When people hear the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, they think that they have gotten a death sentence. It is essential to know that having MS does not mean that a person is going to die from this disease. MS is not a fatal disease, and many people that have it can have a life expectancy similar to people that do not have the disease. People with MS will have varying symptoms and different levels of severity with these symptoms. People also have different types of MS. It is difficult to put a life expectancy on a person with MS because the disease can affect each person differently. The life expectancy and the severity of symptoms will depend on the type of MS a person has, the symptoms they experience, and when they start treatment. 

The first thing to note is the different types of MS. The symptoms of MS will progress differently based on which type a person has. The symptoms are virtually the same. These symptoms include: fatigue, balance issues, vision problems, bladder issues, cognitive impairments, muscle problems, and strange sensations in the body. You can see how the symptoms affect people based on the four different types of MS. The first type is called relapsing-remitting MS. This is when symptoms can be severe for a time and then disappear. With this form, the MS will come and go over time. About 85% of MS patients have this type. The next type of MS is called secondary-progressive. This is when the disease will progress in a more deliberate way after the initial attack. The symptoms will not subside with this type of MS, unlike the first type where symptoms come and go. The third type of MS is called primary-progressive. People who develop this type of MS will usually do so later on in their life. They will decline slowly without much change in the severity of symptoms. The last type of MS is called progressive-relapsing. The symptoms of MS will start off progressing slowly and then worsen over time with this type.

You can expect the symptoms to affect a person differently when they have a certain form of MS. The life expectancy for a person with constant MS symptoms may be different from a person who has symptoms coming and going over a number of years. MS patients will be told by a doctor what to expect from their symptoms based on their type of MS, which will then determine a possible life expectancy.

Multiple sclerosis is not a fatal disease. Even with the different types of MS and the progression of their symptoms, many people do not actually pass away because of MS itself. Multiple sclerosis really affects the quality of life more than the lifespan of a person. They will have difficulty performing tasks that were once easy and they can become frustrated because their body is not working as it once did. Luckily, there are many treatment options that can help a person with their symptoms and improve their quality of life with MS.

Although people with MS can have a life expectancy similar to a person without the disease, many people with MS do have a lower life expectancy. This is because people with MS are more prone to life threatening complications because of the affect MS has on their body. People with multiple sclerosis are more prone to complications, such as: pneumonia, respiratory complications, trauma, accidents because of motor skills and vision, suicide, and severe infections from bacteria or fungi. Many experts believe that a life expectancy of 25-30 years after diagnosis is probable for people with MS. This does not meant that people pass away from MS itself. Rather, it is the complications of MS that can lead to a premature death. This is not always the case as many new forms of treatment help with the exacerbation of symptoms and also help slow the progression of the disease.

It is important to understand that multiple sclerosis is not a fatal diagnosis. Although many experts say that people with MS will live about 30 years after diagnosis, it is possible to have a normal life expectancy. People will see just how their symptoms will affect them based on the type of MS that they have. They can also get treatment for their specific symptoms from their doctor. This will help prevent many of the complications that can cause a multiple sclerosis related death. Knowing the type of MS a person has as well as which symptoms affect them the most will help them get the correct treatment to allow them to have a lifespan comparable to those without MS.