Spotlight: Balance in the News
Preparing for the "October Slide" with Chronic Illness
Through the Fibro Fog,
Posted here October 19, 2020
Published September 24, 2020
Through the Fibro Fog is a health and wellness blog maintained by Claire, a Londoner diagnosed with several comorbid chronic illnesses. She hosts and maintains a website and Facebook page that features stories of her journey, as well as helpful resources. This is an excerpt of one of her recent blog articles detailing her experience with "October Slide".
What is the "October Slide"?
While the October slide isn’t an official term per se, it typically refers to the worsening of symptoms of some chronic illness conditions during the fall / autumn months. It seems to be quite well known amongst the chronic illness community, and some doctors too in relation to dysautonomia. Personally, I find symptoms to be more heightened at this time when it comes to feeling dizzy, light-headed and joint pain.
How can a person with chronic illness prepare for "October Slide"?
Checking in with my doctors. My first step is to discuss my current management plan for my various conditions.
Preparing healthy meals in advance. Who else craves all the carbs come the colder weather? But, is this in agreement with a proper diet for YOUR chronic illness?
Drinking water. I know, you have heard it a hundred times before. I find I forget a little more when the weather is cooler, but it's so important.
Supplementing with Vitamin D. One of the big issues with the fall season and perhaps an element of the October slide with chronic illness for me at least, is that we can no longer get sufficient amounts of vitamin D from the sun in the northern Hemisphere. With the importance of vitamin D for health being emphasized more and more, I make sure that I supplement every day. (Be sure to check with your doctor before taking any new supplements).
Clothes swaps. Adding warm sweaters is the first step to fall, but skin sensitivities can aggravate tolerance for chronic conditions.
Re-assessing self-care. Self-care for my potential October slide means a few things; making a few sessions a week of yoga or just some stretches a real priority, eating well and making sure I drink my water, as well taking the time to rest.
Exercise at home. Exercise with chronic illness, or movement in any form, is so individual depending upon your condition and symptoms. I would suggest speaking with a physiotherapist about your personal circumstances and the kind of movement and exercise they recommend for you, and taking into account that your symptoms may be increased during the October slide. They may be able to suggest ways to help manage this more effectively.
To read the full blog post, click here.
To visit the Through the Fibro Fog Facebook page, click here.
Balance Awareness Week is September 13-19, 2020
Vestibular Disorders Association | Portland, Oregon
Posted here September 13, 2020
Balance-related disorders affect more than 69 million Americans — that’s nearly 1 in 5 people who suffer from vestibular dysfunction. Yet despite the widespread occurrence of vestibular disorders, the word “vestibular” is not commonly understood. Few know that “vestibular” refers to the inner ear and brain — the complex, mysterious human system that controls our sense of balance.
The theme of this year’s Balance Awareness Week is “Uncovering the Mystery” of vestibular diagnosis. So many people go for so long trying to figure out what is going on with them that they have to become sleuths to advocate for their own healthcare.
The overarching goal of Balance Awareness Week is to raise awareness of balance-related disorders by making “vestibular” a household word that everyone can easily understand, so that people who lose their balance can be more rapidly diagnosed, effectively treated, and gain the empathetic support they need from friends, family, and co-workers.
Click here to learn more on VeDA's website.
Having Both Hearing and Visual Impairments May Lead to Elevated Dementia Risk
The Hearing Review | Overland Park, Kansas
Posted here July 14, 2020
Published July 10, 2020
Older adults with both hearing and visual impairments—or dual sensory impairment—had a significantly higher risk for dementia in a recent study published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring, according to a press announcement on the Wiley website.
In the study of 2,051 older adults (22.8% with hearing or visual impairment and 5.1% with both impairments) who were followed over eight years, dual sensory impairment was associated with an 86% higher risk for dementia compared with having no sensory impairments. During follow-up, dementia developed in 14.3% in those with no sensory impairments, 16.9% in those with one sensory impairment, and 28.8% in those with dual sensory impairment.
Participants with dual sensory impairment were also twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease (the most common form of dementia) than those without sensory impairments.
“Evaluation of vision and hearing in older adults may predict who will develop dementia and Alzheimer’s. This has important implications on identifying potential participants in prevention trials for Alzheimer’s disease, as well as whether treatments for vision and hearing loss can modify risk for dementia,” said lead author Phillip H. Hwang, of the University of Washington.
To read more, click here.