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Common Symptoms of Parkinson?s Disease

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Since Parkinson’s disease develops very slowly, it?s easy to miss in it?s earliest stages. At first, a patient?s face may seem to show little or no expression, their arms may not swing when they walk, or they may have a barely noticeable tremor in one hand. Slowly their speech may begin to seem softer or slurred, and symptoms will worsen as the condition progresses. While each patient?s experience is different, here are some of the most common symptoms of Parkinson?s.

  1. Tremor
    Patients with Parkinson?s often exhibit a slight shaking in a finger, thumb, hand, and/or chin ? especially when at rest. One common sign of Parkinson’s disease is a pill-rolling tremor, which is an unintentional rubbing back and forth of the thumb and forefinger. Uncontrolled head shaking is often another symptom of Parkinson’s.
  2. Bradykinesia
    Parkinson’s disease often reduces the capacity to move and/or slows down movement, making everyday tasks more challenging and time-consuming. Steps may be shorter, and patients often find it difficult to get up from a chair. Some people find that they drag their feet, making it difficult to walk, and their arms no longer swing naturally when they do walk.
  3. Rigidity
    Rigid or stiff muscles may occur in one or more parts of the body, reducing range of motion and creating pain. Stiffness that doesn?t go away as a patient moves may be a symptom of Parkinson’s disease. Other symptoms may include stiffness or pain in the shoulder or hips, feeling as if one?s feet are stuck or glued to the floor, stooping or hunching, and lack of facial expression
  4. Micrographia
    Handwriting in patients with Parkinson?s disease often becomes much smaller and harder to read than it used to be. The way in which a patient writes words on a page may change, with smaller letters and words closely crowded together.
  5. Changes in Sense of Smell of Vision
    People who have Parkinson?s often find that they can no longer smell certain foods well, such as bananas, pickles, or licorice. It can also affect their vision, making it hard to move their eyes to follow fast objects like a tennis or ping-pong ball. Patients may also have other eye problems, such as difficulty reading, blurred vision, double vision, and dry eyes.
  6. Problems with Speech
    Speech problems are a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease. A patient may be difficult to understand because they speak more softly or quickly than usual, slur their words, or hesitate when talking. Their speech may also become more of a monotone, missing the usual nuances.

Parkinson?s is a progressive disorder that gets worse over time, and each person may experience different symptoms. It can also affect a patient?s sleep, mental health, memory, balance, urination and bowel movements, skin, and sexual performance, and cause other symptoms such as dizziness and increased sweating. If you suspect that you or a loved one has Parkinson?s, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible. Luckily, there are many effective treatment options available. And, the well-trained, compassionate team at Specialty Care Services, one of the top home health agencies in Washington DC and the surrounding areas, is always ready to help with in-home care.

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