Beat the Heat With These Multiple Sclerosis Cooling Products

Cooling vests, misting fans, neck wraps, and more

Young woman sitting at desk with fan
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Multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms may become worse when the body’s temperature increases—this is called the Uhthoff phenomenon. In fact, even half of a degree is enough to start feeling unwell.

By cooling the body, though, many people experience relief from their MS symptoms. Aside from taking an ice cold shower and blasting the AC, the good news is that there are a number of cooling products you can use to keep cool outdoors as well as during exercise.

These products also help make the summer months more tolerable for people with MS. 

Finding products to help cool you down can be difficult, but there are several great options out there. Check out some of these options to find the best product for your needs.

Cooling Vests for Beating the Heat With MS

Cooling vests are one popular means of cooling the body for people with MS, as well as athletes and those who work in very hot environments. These vests can vary from simple designs using ice packs to complex vests that require batteries.

Some of the most promising designs use special fabrics that prevent the body's temperature from rising. Consider whether your goal is to lower your body temperature or prevent overheating before you pick one out. 

Ice Pack Vests

These vests use simple, re-freezable ice packs that are put into compartments in the vest. The effect can usually keep you cool for a few hours.

SteeleVest: This simple vest uses ice packs to keep you cool, and the effect lasts for 2 to 4 hours. 

Silver Eagle Outfitters: These vests use evaporation to cool the body. You just need to add water and it's ready to wear. 

Evaporation/Chemical Vests

These vests use water or chemical reactions to absorb heat.

Evaporation vests work best in low humidity settings. Chemical vests do not lower your temperature as much as the “ice pack” style.

First Line Technologies: Developed for firefighters and other professionals, these vests use a chemical compound that absorbs heat at 82 degrees. To charge, just leave in a room with a temperature below 82. The effect lasts about four hours. 

Artic Heat Cooling Vest: Also using a chemical compound, this vest cools without having to use the freezer or batteries. It comes in a wide variety of sizes. 

Active Cooling Vests

These vests use motorized devices to keep you cool for a longer period of time. Some require both water and ice. These are the most effective in cooling the body but can be bulky.

Veskimo Personal Cooling Systems: Made for long-term cooling, this system uses an outlet or batteries along with water and ice to keep you cool. 

Pools for Beating the Heat With MS

Swimming is one of the best exercises for MS because the water keeps your body temperature low. An expensive, but size-efficient, way to bring swimming into your home are endless pools. These pools are like treadmills for swimmers. Of course, a cool bath or shower, or simply running cold water over your wrists can be equally refreshing and is much cheaper than purchasing a pool

Misting Fans for Beating the Heat With MS

Misting fans can lower the temperature outdoors by more than 20 degrees. This can be a great way to use a patio, deck, or pool area during hot weather without having to suffer increased MS symptoms. These systems spray mist that cools through evaporation. You stay dry, but the air is cooled. Many restaurants are using these systems.

Cooling Clothing & Accessories for Beating the Heat With MS

Cooling scarves, pillowcases, neck and wrist wraps, and headbands can give you mild-to-moderate relief from the heat. Polar Products has a nice selection. 

MS Cooling Resources

The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) has a program that distributes cooling devices to people in need.

On their website, you can learn more and apply. 

In addition, you should check out the MS Cooling Foundation, a foundation dedicated to educating people with MS on the benefits of cooling. They have resources and links to other cooling products.

A Word From Verywell

Remember, while the heat is uncomfortable and may worsen your MS symptoms, it's not permanent. As soon as your body cools down, your symptoms should go away.

In addition, sometimes very simple measures are all you need to beat the heat and feel well. These include wearing a hat and loose-fitted cotton clothing, opting for the shade, and drinking cold water regularly throughout the day.

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