No, the effects of spina bifida generally don’t get worse with age. Though its effects can vary, the most severe cases show very little further deterioration over time. Depending on its severity, spina bifida can cause lifelong challenges for people in areas such as mobility and cognitive function.
However, with proper medical care, physical and occupational therapy, and access to assistive technology, it is possible to make significant improvements to quality of life. As technology advances, the physical and emotional effects of spina bifida can often be addressed with greater success.
As a result, many adults with this condition are able to pursue interests, establish meaningful relationships, and live life to the fullest.
Who is the oldest person to live with spina bifida?
The oldest known person to live with spina bifida is Dr. Walter Kavanaugh. Dr. Kavanaugh was born in 1932, making him 88 years old at the time of writing. Dr. Kavanaugh is a practicing urologist and is involved in numerous charities for people with spina bifida.
He has also been an advocate for spina bifida research and awareness. Dr. Kavanaugh is a renowned medical doctor, having served as President of the Arkansas Medical Society and was even a delegate to the World Health Organization.
He has continued to practice medicine and work diligently to improve the lives of people with spina bifida.
Do people with spina bifida have a shorter lifespan?
No, people with spina bifida do not necessarily have a shorter lifespan. The American Spina Bifida Association reports that life expectancy for those affected by Spina Bifida has increased dramatically in the last century.
Thanks to medical advances, most people with spina bifida live a normal life expectancy. It is important to note, however, that one’s life expectancy may be affected by the level of physical and cognitive impairment as well as other medical conditions related to spina bifida.
People with spina bifida can, with proper medical care, lead productive and long lives. Research shows that with proper management of their condition and the right supports, people with spina bifida are achieving positive outcomes throughout their educational, work, and personal life experiences.
What are long term effects of spina bifida?
The long term effects of spina bifida vary widely, depending on the severity of the condition and the individual’s age, as well as the quality of medical care they receive. Generally, however, the consequences can be physical, psychological, and educational.
Physically, people with spina bifida may experience muscle weakness and problems with coordination, which can lead to difficulty with mobility and activities of daily living. They may also experience problems with bladder and bowel control, which can cause skin breakdown and frequent urinary tract infections.
Orthopedic issues such as scoliosis and hip dysplasia can also be a long term effect.
Psychologically, people with spina bifida can experience depression, low self-esteem, and feelings of isolation. They may also have difficulty integrating with their peers and forming relationships. Some may have difficulty adjusting to physical disabilities and find it hard to accept their condition.
Educationally, children with spina bifida may face difficulty learning in traditional classrooms or adapting to mainstream curriculums. This can lead to issues with academic performance and disruption of their social development.
Early intervention and the presence of trained personnel in educational institutions can help ensure a positive educational experience for people with spina bifida.
Spina bifida can also lead to a variety of other conditions such as hearing loss, vision issues, and hydrocephalus. Additionally, complications from the condition can lead to other serious health conditions such as seizures and learning disabilities.
As such, it is important to access proper medical care and treatments in order to manage the long term effects of spina bifida.
What are 5 health issues a person with spina bifida might have?
1. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): Spina bifida can cause issues with the urinary system, such as damaged nerve cells, which can result in UTIs. It is important to seek medical treatments for UTIs, as they can be difficult to manage and can increase the risk of kidney damage.
2. Pressure sores: People with spina bifida are at an increased risk of developing pressure sores due to a lack of feeling in certain areas of the body. Regularly checking the skin for redness, warmth, and discoloration can help prevent pressure sores.
3. Bowel/bladder control issues: People with spina bifida can have difficulty controlling their bowels and bladder, which can lead to serious health issues if not managed properly. Following a treatment plan and using adaptive devices, such as catheters or collect bags, can help manage these issues.
4. Mobility issues: Depending on the severity of the spina bifida, people may have difficulty walking, running, or performing everyday activities. Physical therapy and adaptive devices such as wheelchairs or walkers can help ensure the person is able to navigate the world with the least amount of difficulty.
5. Cognitive issues: Spina bifida can result in developmental delays and cognitive disabilities. It is important to seek early intervention and support to ensure a person’s best development and quality of life.
Educational accommodations and therapies such as speech, occupational, and physical can be extremely beneficial.
Is spina bifida a severe disability?
Yes, spina bifida is a severe disability. It is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States, affecting approximately 1 out of every 1,000 babies born. Spina bifida is caused by incomplete development of the spinal cord or its coverings.
This occurs in the first few weeks of a pregnancy and can be associated with physical and mental disabilities. In some cases, it can cause paralysis, bladder and bowel control issues, and a range of other impairments that can affect a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.
Additionally, spina bifida can lead to other medical and psychological issues, including learning difficulties, chronic pain, and mobility impairments. In short, spina bifida can be a very severe disability and significantly affect a person’s quality of life.
What are 3 complications that are associated with spina bifida?
Spina bifida is a birth defect that affects the spine and is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States. It can cause a variety of complications, including bodily functioning impairments, chronic pain and mental health issues.
1. Orthopedic Complications: These can include problems walking, standing, or balancing due to muscle weakness, joint deformities, hydrocephalus, vertebral deformities, and partial or complete paralysis.
2. Sensory Complications: Many individuals with spina bifida have physical impairments due to sensory nerve damage. These can include difficulties with vision, hearing, and touch sensitivity. Additionally, bladder and bowl issues are common in people with spina bifida, often leading to urinary tract infections, kidney or bladder stones, or incontinence.
3. Mental Health Complications: Because of the physical limitations associated with spina bifida, it can be difficult for patients to cope with the associated pain, discomfort, and disability. As a result, mood disorders, anxiety, and depression can occur, and individuals with spina bifida often require long-term counselling services to manage their mental health.
Additionally, many individuals with spina bifida face social stigmas and a lack of access to educational and work opportunities, leading to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
Can spina bifida occulta cause problems later in life?
Spina bifida occulta is a condition that occurs when the bones of the spine (vertebrae) don’t form correctly around the spinal cord. In some cases, the spinal cord may not be visible and cause no problems at all.
However, it can sometimes cause problems later in life. Depending on the severity of the condition, problems might include pain, muscle weakness, scoliosis, hydrocephalus, or a tethered spinal cord. It’s important to note that not everyone who has spina bifida occulta will experience problems.
Diagnosis can be made through physical exams or imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI scans. Treatment may include physical therapy, medications, or surgery. It’s important to talk with your doctor about any concerns you may have about spina bifida occulta and make sure you are receiving recommended care.
What complications can spina bifida lead to?
Spina bifida can lead to several health complications. Difficulty with mobility is the most common, as well as persistent pain, bowel and bladder issues, urinary tract infections, hydrocephalus, curvature of the spine, scoliosis, speech difficulties, and seizures.
Further, those with the condition are at an increased risk of developing asthma, allergies, hearing loss, and skin problems. With regards to mental health, conditions such as learning disabilities, depression, ADHD, anxiety, and other challenges may be observed.
Those with the condition need lifetime medical attention and care to manage these complications.
Does spina bifida cause early death?
No, spina bifida does not always cause early death. While some people with spina bifida may face health issues that can lead to an early death, many people with spina bifida can, and do, live long, healthy lives.
It is important, however, for those with spina bifida to stay on top of their health, receive regular check ups and follow their doctors’ and specialists’ recommendations for optimal health. Treatment for spina bifida can vary and may include surgery, physical therapy, assistive technology, and wellness therapies.
Along with regular medical care, lifestyle habits, such as a healthy diet and regular exercise, are key to staying healthy with spina bifida. Making positive lifestyle choices and working with a team of care providers can help people with spina bifida to manage and reduce their risk of associated complications, such as neural tube defects, hydrocephalus, scoliosis, and bladder and bowel problems, that can lead to increased risk of an early death.
How long can a person with spina bifida live?
The lifespan of someone with spina bifida can vary greatly depending upon the severity of the condition. Generally, the milder the form of spina bifida, the longer lifespan a person may have. Most people with spina bifida have a normal lifespan.
Studies have found that most people with spina bifida live over 50 years. Additionally, research has shown that adults with spina bifida often have a good quality of life, as long as they receive the proper care, including regular physical activity, diet, and access to medical care.
People with more severe forms of spina bifida may not be able to live as long as those with the milder forms. Some may be able to live more than 50 years with proper care, while others may still face considerable health challenges related to their condition, even with medical care.
Ultimately, the age someone with spina bifida may live to is largely determined by their underlying medical condition.
What is the most serious complication of spina bifida?
The most serious complication of spina bifida is a condition called hydrocephalus, which is an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the skull that can affect brain growth and development. It is the most common central nervous system abnormality associated with spina bifida, occurring in about 70-80% of cases.
Research has found that hydrocephalus may be caused by the malformation of the neural tube, defective development of the central nervous system, or an obstruction in the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid that flows from the ventricles in the brain to the rest of the central nervous system.
Hydrocephalus can have a wide range of symptoms, from headaches and fatigue, to difficulty walking or controlling bladder or bowel movements, to severe mental and physical delays. When present, this condition can be managed with a surgical procedure to implant a shunt that diverts the fluid build-up away from the brain.
While a shunt can improve quality of life and prevent further damage to the brain, the degree of success depends on the severity of the hydrocephalus and how quickly it is diagnosed and treated. Unfortunately, without early treatment, hydrocephalus can result in severe, life-threatening complications, such as seizures and permanent brain damage.
Can you live a normal life with spina bifida occulta?
Yes, it is possible to live a normal life with spina bifida occulta. People with this condition typically have normal physical activity and intelligence. They may require regular check-ups with a doctor to monitor their health and development.
Some people may require certain assistive devices such as back braces to prevent any worsening of the condition. Additionally, regular monitoring is recommended as spina bifida occulta can be associated with other medical problems that may need to be treated.
This includes regular check-ups for scoliosis and follow-up evaluations for nerve conduction tests to assess for sensation, muscle coordination, and reflexes. While there is no direct cure for spina bifida occulta, leading a healthy lifestyle with regular medical monitoring can help to minimise the risk of any severe medical complications.
What famous person has spina bifida?
Nicole Johnson is a well-known advocate for individuals with disabilities and Spina Bifida in particular. She was born on December 3, 1964 with the life-long condition, making her the first ever Miss America contestant with a disability.
She was born into a middle class family in California, and attended college at the University of Arizona. She received her undergraduate degree in business management and later returned to get her MBA in Health Care Administration.
In 1997, she was crowned as Miss USA, becoming the first woman with a disability to don the crown, and the first since 1945 to win the Miss America pageant. She used her platform and success to raise awareness about living with a disability, and during the pageant’s “Question-and-Answer Session” she discussed her advocacy work.
Throughout her career she has inspired others with Spina Bifida and raised awareness of the disorder, allowing people to feel empowered and not defined by their disability. Johnson is still active in advocating for Spina Bifida today and has created the Nicole Johnson Spina Bifida Foundation to continue her work.
Does spina bifida come from Mom or Dad?
Neither mom nor dad is the definite source of spina bifida. Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the neural tube, which forms the spine and brain, does not close properly. It is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the US.
While there is not a definitive answer as to whether or not spina bifida comes from mom or dad, research has shown that it is a complex condition and there are a variety of factors, genetic and environmental, that may be linked to its development.
It is believed that genetic components, such as family history and specific mutations, may be associated with the development of spina bifida. It is also thought that environmental risks, including maternal obesity, folate deficiency, diabetes, and certain medications, may be linked to the condition.
For this reason, it is important for both mom and dad to stay informed about spina bifida and to discuss any potential risk factors with their doctor. Ultimately, no one can guarantee that your baby will or won’t be born with spina bifida.
However, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with the condition and to take steps to minimize these risks when possible.