Visual Perception and Spatial Difficulties

MS and visual perception

MS can affect the speed at which visual information is processed. Sometimes it can be difficult for people with MS to make sense of what they see, or when they see an item it might not appear as they expected.

"I hate driving to new places because I always get lost"

Difficulties may be experienced with:

Strategies to help

Change your environment

If you keep walking into doors:

Put tram lines of tape on the floor to walk between

If you find you are forgetting passages

...or missing the ends of sentences when reading, use a piece of paper to cover the text and guide your reading

Increase contrast


Scanning is moving the head and eyes to search for a target.

For example:

An example of scanning is when we walk down the street while searching for a house address. We move our head towards the buildings and search with our eyes around the doors to locate the number and then read it. In an environment where you might find you are bumping into things or mis-judging a visual preview of the environment will enable you to anticipate the presence of objects, which can result in fewer mobility-related incidents, such as tripping, bumping, etc.

Use written and visual cues

A written cue is a note you write to yourself to remind you of something - a shopping list is a familiar example of this.

A visual cue could be a coloured tag in a book to remind you where you got up to.

A combination of a written and visual cue would be a brightly coloured sticker on the fridge reminding you to ‘Buy some flowers’.