World MS Day: Managing MS in Different Climates

May 30, 2021, marks World MS day. This day represents unity, awareness, and support in the global MS community. MultipleSclerosis.net is proud to support the MS community on this day and every day!

World MS Day 2021

Our community members are living with MS and supporting loved ones, all across the US and the world. There have been many comments and discussions about how the weather in certain regions can affect and exacerbate MS symptoms. This year for World MS Day, we wanted to share our community members' perspectives on how where they live can help, or hinder, their daily activities and how they feel.

Climate impact on MS

Here is the good, the bad, and the humid ...

Northeast region of the US

We have heard a wide range of stories of how the weather in the Northeast affects those living with MS. For some, the heat in the summer is tricky. For others, the cold in the winter is problem-causing. And for a select few, it seems just right.

"I'm in NYC and most of the year I'm good. I just can't take cold and wet! Everything hurts then. Excess heat zaps my energy after a while, but that's easy enough to avoid."

"Summer, well, I can't take enough clothes off. Any exposed skin hurts like hell the next day. Not to mention the 3 Hs of summer are pure torture even with a cooling vest on."

"I moved from Delaware to Maine to be able to enjoy more outdoor time in the summers. Although Maine does have some humidity here in the Lake District, it’s still more bearable than in the South ... I’ve never really had a problem with snow and the cold."

Midwest/Western region of the US

While most in this region have a better experience with dry heat, there are still areas that experience extreme humidity. We have actually heard great things about Hawaii weather for those living with MS, and it has us daydreaming of packing our bags!

"I am so fortunate. I live in Las Vegas, where it is ridiculously hot, and as long as I don't try to be too active, the heat really doesn't bother me. Even when it's 100 to 115 degrees."

"In Oklahoma, it’s super humid and hot as Hades from mid-spring to end of fall. I am stuck in the AC at all times. Total energy drain, like hit-a-brick-wall fatigue."

"I moved to Hawaii on purpose. I live up high and it is never too hot or too cold. Note I said we are at a high elevation. Lower, it is crushingly HOT."

Pacific Northwest region of the US

We have, by far, received the most positive comments about the Pacific Northwest region when it comes to the weather and managing MS!

"I live on the other side of the Cascades in Eastern Oregon. Low humidity and sunshine year-round. For me, it’s never that hot or cold for very long. The lack of humidity makes the temperature manageable."

"Another quick plug for the PNW, in particular, Seattle. While climate warming has had an effect, it is still more temperate than most places. ... In addition to livable climate, Seattle has some of the best treatment for MS in the world!"

"I’m in Central Oregon. It’s very dry and easier for me to maintain an even body temperature. And it’s sunny almost every day."

Southern region of the US

Air conditioning and pools sound like must-haves for those living in the South! The heat can severely worsen symptoms for many people living with MS, but they've made adjustments to their lifestyles to protect their health.

"I live in FL, which can get too hot. However, FL homes are great because most homes have pools and open floor plans for easy access."

"I live just north of Houston in a gorgeous community called The Woodlands. I was born in Houston, and it can get hot, but I’m thankful for air conditioning. I’m fortunate that my MS tolerates heat up to 90. Over that, I just make sure to stay wet."

"I live in Naples, and I find most of the year to be quite helpful. You can swim; you can walk all along beautiful beaches and neighborhoods. There are a million doctors down here that are neurologists or specialize in MS treatment."

International

From Canada to the UK and Australia, our community members share their weather experiences outside of the US!

"In my late 40s I relocated to Calgary, Alberta, and I have been here ever since. At my age, 73 now, we only have approximately 5 to 8 really not days. The rest of the summers are beautiful, as are spring and fall. Winter is a challenge, but I really don't mind that much being home for weeks at a time."

"To live where I am happiest is BACK IN MEXICO ... and, yes STRESS is a big trigger. Heat – huge trigger. HUMIDITY – awful trigger. Extreme cold ... another problem!"

"I'm lucky I live in Ireland🇮🇪...And we have shocking weather...Which is good for me because I can't handle heat..."

"I've been told that Tasmania in Australia is the best. I live in Sydney, Australia, and my doctor once asked why I lived here due to how hot it is in summer. She said there are heaps of MSers down there."

Share what World MS Day means to you this year! Thank you so much for being part of our community!

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