Does Multiple Sclerosis impact temperature sensitivity?
People with MS can be sensitive to extremes of temperature, and find that heat or cold makes their MS symptoms worsen. Between 60% and 80% of people with MS find that heat can cause their symptoms to worsen. This might involve a build up of fatigue, blurred vision, loss of balance or a worsening of cognitive symptoms such as concentration or memory.
What causes temperature sensitivity in MS?
Temperature sensitivity could be caused a number of ways. Extremes of heat and cold may affect the speed at which nerve impulses can travel along your nerves, particularly where there has been demyelination or nerve damage. Alternatively, MS may have caused a lesion in the part of the brain that controls or responds to body temperature. The brain may not trigger sweating or shivering responses that keep the body at the best temperature for comfort.
How does this impact the individual?
Overheating can complicate day to day living. Craig, a WheelAir user with MS, says “It’s so important to me to maintain a level of fitness but I have often found exercise difficult as overheating can exacerbate my MS symptoms. It not only limits the time I can exercise but it takes longer to recover, making normal tasks more difficult.”
How does WheelAir help?
Through active airflow, WheelAir allows for self regulation of the body temperature through convection, conduction, and evaporation heat loss. Many WheelAir users, like Craig, turn on the fans as a preventative measure to keep them cool and dry. If the WheelAir user is aware they are getting too warm or sweaty, they can increase the fan speed.
How to get WheelAir
Speak to your clinician, use our Knowledge page to fully understand the health implications of overheating, over-sweating and the influence of microclimate on skin integrity, look at our Case Studies and understand your clinical need to help aid the wheelchair service decision.