Cooling Vests Help Individuals Living with MS Beat the Heat
March is MS Awareness Month
Individuals living with multiple sclerosis (MS) often find that heat and humidity aggravate common MS symptoms. In addition to advice such as using air conditioning and sipping cool beverages throughout the day, individuals living with MS may also benefit from the use of special cooling equipment to help maintain an ideal body temperature.
The most common cooling product is a full-size vest that contains insulated pockets which hold small ice packs. Designed to be worn over regular clothing, these cooling vests provide relief for several hours. Smaller, lightweight vests offer less cooling relief but are easily hidden under clothing and ideal for use while exercising.
“Cooling vests, and other accessories such as cooling wraps, can make a big difference in the quality of life for people living with MS,” says MSAA President and CEO Douglas Franklin. “Through our Cooling program, we help make a difference in people’s lives today by providing the equipment they need as quickly as possible.”
The Cooling Program is just one example of MSAA programs supported, in part, by Swim for MS page, an ongoing national fundraising effort that helps MSAA provide support and services to people living with MS and their care partners. Participants set a swimming-related challenge, and recruit friends and family to donate to MSAA when they reach their goal. Swim for MS challenges can be done in any pool, at any time, making it an easy way for supporters to raise funds and awareness for MSAA programs.
To learn more about Swim for MS, or to sign up to participate, visit MSAA’s Swim for MS page.
The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national nonprofit organization and leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. Swim for MS is MSAA’s national fundraiser in which volunteers create their own swim challenge while recruiting online donations. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a Helpline with trained specialists; award-winning publications, including MSAA’s magazine, The Motivator; MSAA’s nationally recognized website (at mymsaa.org), featuring award-winning educational videos and research updates; S.E.A.R.C.H.™ program to assist the MS community with learning about different treatment choices; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™ (named one of the best multiple sclerosis iPhone & Android apps by Healthline.com); a resource database, My MS Resource Locator; safety and mobility equipment distribution; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; educational events held across the country; MRI funding; and more. For additional information, please visit www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system (CNS), which consists of the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. MS damages or destroys the protective covering (known as myelin) surrounding the nerves of the CNS, and can potentially injure the nerves as well. This damage causes reduced communication between the brain and nerve pathways. Common MS symptoms include visual problems, overwhelming fatigue, difficulty with balance and coordination, and various levels of impaired mobility. Many experts estimate that 2.5 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with this disease, and most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 50. MS is not contagious and researchers continue to look for both a cause and a cure.