Symptoms of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

According to the ALS Association, there are at least 5,000 people diagnosed per year with ALS. ALS usually has a slow onset, and the initial symptoms can present in various ways and vary from person to person. The symptoms depend on which nerve cells are affected. Eventually, ALS affects the control of the muscles needed to move, speak, eat, and breathe.

  • Muscle weakness and twitching. Frequently starts in the arm or leg.
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty cleaning your throat and lungs
  • Weakness in legs, feet, ankles, and hands
  • Increased secretions
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Risk Factors

In about 10% of people with ALS, a genetic cause can be identified. For the rest, the cause is not known. Risk factors for ALS include:
  • Genetics (10% of people with ALS, a risk gene was passed down from a family member. Most people with hereditary ALS, have a 50% chance of passing the gene on to their children)
  • Age (ALS is most common between the ages of 60 and mid-80s)
  • Gender

Environmental factors have been associated with an increased rish of ALS including:

  • Smoking
  • Exposure to environmental toxic substances and viruses

Devices Used to Assist in Managing ALS Symptoms 

While there are medications that have been approved by the FDA, there is currently no cure for ALS. There are, however, non-medication devices that are available to assist with the symptoms of the disease. Managing respiratory complication caused by the neuromuscular impact of the disease involves using devices such as oxygen, ventilators, and vests. There are also nutrition therapies to assist with the body’s nutritional needs as well as speech generating devices, which allow patients to stay connected to and communicate with others.

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Non-Invasive Home Ventilator Therapy

Device Type 1

Getting ventilator support at home can help reduce the risk of hospitalization by lowering your body's carbon dioxide levels. Lincare's non-invasive home ventilator program provides state-of-the-art ventilation equipment and clinical monitoring to ensure your therapy is effective.

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Oxygen Therapy

Device Type 2

Helping your body get the oxygen it needs to function is important to managing your illness. If your practitioner prescribes oxygen therapy for ALS, Lincare will provide 24/7 treatment support and oxygen equipment designed to fit your needs.

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Enteral Nutrition Therapy

Device Type 3

Enteral therapy is a useful option if your diet has been disrupted by swallowing difficulties. We offer a full medical, and nutritional support program designed together with you and your practitioner. Our enteral therapeutics include various nutrition products and a wide range of feeding tube supplies and equipment suited to your needs.

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High-Frequency ChestWall Oscillation

Device Type 4

High-frequency chest wall oscillation is an airway clearance device. A fitted vest produces vibrations that loosen and remove mucus from the airway. It can be done from home, alleviating your symptoms, and allowing you to breathe easier.

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Speech Generating Devices

Device Type 5

At Lincare, we know living with speech disorders can be isolating, which is why we are committed to helping you gain the power to communicate and connect. We use highly customizable speech-generating devices to help with communication issues caused by congenital conditions, developmental delays, acquired diseases, or injuries.

How We Can Help

Patients who receive a manufactured valve will almost always require a blood-thinning medication for the rest of their lives. The blood thinner will keep clots from forming. Living with a Mechanical Heart Valve can be challenging, but you're not in it alone. Lincare’s affiliates are here for you and provide at Home PT/INR Testing. The INR Testing program may improve health-related quality of life while receiving the medical treatment you need.
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