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Support group aims to ease isolation

By Staff Reporter

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A NEW support group has been formed for people suffering from balance disorders.

The North of Scotland Meniere's Support Group was set up by Inverness woman Joyce Muir after she was diagnosed with the condition.

Within weeks, it has attracted more than a dozen members suffering from vestibular disorders – including two from Elgin and more from the Moray area.

Joyce explained: "I hadn't heard about Meniere's before and didn’t know anyone who suffered from it.

"I then did some research online and found the Meniere's Society website and contacted them for more information.

"On their Facebook page I asked if any of their members stayed in the North of Scotland and one person contacted me.

"From that one contact the North of Scotland Meniere's Support Group was born and we now have a membership of 14 sufferers."

Meniere's Disease is a condition which affects the inner ear and can come with a variety of symptoms such as loss of hearing, tinnitus, pressure in the ear, vertigo and loss of balance.

Joyce said: "This can make everyday activities like going out with friends, making appointments, or other activities that involve planning ahead very difficult because you don’t know when you are going to have your next attack."

That can lead to isolation, with the condition rendering some unable to walk.

Joyce said: "As there’s such a wide range of symptoms that can vary from person to person it can sometimes be bamboozling for sufferers, so the support group can be really beneficial.

"It allows people to discuss their symptoms with other sufferers and get lots of tips on things to try which might help.

"But, most of all it helps reduce the isolation that’s felt from having quite a rare condition which no-one in their network will have heard about."

You can visit the North of Scotland Meniere's Disease Support Group Facebook page for further information, email nosmenieres@gmail.com or contact Joyce on 07739 457713 or Elizabeth on 07756 011483.

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