Although multiple sclerosis is incurable, it is not fatal, so people who have it have the same life expectancy as anyone in the general population, notes Healthline. Individuals with multiple sclerosis often perish from the same ailments that cause those without it to perish, such as cancer and heart disease.
Individuals with multiple sclerosis can live long lives, but the illness has symptoms that can severely hamper the quality of their lives, including constant pain and bodily discomfort. According to Healthline, two-thirds of individuals who are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis do not have to rely on a wheelchair for up to 20 years after the diagnosis; however, some individuals must rely on canes or crutches to stay mobile. Because symptoms vary greatly from person to person, it is difficult for doctors to determine how slowly or quickly a patient's symptoms may progress.