Women Share Their Experiences Managing Ms In The Cold
To warm up your feet, try a wrap that’s filled with rice or beans that can be heated up in the microwave and put on any body part that’s chilly. You can put one on your feet and one over your shoulders. You can also stick your feet in hot water. Wearing thick socks to bed helps too.
Cooling down burning feet is a little trickier. The solution can be something simple, like sticking your feet outside the sheets when you’re in bed, standing on cool bathroom tiles, or putting a cold, wet washcloth on them.
Are Hearing Problems Associated With Multiple Sclerosis
24 Oct, 2021 | News
Multiple sclerosis affects the central nervous system and can result in a wide range of symptoms throughout the body. In some cases, MS may cause hearing problems or other issues relating to the function of the ears.
MS is a chronic condition affecting the central nervous system. Evidence suggests that it is an autoimmune disorder, meaning the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. In the case of MS, the immune system attacks the protective linings of the nerves, called myelin. The results can disrupt how the brain sends signals to the body.
The course of MS is unpredictable and can cause a variety of symptoms in different people. It may cause hearing problems and other symptoms that have to do with the function of the inner ear, such as hearing loss, tinnitus, balance problems, and a muffled or full feeling in the ear.
Can MS cause hearing problems? MS is not completely predictable. The course of the disease can vary greatly from one person to the next and can lead to a wide range of symptoms in different people. MS affecting different areas of the CNS may result in specific symptoms in each case.
Hearing problems are an uncommon but possible complication of MS, occurring in roughly 6% of people with MS. They may result from damage to the hearing nerve pathways present in the brain and brainstem.
Hearing loss may also begin in one ear and then later affect the other ear.
What Causes Tinnitus In Ms
Tinnitus occurs when the brain perceives a sound coming from inside your head or your ear. Tinnitus symptoms include a repetitive sound, similar to the tapping resembling Morse code mentioned by members. It could also manifest as:
Health care experts believe that most tinnitus in people with MS is caused by demyelinating damage to the brainstem. Demyelination refers to the process of ones autoimmune system wearing away at the fatty protective sheathing, called myelin, surrounding one’s nerves.
Lesions caused by myelin loss of the auditory nerve, or in closely related pathways, may also cause tinnitus. These lesions cause nerve damage that can hinder or confuse the electrical messages sent from the nerves to the brain, which can result in tinnitus.
Tinnitus in MS also may be caused by ear muscle or eardrum spasms that affect the small bones in and around the ear. This type of tinnitus is called middle ear myoclonus , and it occurs rarely.
In MEM, bones in the middle ear contract repeatedly, which creates a clicking sound. This is a rare symptom of MS, and researchers arent sure how often it happens. Its common enough, however, that researchers have written case studies about it. As with non-MEM tinnitus, MEM in MS is believed to be tied to lesions that affect the ways these specific muscles function.
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Tinnitus And Ms: An Annoying Combination
Loss of hearing symptoms such as tinnitus are not usually attributed to multiple sclerosis, but for those with MS who do experience tinnitus, like me, they can be very annoying.
The American Tinnitus Association describes the symptoms as: the perception of sound when no actual external noise is present. While it is commonly referred to as ringing in the ears, tinnitus can manifest many different perceptions of sound, including buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing, and clicking. In some rare cases, tinnitus patients report hearing music.
From the ATA website I have learned there are two different types:
1. Subjective Tinnitus: Head or ear noises that are heard only by the patient. Subjective tinnitus is usually caused by auditory and neurological reactions to hearing loss, but can also be caused by other issues as well. More than 99% of all tinnitus cases are of the subjective variety.
2. Objective Tinnitus: Head or ear noises that are audible to other people, as well as the patient. These sounds are usually produced by internal functions in the bodys circulatory and somatic systems. Objective tinnitus is very rare, representing less than 1% of total tinnitus cases.
Even though there is no cure for tinnitus, there are treatments that can help improve quality of life for those with this problem.
People have reported that their symptoms are worse with salt or caffeine, and many eliminate these from their diet.
Sudden Hearing Loss As An Early Detector Of Multiple Sclerosis: A Systematic Review
A. Di Stadio, L. Dipietro, M. Ralli, F. Meneghello, A. Minni, A. Greco, M.R. Stabile, E. Bernitsas
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss may be an early symptom of Multiple Sclerosis .
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A systematic review was conducted using the following keywords: Multiple sclerosis, hearing loss, sudden hearing loss, vertigo, tinnitus, magnetic resonance imaging, otoacoustic emission, auditory brainstem responses, white matter lesions, sensorineural hearing loss, symptoms of MS and otolaryngology, nerve disease and MS. Only the articles that included results of at least one auditory test and MRI were considered. We evaluated the prevalence of SNHL in patients with MS, the presence of different forms of SNHL ) and their correlation with the stage of MS, the results of electrophysiological tests, and the location of MS lesions as detected by white matter hyperintensities in the MRI.
S-SNHL can be an early manifestation of MS and should always be considered in the differential diagnosis of this condition, especially in women. The pathophysiology can be explained by the involvement of microglia attacking the central and/or peripheral auditory pathways as indicated by WMHs.
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Hard To Fall Asleep With Tinnitus
My neurologist can’t say for sure whether it’s related to my MS, but even if it were, there’s not much for it. Often it’s repeated intervals of music .
I try to ignore it the best I can, but sometimes it can be hard to hit the hay at night without noticing the repetitive noise that has followed you, from inside your head, as you try to fall asleep.
Treatments For Hearing Loss
Hearing aids can help with temporary hearing loss. Theyre also a treatment for tinnitus.
You can buy a hearing aid on your own, but its best to see an audiologist to get it properly fitted. An audiologist might also recommend an induction loop to filter out background sounds in your home to help you hear more clearly.
Medications like tricyclic antidepressants are sometimes prescribed to help with tinnitus symptoms.
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How It Can Feel
Most people have experienced the sensation of an extremity “falling asleep.” The sensation is similar in MS, except that it’s chronic, it can last much longer, and it may occur in other places besides your arms, legs, hands, and feet.
Most commonly referred to as numbness or tingling, these are two of the most frequent MS symptoms for which people seek help. They’re part of a group of sensory symptoms called paresthesias, abnormal sensations that cause discomfort but not pain.
Though numbness and tingling are most often the terms used to describe these sensations, other paresthesia characteristics can include:
- Pins and needles
When a sensation is painful, it’s called a dysesthesia, another type of sensory symptom. An example is feeling like your feet are burning.
Some people with MS also experience another sensory symptom called allodynia, which is feeling pain when you’re touched with things that don’t normally cause pain, such as your clothes or a friendly stroke of your arm. Each person has his or her own individual pattern of sensory disturbances in MS that can include any of these symptoms.
Sensory symptoms can be transient or they can last for a long time. In addition, while some sensory symptoms cause only mild discomfort or are simply annoying, as in the case of paresthesias, others may be quite painful.
Complementary And Alternative Medicine
Some people find relief from their sensory symptoms by using complementary and alternative medicine approaches, such as:
- Reflexology: With this therapeutic technique, a practitioner presses on certain points on your hands and feet to promote healing.
- Acupuncture: This treatment involves pricking your skin with needles to relieve pain. Since acupuncture can stimulate your immune system , talk to your healthcare provider before you try this.
- Biofeedback: Because it reduces your stress levels, biofeedback may help your numbness and tingling.
- A new diet: It’s possible that certain foods trigger your symptoms, though this is a controversial topic. For instance, the Best Bet Diet has helped some people. Work with a dietitian to strategically pinpoint the foods that exacerbate your symptoms and a design plan to minimize your intake of them.
- Supplements: Low levels of vitamin B12, a deficiency that’s more common in people with MS, could cause sensory symptoms. However, research regarding the link between vitamin B12 and MS is still inconclusive. Look into getting your B12 level checked, just to be sure, and ask your healthcare provider whether it’s a good idea to take a supplement.
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What Can I Do If I Have Hearing Problems
Because it is an unusual MS symptom, it is important that other causes of hearing problems are ruled out. These can include excessive ear wax, medications that can affect your ears, or other illnesses. Hearing loss can also be caused if you are exposed to loud noise or by injury. You may be referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist or an otolaryngologist for an assessment.
Treatments For Dizziness And Vertigo With Ms
If your vertigo lasts hours or days, and comes with other symptoms, your doctor may refer you to a physical or occupational therapist who can show you a series of movements that might make you feel better. They can also teach you ways to stay safe whenever you feel dizzy. This usually happens with peripheral vertigo.
Dizziness and vertigo can raise your chances of injury from falls, especially if youâre already weak, tired, and shaky from your MS.
But there are some things you can do to lower your chances of getting hurt around the house. You should:
- Remove anything you might trip on, like rugs
- Use a chair in the shower.
- Keep a cane or walker handy.
- Install handrails in your house.
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Multiple Sclerosis And Hearing Loss
Although rare, sudden hearing loss can be the first sign of multiple sclerosis.
One of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis is hearing problems, which can manifest as tinnitus or sudden hearing loss.
These types of hearing problems arent common among those suffering from MS. Only about 4%-6% of people with multiple sclerosis are affected by tinnitus and sudden hearing loss.
Still, these symptoms may point to the onset of MS.
A five-year study observing 253 MS patients found that only 11 or just over 4% of them experienced sudden hearing loss. In seven of the 11 individuals hearing loss signalled the onset of their condition.
Ms And Tinnitus: How To Manage Ringing In The Ears
Hearing problems are not among the most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis , but they do occur. Some people experience temporary or permanent hearing loss , while others experience a symptom called tinnitus hearing ringing or sounds not caused by an external source.
Tinnitus can be frustrating and can even impact your mental health or quality of life. However, when you understand how tinnitus is related to MS and what you can do about it, you and your doctor can find a treatment plan that will work for you.
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Could Muscle Twitches Be A Symptom Of Ms
In an article for Living Well, Julia Stachowiak talks about muscle twitches and whether or not theyre a symptom of multiple sclerosis .
Muscle twitches are a common symptom in other neurodegenerative diseases, particularly amyotrophic lateral sclerosis . It seems that many people living with MS also experience the same twitches from time to time in various parts of the body.
Stachowiak says that after extensive research she couldnt find a link between fasciculations and multiple sclerosis, but based on her own experience and the experiences of others with MS, she still believes there is one.
A brief look at some of the internet forums used by the MS community would suggest that others also experience regular muscle twitching and believe its a symptom of MS.
A user named Chueykooh raised the subject on shift.ms, sharing how frustrating his calf twitches can be. Others on the forum said they could relate, also experiencing twitching leg muscles. On overcomingms.org, a user named Emma1 shared her experience with regular calf fasciculations, while other users described twitches on their legs, eyes, and other parts of the body. The topic is also discussed on mymsteam.com, where users talk about leg, arm and stomach twitching and some of the medications theyve been prescribed to help with the symptom.
What Is Tinnitus Like With Ms
MyMSTeam members have talked about the tinnitus they experience. Does anyone have Morse code tapping in the ear? asked one member. It feels like my ear muscle has gone into spasm. Hence the Morse code sound, which is driving me nuts! They added that The morse-like tapping isn’t painful. Its uncomfortable and actually feels like a muscle spasm.
Another member shared that they experience something similar: I get a clicking, rhythmic tapping in one ear only?! It comes and goes I would assume it is some kind of nerve irritation!!!
Some people experience tinnitus in certain situations. As one member shared, I have tinnitus, which can be aggravated by sounds. Sometimes my husband’s snoring does it to me. It almost feels like my eardrums are being sucked in and blown out.
Clearly, tinnitus can feel bothersome or even downright maddening. Here is what you should know about tinnitus and MS.
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Causes Of Dizziness And Vertigo With Ms
It usually happens because of a lesion around your brainstem or on the small brain structure above it called the cerebellum, which helps control your balance.
A new lesion could bring vertigo. An older lesion that grows can do it, too. Any lesions that disrupt the pathways of the signals that help you keep your balance may make you dizzy.
The cause of your dizziness or vertigo may be something other than your MS, including:
- Low blood pressure
What Causes Hearing Problems
Hearing problems caused by MS are thought to be due to damage to the brainstem – the part of the brain that is also involved in visionand balance. Problems are often associated with other brainstem symptoms such as tinnitus and vertigo.
Sudden hearing problems can show that you are having a relapse. Treatment with steroids may speed up recovery of hearing. Hearing problems may also be linked to sensitivity to heat. If this is the case, your hearing may get worse when your body temperature rises and then return to normal when you cool down.
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When To Speak With A Doctor
MS is a challenging disorder, but researchers have discovered many treatments that can slow its progression and manage symptoms.
The best defense against MS is seeing your doctor immediately after you experience the first warning signs. This is especially important if someone in your immediate family has the disorder, as its likely one of the key risk factors for MS.
Dont hesitate. It could make all the difference.
When To See A Doctor
Anyone who is worried about symptoms relating to their hearing, such as any difficulties, ringing, or ear fullness, should see their doctor for a full diagnosis.
Additionally, if a person does not have a diagnosis of MS but begins to notice early signs, it is advisable that they see their doctor. While this may vary in each case, some early signs of MS can include:
- difficulties with balance
- sensitivity to heat, such as feeling faint or dizzy in hot temperatures
- general fatigue
- cognitive difficulties
- changes in mood
Anyone with known MS who experiences hearing issues should also see their doctor as soon as possible, as it may be a sign of exacerbation. The earlier doctors can diagnose conditions and their underlying causes, the quicker they can issue treatments.
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Treatment Of Dizziness Accompanying Ms
There are presently many immunological treatments of MS, largely involving use of interferon or other immunosuppressants. We will not cover this in any detail, but this is the reason why it is worthwhile spending some effort on diagnosing MS.
Otherwise, treatment of dizziness accompanying MS follows the general strategy as treatment for central vertigo. The most useful medications are benzodiazepines . Vestibular rehabilitation is usually worth trying.
Treatment of tinnitus accompanying MS also generally follows the same strategies as for tinnitus in other contexts.