because your sense of equilibrium is so off," Dr. Bermel says. 


Slurred Speech


MS will cause speech problems, often resulting in slurring words. Actress Selma Blair says that she deals with slurred speech and other problems, and this made her nervous to do public interviews. "I was a little scared of talking," Blair says to Good Morning America. "Even my neurologist said this will bring a lot of awareness because no one has the energy to talk when they're in a flare-up, but I do, because I love a camera!" Blair also said in the New York Times, "With certain light, my speech becomes intermittent even though my larynx is fine. It never occurred to me that there's a traffic jam that happens in my brain."

Anna Bechtel
Anna Bechtel is a freelance writer currently based in Hamden, CT. Read more
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