What is MS?
Mutilple Sclerosis is a condition of the central nervous system, interfering with nerve impulses within the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. It is characterised by sclerosis a Greek word meaning scars. These scars occur within the central nervous system and depending on where they develop, manifest into various symptoms.
MS Australia says that MS affects over 25,600 in Australia and more than two million people are diagnosed worldwide. It is most common for people to be diagnosed between 20-40 years of age, however it can also affect younger and older people too. It is a condition that roughly affects three times as many women as men.
What are the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis?
MS symptoms are varied and unpredictable, depending on which part of the central nervous system is affected and to what degree. No two cases of MS are the same and symptoms, depending on where MS lesions develop on the brain and spinal cord, can manifest in many different ways.
While this means that MS can cause many effects to your body, it can also make it harder to initially recognise the condition as it has very similar symptoms to many other illnesses. Symptoms can develop in any order and vary hugely in severity from almost unnoticeable to very disabling.
How a personal alarm can help people with Multiple Sclerosis
A personal alarm can help protect users in the event if they fall or feel unwell. A user needs to only press one button on the personal alarm and an alert for help will be raised and sent to the MePACS Response Centre. Wearing a personal alarm provides that reassurance and peace of mind that if something happens there are trained professional available 24/7 who will respond within 2 minutes. They will communicate via the alarm unit to understand the situation and call the relevant help.
MS symptoms can affect balance, motor control and several other issues too but having the peace of mind, knowing you can call for help anytime can make all the difference for your independence.
- Motor control – difficulties with walking, balance or coordination, muscle spasms or tremors, muscle weakness, slurring or slowing of speech, swallowing difficulties, breathing difficulties, heart problems and dizziness or vertigo
- Fatigue - including heat sensitivity and MS fatigue. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 80% of people with MS have fatigue. MS-related fatigue tends to get worse as the day goes on, is often aggravated by heat and humidity, and comes on more easily and suddenly than normal fatigue.
- Neuropsychological symptoms – including impaired memory and concentration, changes in processing speed and ability, impaired cognitive function, personal and emotional changes, anxiety, depression and difficulties sleeping.
- Neurological symptoms – visual disturbances (such as blurred or double vision or changes in depth perception, partial or complete sight loss), altered sensations such as pins and needles or numbness, neurological pain, sensitivity to heat or cold, or discomfort
- Continence care - Including bladder incontinence (leakage from the bladder or bowel), needing to urinate more or less often, urgency, needing to urinate frequently during the night, constipation, diarrhoea
Types of MS
There are two different types of multiple sclerosis and depending on the type symptoms will present differently. With relapsing and remitting MS, the condition will come in phases of day to weeks to months in which the symptoms will worsen, known as a relapse and then improve. After many years some people with this type of MS will go on to develop a progressive form of MS.
With primary progressive MS symptoms will gradually worsen over several years and there will be no periods of remission. As you can see, there are lots of different symptoms which are associated with MS; however, some of them can be related to other conditions so if you are ever concerned you should always consult a health professional.
There are a number of things that you can do to keep your brain and body as healthy as possible, including:
- Keeping your weight under control
- Adopting a healthy diet
- Avoid smoking
- Limiting the amount of alcohol you consume
- Keeping your mind and body as active as possible
- Learning some ways to manage stress – like seeing friends or family, practicing yoga, meditation or simply going outdoors.
- MS can cause stress because of its unpredictable nature, but stress in turn can increase your risk of a relapse.
- Wear a personal alarm to call for help
Consider purchasing a Personal Alarm with 24/7 response
Our MePACS personal alarm service has been designed to help people who suffer from long-term medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis. As mentioned, those with MS can suffer from spasms and weakened muscles, which increases the risk of a fall or accident in the home. Having an MePACS personal safety alarm gives you access to our 24/7 Response Team, which means you will always be able to call for help in an emergency.
MePACS have two types of personal alarms;
MePACS Home Alarm; which can be worn in the house and garden. The pendant can be worn around your neck or on a wrist strap. The alarm is also water resistant so can be worn in the shower or bath where most falls occur.
MePACS Mobile Alarm; is a lightweight and durable device that can be worn when you are out and about. With the added feature of fall detection capability within the Mobile alarm you can be rest assured that if you are out and about that the alarm can detect if you have a fall.
Whether you’re at home or away, you and your loved ones can have confidence that the MePACS Response service will be there 24/7 to help you in an emergency situation.
For more information please speak to one of our friendly team on 1800 451 300. Alternatively, you can visit www.mepacs.com.au