Caregivers, Polyneuropathy, and Sun Exposure

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by Ezekiel Lim |

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Summer months can be difficult for patients with familial amyloid polyneuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy symptoms cause a great deal of discomfort, which may be exacerbated by hot temperatures and direct sunlight. As the patient’s limbs experience burning sensations, managing these symptoms in light of the summer heat may seem impossible.

Rather than always avoiding the outdoors, there are practical ways for caregivers to help patients manage the effects of increased sun exposure on their limbs.

Stay on top of the weather forecast

For caregivers, making sure our loved ones are comfortable in hot weather requires much preparation. When making plans to go out with a patient suffering from peripheral neuropathy symptoms, it’s important to understand when the weather may be too hot.

Setting boundaries for what temperature may be too much for the patient is an important step. As caregivers, we must be aware of situations and make the appropriate decisions. These decisions may involve canceling plans that involve going outside in extreme summertime heat. This may mean that running errands falls to others rather than the loved one dealing with polyneuropathy.

Regulate indoor temperatures

As hot temperatures may cause peripheral neuropathy symptoms to worsen, staying indoors may be a great option for caregivers and patients who would prefer not to face the heat. Still, indoor temperatures must be regulated to protect loved ones from increased pain. Caregivers need to be aware of the optimal temperature at which their patients are most comfortable.

Cold water soak

Caregivers may also employ a cold water soak when protecting loved ones from hot summer temperatures. Soaking a patient’s hands and feet may help with peripheral neuropathy symptoms. For patients wearing neuropathy socks or slippers, a cold water soak may help alleviate the increasing warmth and pressure on the feet.

Keep cold beverages handy

When making plans that involved bringing my mother-in-law outside during potentially hot days, we always brought a cooler full of ice-cold drinks with us. Having these drinks readily available helped reduce the discomfort that my mother-in-law experienced due to the hot weather. For caregivers, this may present an extra step in making plans, but the preparation required assures that the patient’s body temperature may go down as a result of drinking cold fluids.

Taking simple, practical steps will make for a more enjoyable summer for all despite the heat.


Note: FAP News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of FAP News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to familial amyloid polyneuropathy.


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