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Neuropathy

Damage to the nerves outside of the spinal cord or brain will generally result in peripheral neuropathy. The damage to these particular nerves can be caused by severe injuries, reactions to medications and problems related to metabolism. Many diabetic patients develop some form of neuropathy. The most commonly occurring form of neuropathy affects the movement of the legs and feet, causing difficulty standing and walking.

Treatment in some cases can be quite difficult in that oftentimes the underlying cause of neuropathy cannot be determined. The condition can affect just one particular nerve or several at a time. This condition is referred to as polyneuropathy as it affects many parts of the nervous system at the same time. A common cause of mononeuropathy is carpal tunnel syndrome. Only one nerve is affected and so it is much easier to diagnose and treat than the more rare forms which can surface as polyneuropathy.

Neuropathy may also surface in the nerves of the eye or the ear canal. When affecting the optic nerves neuropathy results in a sudden loss in vision whether it be a partial or a total loss. Sometimes methanol is the cause of optic neuropathy. Auditory neuropathy causes a sudden total or partial hearing loss in patients due to problems within the cochlea or with the nerves running to the brain from this area.

Electrical nerve simulation is a newer technology being used to treat some forms of neuropathy. In cases of polyneuropathy patients are treated with steroids and or antidepressants initially and recommended for surgery if those methods are unsuccessful. Most patients thrive on a combination of therapy, pain relief and minor manipulation of the involved nerves. In cases of optical and auditory neuropathy, early detection and correction are key in preventing permanent damage to the eye or ear.

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