What is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a term that encompasses the malfunction of different nerves in a patient's body. The nerves in the body are fragile and can be easily be damaged by a disease or many different reasons. The nerve damage suffered by the patient decide the kind of neuropathy that they are afflicted with.
What are the kinds of Neuropathy?
There are different kinds of neuropathy:
- When the nerves present outside the brain and spinal cord are damaged, it leads to peripheral neuropathy. Damage to the peripheral nervous system affects the toes, feet, legs, fingers, and hands of the patient.
- Proximal neuropathy affects the nerves that are connected to the shoulders, thighs, buttocks, and hips.
- Optic neuropathy affects the optic nerve. This causes visual problems to the patient due to the failure of the optic nerve to transmit signals from the retina to the brain.
- Auditory neuropathy causes problems with the patient's hearing. It affects the inner ear.
What is the cause of Neuropathy?
Nerves are fragile and can be damaged by many different reasons. A few causes of neuropathy are:
- Diabetes is the most common cause of neuropathy. It occurs more frequently in people who have had diabetes for many years.
- Vitamin deficiencies are also a cause of neuropathy. Vitamin B deficiency can make people more susceptible to this disorder.
- Different infections such as Lyme disease, HIV, leprosy, and many others can damage a patient's nerves over time.
- Alcoholism is often the cause of peripheral neuropathy, in many cases. It may occur due to the damaging effect of alcohol on nerves as well as poor nutrition.
- Prolonged traumas or injuries can also cause severe damage to nerves gradually.
What are the symptoms of Neuropathy?
A patient may not realize many of the symptoms at first but there are many signs that can point out to nerve damage. There may be gradual numbness, tingling or pain that begins in the feet and slowly moves to the center of the body. The patient may experience extreme sensitivity to touch. The patient's muscle mass also decreases significantly over time. There is a gradual loss of reflexes and reaction time as well as much more related problems. Dizziness, fainting, blurred vision and sweating also occurs on a regular basis.
What is the treatment for Neuropathy?
The neurologist begins the treatment by putting the patient through a thorough medical examination. This is used to examine the severity of the neuropathy. There are different tests used to determine the nerve damage. Once the cause is determined and the point of the nerve damage is pinpointed, the neurologist will begin the treatment to control the symptoms. In some cases, the cause of the nerve damage is eliminated, if this is not possible then a surgery is performed.
If you have neuropathy related symptoms, it is pertinent to seek the help of a qualified neurologist. Book an appointment with Mohammed F. Ahmed, M.D. in San Jose, CA!