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Ataxia UK
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Ataxia and driving

Dose anyone know if you can continue to drive after a diagnosis of ataxia I also am also a group 2 licence holder which allows me to drive lorry’s I’m only 36 and not ready to give up work yet

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You're legally obligated to declare the condition to the DVLC who will then contact your doctor/consultant. I was diagnosed eight years ago and to date the DVLC have thankfully allowed me to continue behind the wheel. The paradox is of course that as one's ataxia progresses, so one's need for a car increases.

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It took over a year for my permission to come through but I was allowed to drive while waiting and now must renew every year. I only drive short journeys and would never attempt the motorway but I am 72.

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I have been driving for 3 years on a medical driving licence.

I am waiting for it to be renewed.

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Hi my name is Chris, the normal thing they do is send you to have an driving assessment and usually just keep renewing it every 3 years. I also was very concerned as I drive for a living class 1/PSV and being 26 at the time of my diagnosis I was very worried.

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Did you get to keep your class 1? It’s very distressing I suppose it also depends on the day with dvla your fate is in others hands

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Yes I have kept all my categories, just have to have a vision test every 12 months due to my arsacs, and renew license every 3 years.

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That’s a bit more reassuring hopefully I’ll get to keep mine. We shall see

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Hi Chris, what are arsacs? Im just in the process of filling the form to declare my ca to DVLA x

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Hi,

The consultants letter referring to my diagnosis of ‘mild neurological ataxia’ makes no reference to driving.

This was about 6 years ago and I am ‘wobbly‘ but not all the time.

I never get any symptoms while seated.

Ataxia comes in many, many flavours. You don’t name yours?

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Thanks I’m ok feel fine and only have problems tandem walking slightly off balance but how often do you walk heel to toe ? They suspect gluten ataxia I also have coeliac disease so we shall see all medical test come back clear and mri was fine so we shall see at the time last year I had slurred speech and a strange gait which have both improved, I also had a ear infection so it could of been that but the ent person reckoned it was neurological.

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I have many other medical problems besides Ataxia, when I was prescribed Insulin for diabetes I had to declare it to the DVLA, and they took my driving licence in August 2008...... but with Diabetes, I lost all feelings in my feet and lower legs, do couldn’t feel the pedals anyway! 😕

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I have or had diabetes but we think it was due to the tablets I was taking it was a side effect that raised blood glucose levels at the time I was in the 30s now after stopping the tablets I’m reading a stage about 5.6, I was put on insulin and had my hgv licence revoked but retained my car licence also the doctor has taken me off insulin and gave me Gliclazide but a couple of times it brought my sugar levels down too low so I myself have decided to stop them and I’m still on a normal level, I’m now on just metformin so I’ll have to see if I can reapply for my hgv unless I get diagnosed with ataxia.

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I wish you well for your re application, I miss my driving independance, have to rely on my wife now!

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The neurologist has advised me not to drive until I had my appointment with the professor at Sheffield so I haven’t driven in a year and it’s really annoying as I can’t even get to work if I wanted, I live in a very rural area and I think there is a bus but only once a week and a stupid times by the time you get to your destination it’s time to come back absolutely pointless.

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Hi, I just want to add a bit about assessments - I have done two - Passed both - please be vary of assessors - my second test assessor wanted to fail me but because he did not take over the car when I was driving - he had to pass me. Ask questions and take rest breaks - test is 1 hour - at the end of the day DVLA will go with Assessors decision - be mindful of road signs and speed limits on every road - because the assessor will ask you speed limits and go through no entry ... hope this helps. Amynah

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Hi thanks for your reply, do dvla arrange the assessments I would like to go back to my job as a lorry driver but if I do have ataxia I guess them days are over but I feel well and my balance is good and I don’t slur my speech.

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yes dvla arrange it and mine took 6 months to arrange - but in the meantime I was driving with dvla code 88 and my GP letter- There is a provision in law under Section 88 of The Road Traffic Act (RTA) 1988 that may allow you to drive while DVLA processes your application. - check this out .....

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I’ll definitely have a look into It

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Hi im the same with my ataxia I can’t walk talk fluently and get nervous and jumpy still trying to give it a name who’s your neurologist you see

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Hi I see a dr button at York hospital and he has referred me to Sheffield to see a professor Marios Hadjivassiliou, I’ve herd that he knows his stuff so at least I’d get answer

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Don’t get your hopes up like I did I’m two years into seeing him and still no nearer naming it good professor though

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That’s not good though, really need answers properly is it goes on am going to have to sell my house

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I sold my house got a ground floor adapted flat

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It’s a pain in the arse to be honest, I think I’d rather not know if there is owt wrong with me, no news is good news.

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Stay Blessed :)

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good.

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Driving has no issue in Ataxia. I am enjoying it at 43. Best for you...Stay blessed :)

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