Usher syndrome is an inherited condition that results in hearing and vision loss. Although it is relatively rare (prevalence rate in the USA is approximately 16,000 people), it is still the leading cause of deaf-blindness. One of the most unfortunate things about this syndrome is that, as of the year 2015, it still doesn't have a cure. Still, there are things you can do to enhance the quality of your life if you are struggling with this condition.
Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, there is growing evidence that diet plays a role in the progression of the syndrome. In particular, omega-3 fatty acids seem to help in prolonging vision for those suffering from Usher syndrome. Sources of omega-3 include these four things:
- seafood such as oysters, salmon, and trout
- Non-seafood plant products such as flaxseed oil and walnuts, among others.
- Fortified foods
Protect Your Eyes from the Sun
Apart from feeding your body with omega-3 fatty acids, protecting your eyes from the rays of the sun may also help. Look for sunglasses rated as 100% UVA/UVB. Eye protection is advisable even for those who have perfect vision, but it's compulsory for those suffering from the syndrome.
Be Careful With Heights
As mentioned in the introduction, this disease affects not only your eyes but also your ears. The effect on the ears results not only in hearing loss but also in balance problems. One reason for this is that it affects the labyrinth, a structure in the inner ear that is comprised of bony and soft tissues and has a significant role in body balance.
Therefore, if you have the condition, then you should be wary of things that may cause your imbalance and injure you. For example, climbing ladders or standing on edges of tall objects is not advisable, because you may lose your footing and fall.
Lastly, you may also need some form of counseling if you are living with Usher syndrome. Most people find it difficult to deal with deaf-blindness, especially because the combined loss of both vision and hearing interferes with social interaction. Thus, counseling may be necessary not only for you but also for your family members.
Since this condition affects different parts of your body, you will probably need a multidisciplinary team to help you manage it. For example, an eye doctor may help you to handle the vision-related issues, while an audiologist helps with the hearing impairment. Ensure you are candid with your health care professionals for maximum help.
For more help, contact a professional like Atlantic Eye Consultant PC - Delianides Aris P MD.