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Neuritis: symptoms, causes and treatment

 Neuritis: symptoms, causes and treatment


Neuritis: symptoms, causes and treatment

Neuritis varies according to the inflamed nerve. In this article, we will discuss the types of nerve inflammation, its causes, the tests required to diagnose it, and what is the treatment.

Page contents 

1.      an introduction

2.      Symptoms of neuritis

3.      Causes of nerve inflammation

4.      Medical conditions

5.      Diagnosis of neuritis

6.      Treating neuritis

Neuritis is a condition that targets a specific nerve or group of nerves, and symptoms differ according to their type and functionHere's everything you need to know about neuritis symptoms , causes and treatment.

Symptoms of neuritis

Nerves are divided   into three types:

  • Sensory neuritis : It may be characterized by a feeling of numbness, tingling, or loss of feeling and paralysis in the affected area.
  • Motor neuritis : It may mainly include symptoms of weakness, loss of muscle strength and muscle wasting.
  • Mixed neuritis : it may actually lead to more severe complications, but it is the rarest type of the rest.

While the inflammation of each category is characterized by its own symptoms.

The most common symptoms

The most common symptoms of neuritis are:

  • Sharp pain like stabbing sensations
  • Tingling in the extremities
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands and legs
  • Weakness in the limbs with a feeling of heaviness from time to time
  • Frequent cases of dropping things and not being able to carry them
  • Facial paralysis if the facial nerve is involved
  • Excessive sweating
  • Unstable blood pressure
  • Thinning of the skin
  • Impotence  (more common in men)
  • Feeling of constant wheezing
  • A feeling of tightness over the affected area
  • Problems in the  digestive system  such as constipation and diarrhea.

Causes and risk factors for neuritis

Here are the most common causes of neuritis:

1.      Mechanical shock: It  usually occurs as a result of a local injury or pressure that leads to damage and inflammation of some nerves.

  1. Vascular problems:  Sometimes damage to the  blood vessels  that connect to the nerves may cause bleeding and damage to them.
  2. Infection:  In some cases of infectious diseases, the infection may target the nervous system in a specific way, such as shingles infection, diphtheria, tetanus, leprosy and polio.
  3. Chemical shocks:  It is the injury of nerves to damage as a result of cases in which the body is exposed to metal poisoning with arsenic, mercury or leadAnd sometimes this is a result of side effects of the vaccination.
  4. Sometimes, nerve inflammation may be caused by conditions related to the body system  , such as diabetes , vitamin deficiency, and metabolic acidosis, and so on.

Medical conditions that may result from nerve inflammation

Despite the many types of nerves in the body and the possibility of becoming infected, some cases are the most common:

  • Facial neuritis,  or otherwise called Bell's palsy
  • Inflammation of the optic nerve,  which targets the nerves that connect the eye and the brain
  • Brachial neuritis usually targets the shoulder and arm
  • Vestibular neuritis targeting the vestibular nerve in the inner ear.

It should be noted here that neuritis may be a temporary condition or a permanent disorder, as it may target a single nerve or a group of nerves in the body, where it is called multiple neuropathy.

Diagnosis of neuritis

Depending on the symptoms that you may suffer from, the doctor will determine which nerves will be damaged, and thus he will direct you to a set of tests and examinations, which may include the following:

  • Blood test:  Through  a comprehensive blood test, the  presence of any infection or inflammation will be detected, as well as the blood sugar level, deficiency of certain vitamins, high level of minerals and autoimmune diseases.
  • Eye examination: The   doctor will resort to these tests if he suspects optic neuritis, then he may direct you to test color vision, visual acuity, light reflection and visual response test, in addition to an organic examination of the eye itself.
  • Lumbar puncture :  It is an examination used to extract and examine the cerebrospinal fluid, and the doctor uses it when he suspects that the patient has meningitis or encephalitis.
  •  Electromyography of the nerve (EMG)It is a test that examines the extent of the electrical performance of the nerves, as the work of the nerves translates as electrical charges in the brainThus, the test measures the speed and strength of the nerve signals carried by nerves.
  • Nerve biopsy: It  is a routine test in the case of neuritis, where a sample is taken from the damaged nerve for examination in laboratories.
  • A radiological tests , Kalocapray and magnetic resonance imaging  and computed tomographyThe aim of these tests is to obtain a clearer picture of the internal organs and thus reveal the presence of tumors, pressure on the nerve, sarcoidosis, etc.

Treating neuritis

As mentioned earlier, the treatment of neuritis depends on the severity of the inflammation and the area of ​​the affected nerve, but the treatments may vary between the following:

1 . Pharmacotherapy

Drug treatments, in turn, are also affected by the severity and location of the pain. In cases of moderate pain, the doctor will prescribe NSAIDs such as acetaminophen, aspirin and codeine, while in severe pain he may require prescribing opioid analgesics such as  tramadol,  hydrocodone or oxycodone.

In cases of acute pain, the doctor may prescribe corticosteroids, but in cases of chronic neuralgia that does not leave the patient, drugs such as capsaicin, pregabalin, proloxetine and others may be required.

2.  Physiotherapy

Physical therapy may be effective to rehabilitate muscles, strength and improve mobilityThe therapist may use the following treatment techniques:

  • Cold treatment
  • Heat compresses
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage

3.  Food supplement

If the nerve inflammation that you suffer from is caused by malnutrition, your doctor may recommend some nutritional supplements, for example:

  • Vitamin B12 :  Aids in nerve growth and regeneration.
  • Vitamin B1:  Promotes healing of neuritis.
  • Calcium and  Magnesium :  Helps improve nerve conduction.
  • Lecithin:  protects and repairs damaged nerves.
  • Protein:  Promotes nerve repair and improves function.

4.  Surgery

Often surgery remains the last resort for doctors, as neurosurgery is often delicate, but the doctor may choose to resort to it in cases of nerve compression and physical injury.