Healthy Living

Accessible Air Travel: Why It Is Essential for Muscular Dystrophy Families

Accessible Air Travel: Why It Is Essential for Muscular Dystrophy Families

Every day someone is diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy (MD), or a collection of diseases that makes muscles less flexible and weaker as time progresses. Eventually, muscular dystrophy patients will need a wheelchair to move around. But, this doesn't mean they shouldn't travel. Traveling doesn't just offer a new experience, it can also offer a chance at independence.

However, in order for patients to travel, there needs to be a few things airplane staff must keep in mind, like:

  • A better understanding of how MD affects the body and the mind;
  • Accommodation that makes it a pleasure to travel by air;
  • Airline staff who are trained in the best ways to keep MD patients comfortable.

A further understanding of muscular dystrophy

These diseases often strike down children, but there are others who don’t have symptoms until older or are teenagers or middle-aged adults. How muscular dystrophy touches a patient or their family rests on the type of disease they have. Their condition will probably worsen over time, and these are those who lose the ability to care for themselves, talk, or walk. These are the MD sufferers who need to have improved access to air travel.

Muscular dystrophy often runs in families, and the condition may be caused by problems in the genes that contain the information your cells need to make proteins. Proteins control the different functions of your body. When a gene develops a problem, your cells produce the wrong protein, too much or too little of it, or the protein is damaged.

Some ways you can improve your symptoms are:

  • Physical therapy using stretches and exercise to keep muscles healthy,
  • Occupational therapy whose goal is to teach you how to make the most of your muscles.
  • Speech therapy explains ways to help you talk.
  • Respiratory therapy will help if you or your child is having trouble breathing.
  • Medication that eases symptoms includes Eteplirsen or an injection treating individuals with a specific mutation of the genes.
  • Anti-seizure drugs to reduce muscle spasms,
  • Blood pressure medications to help with heart problems,
  • Immunosuppressants to may slow damage to muscle cells,
  • Prednisone or steroids that slow down muscle damage,
  • Creatine or a chemical found in the body can help supply energy to muscles and improve strength.
  • Surgery is also helpful for heart problems or trouble swallowing. 

Read on to learn why air travel rights are essential for muscular dystrophy patients.