A New Gift Helps Me Stay Cool in the Summer Heat

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by Ed Tobias |

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OK, I know I look silly wearing this — maybe even scary — but the Father’s Day gift I received from my son and his family is really cool, especially for someone with multiple sclerosis.

Just in time for the hot days of summer, I now have a neck fan. At the touch of a button, three speeds of “ah” surround my neck and tickle my ears.

For people with MS, heat can cause symptoms to worsen, so finding ways to stay cool is important.

The device is similar to others on the market, and they all work basically the same. A pair of fans rest on my shoulders and suck in air that is then blown out and up through slits in a headphone-like band around my neck. The air isn’t cooled, but even when the outside air is warm, it feels cool. The air band is charged with a computer USB port or a wall wart power supply, like the ones used with a smartphone.

These powered cooling bands cost about $50, but you don’t need to have something this expensive to cool you down.

tips on staying cool in the summer heat | Multiple Sclerosis News Today | A close-up selfie shows Ed in a pink shirt, with a new neck fan.

My new neck fan, a Father’s Day gift from my family. (Photo by Ed Tobias)

Cooling bandannas

For as little as $3, you can go online and find a colorful cloth bandanna to tie around your neck or forehead. Some people even wrap them around their wrists or ankles. Before going out, soak the bandanna in water, which will be absorbed by gel inside it. The bandannas cool well, but only for a short period. Some advertisements claim they can last up to four hours, but I tried one years ago and had to soak it again after about an hour.

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Cooling vests

Cooling vests generally have pockets with ice packs that keep you cool. One study showed that wearing one of these vests can help to improve your walking speed and distance when it’s hot.

You can buy these vests online, but if your income is below a certain level, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America will send you one for free.

Keeping cool — or at least cooler — during exercise is good, but some research shows that cooling down before exercise also helps. In one study, people with MS who cooled down before a workout appeared to have better use of their arms and legs while exercising, and they were able to exercise longer.

Of course, jumping in a swimming pool to cool down is also good. I love swimming and aquatic exercises. Some are specifically designed for people with MS.

So chill as best you can when the heat is high. There are plenty of ways to do it, in addition to a cooling fan.

Do you have any favorites? Please share in the comments below. You’re also invited to visit my personal blog at www.themswire.com.


Note: Multiple Sclerosis 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 Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

Comments

Leanne Broughton avatar

Leanne Broughton

Coincidenally I just bought a neck fan. And it looks just like yours. The weather in Vancouver, Canada does not generally get that hot but last summer we had a heat dome that killed many people. Very few people have air conditioning. I haven't used it yet but something is better than nothing. It is rechargeable.

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Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Hope you enjoy it.

BTW, I've been to Vancouver twice. Once for work, many years ago, when a G7 economic summit was held there at the convention center on the water and again, a little more recently, at the end of an Alaska cruise. Loved it both times!

Ed

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Mindy avatar

Mindy

I bought a cheap little neck fan online when I was working grocery store checkout. Best $15 I spent for myself at that job! Just being able to cool down a little bit really helped keep my hand coordination, dexterity and pain at a tolerable level throughout my shifts. I recommend a neck fan to everyone I encountered, especially once the Texas summers really got going.

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Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Wow, Mindy -

At $15 that's a real bargain. I can't imagine working at a grocery checkout person with MS, standing in one spot all those hours. I'm glad you found something to make it easier. No way I'd want to be in Texas in the summer no matter what I was doing. Years ago, as a reporter, I covered an economic summit in Houston and a political convention in Dallas, both in August. Wow, it was hot!

Ed

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Lynn avatar

Lynn

This is exactly what I’ve been looking for! There are so many different brands. Do you mind sharing which one you have? Thank you

Reply
Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Hi Lynn,

I'm sorry for the delayed response. My device is a Jisulife Model FA12. I hope whatever you get works well for you.

Ed

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MADELINE l NEWTON avatar

MADELINE l NEWTON

i had seen these but didn't realize it was a fan ....thank you for showing us ...will try to find one ...love and happiness in all of this heat ...wow ...great present ...

Reply
Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Hi Madeline,

I used it at the pool yesterday, when it was very hot and humid, and it helped a bit. I used it again today, in my apartment after returning from outside, and it cooled me down right away. It was, indeed, a great present.

Ed

Reply
Margaret Sears avatar

Margaret Sears

I have 2, and, bought 3 more for family members!! Even though they aren't AC's, they sure feel like they are!! I have the same model that you are wearing . Much less expensive on Amazon.

Reply
Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Hi Margaret,

Obviously, you now have one cool family! I'm glad it's working for you...and I'm pretty sure my son got mine via Amazon :-).

Ed

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