What Is A Pinched Nerve
A pinched nerve, referred to as radiculopathy, happens when too much pressure is applied to one or more nerves in the body. This pressure disrupts the normal function of the nerve. The nerves pressure can be from muscles, cartilage, tendons, or bones surrounding the nerve.
With the disruption of the nerves function, a person will experience pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, or difficulty controlling specific muscles.
A pinched nerve is often at or near the root of the nerve, which is shortly outside the spinal cord.
Even though the pressure location is around the spinal cord, the pain is not felt at the exact location where the pressure is applied instead, the pain will radiate to the bodys various parts that the pinched nerve serves.
For instance, a pinched nerve root in the lower back can cause pain and weakness in the foot, while a pinched nerve in the neck can cause pain and weaken the forearm.
Likewise, a pinched nerve in the wrist can cause numbness and pain in the hand and fingers. If more than one nerve is pinched at a time, the condition is referred to as Polyradiculopathy.
A pinched nerve can occur at several sites in your body.
A herniated disk in your lower spine, for example, may put pressure on a nerve root, causing pain that radiates down the back of your leg. Likewise, a pinched nerve in your wrist can lead to pain and numbness in your hand and fingers .
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Can I Do Anything To Prevent Tinnitus Or Keep It From Getting Worse
Noise-induced hearing loss, the result of damage to the sensory hair cells of the inner ear, is one of the most common causes of tinnitus. Anything you can do to limit your exposure to loud noiseby moving away from the sound, turning down the volume, or wearing earplugs or earmuffswill help prevent tinnitus or keep it from getting worse.
Blood Pressure And Tinnitus
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There are many different ways tinnitus can be caused, from exposure to loud noise to medications. What many people dont know is your blood pressure can play a huge part in the severity of tinnitus symptoms. Tinnitus is diagnosed when there is a ringing, buzzing or static sound in the ear that a person hears constantly. It can be affected by stress or ones emotional state or health. Considering the close proximity to the brain and the immense amounts of blood flowing in and out of the head and this area, it is no wonder that high blood pressure can affect ones hearing causing hearing loss or tinnitus and affecting the degree and severity at times depending on the severity of the blood pressure.
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Southern Cross Medical Library
The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
Risks Of Having Water In The Ear
If water stays in the ear for too long, a person may develop an infection. The infection generally occurs as bacteria in the ear or water have an ideal place to multiply, leading to a response in the body that causes symptoms.
People may be more at risk of swimmers ear if they swim in water that contains high levels of bacteria, such as a lake. Swimming pools and spas are generally safer, as they usually have rules about checking bacteria and pH levels regularly.
The risk of developing swimmers ear also increases for people who already have a chronic skin condition that affects the ear, such as psoriasis or eczema.
The ear has several defense mechanisms to protect against infections, but some issues can create the ideal conditions for an infection, including:
- excess moisture in the ear
- scratches or cuts in the ear canal
- allergies to hair products or jewelry
Some doctors recommend that people with swimmers ear wear earplugs when swimming and dry the ears thoroughly with a blow dryer or towel afterward.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Bppv
The symptoms can vary in each person and include dizziness or vertigo, lightheadedness, imbalance, and sometimes nausea and vomiting with head movements. The symptoms are almost always precipitated by a positional change of the head or body. Getting into or out of bed, or rolling over in bed are common âproblem motionsâ. Some people will feel dizzy and unsteady when they tilt their heads back such as looking up, brushing their teeth, washing their hair, instilling eye drops, or checking the âblind spotsâ while driving. Although many people feel normal when not in a âproblemâ position, some do have a sensation of imbalance.
BPPV has often been described as âself-limitedâ because symptoms often subside or disappear within six months of onset. Symptoms tend to wax and wane. The symptoms can last for days or occasionally months.
How Can A Sinus Infection Affect Your Ears
Most sinusitis-related ear problems, including tinnitus, are caused by the congestion that occurs during a sinus infection. To better understand this phenomenon, lets take a second to review a few facts about sinusitis.
Sinusitis most frequently occurs when a virus or bacteria irritates the tissues of your sinus cavities. This irritation can lead to swelling which, in turn, can lead to mucus buildup and congestion.
Your sinus cavities and ears are interconnected systems, so congestion in the sinuses can create ear congestion, as well. Congestion in the ear may block the tube known as the Eustachian Tube that connects the middle ear to the outer ear and helps regulate pressure within the ear. When the Eustachian Tube is blocked, the pressure is allowed to build up around the eardrum, which is ultimately what causes ringing in the ears, aka tinnitus.
Whether you have an acute sinus infection or a sinus infection that wont go away, so long as the congestion is severe enough, it can cause tinnitus.
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What Is Causing My Ears To Ring
Ear ringing is a condition that is perceived only by the person experiencing it. Some people may hear high-pitched sounds, others may hear a clicking, while others may experience something totally different. When someone complains of ringing, buzzing, or clicking in their ears it is called tinnitus.
Ringing in your ears has many causes. If you’ve just attended a concert and you’re wondering why your ears are ringing, you’ll be happy to know that the ringing will likely go away in a day or two.
The bad news is you likely suffered some mild hearing loss from being exposed to loud noise over a significant period of time. Loud noise is just one cause of ear ringing , other causes include the following.
How To Diagnose Ringing In Ears And Dizziness
Ringing in ears and dizziness may be a symptom of a mild ear illness or it may be an alarming symptom of some serious underlying disorder that needs to be addressed and treated promptly.
In order to definitively diagnose the underlying cause of ringing in ears and dizziness, your doctor may advise you of certain tests which may include
1. Blood pressure
To rule out hypotension or hypertension as a cause.
2. Tests Of Hearing
Audiometry, voice test, tuning fork test, watch test to test for the degree of sense of hearing
3. Caloric Test
This test is used to assess the responsiveness of the vestibular system and damage to the acoustic nerve
4. Test For Venereal Diseases
As syphilis infection can be one of the causes for ringing ears and dizziness with or without deafness
5. Blood Sugar Levels
To assess neuropathy associated with diabetes mellitus
6. Serum Cholesterol
To know if the cause behind tinnitus is hypertension
7. Complete Blood Count
To check for anemia
8. Radiograph Of The Skull
To view fractures of the skull in case of recent or remote injury and to assess the presence of tumors, if any
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What Can I Do To Prevent Swimmer’s Ear
To help prevent swimmer’s ear, try the following:
- Keep your ears as dry as possible.
- Use ear plugs when you are swimming or showering.
- Dont scratch or clean your ear canal with cotton swabs, your fingers, or other objects.
To dry your ears well after swimming or showering, try these tips:
- Tilt your head to each side to help drain water out of your ears.
- With your ear facing down, pull your earlobe in different directions. This will help drain water out.
- Gently dry your ears with the edge of a towel.
- Use a hair dryer on the lowest or coolest setting to gently dry your ears. Hold the dryer at least 12 inches from your head. Wave the dryer slowly back and forth. Don’t hold it still.
Your health care provider may recommend drops to help dry your ears.
Dizziness And Balance Disturbances
Dizziness is a general term for many different symptoms. While it generally means an abnormal sensation of motion, it can also mean imbalance, lightheadedness, blacking out, staggering, disorientation, weakness and other sensations. Symptoms can range from mild and brief to severe spinning sensations accompanied by nausea also known as vertigo. For clarity the definitions we use to talk about dizziness are used.
Dizziness A general term for all abnormal symptoms of balance and stability.
Imbalance Inability to keep ones balance especially when standing.
Lightheadedness The feeling of nearly passing out, similar to the feeling you might have if you hold your breath for a long time.
Vertigo The sensation that you or your surroundings are moving or spinning or whirling.
Balance requires the interaction between many different organs and systems in the body. The brain is the central processing center for all balance information coming from the senses and for all information going out to the muscles of balance. Input comes from three main areas: vision, the balance portion of the inner ear, and the touch . Vision is an important cue to the brain which tells us if we are moving relative to our surroundings.
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Allergies And Hearing Loss
The immune system responds to allergies by producing antibodies that release the compound histamine. Histamine causes itchy eyes, sneezing, and a runny nose essentially, hay fever. This excess mucus production can obstruct the Eustachian tube, which is the drainage passage for the middle ear. The middle ear amplifies and transfers sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. Therefore, any inflammation or blockage in this area can interfere with your sense of hearing and/or cause an ear infection.
Dr. Julie Prutsman, the owner and founder of Sound Relief Hearing Center, describes the relationship between allergies and hearing loss in the following way: Oftentimes allergic patients complain of a slight hearing loss and a sense of fullness or pressure. Usually, a hearing test will show some hearing loss, and a tympanogram will reveal reduced mobility of the tympanic membrane. That means the middle ear has some fluid or inflammation that may need to be addressed with medication.
What Are Researchers Doing To Better Understand Tinnitus
Along the path a hearing signal travels to get from the inner ear to the brain, there are many places where things can go wrong to cause tinnitus. If scientists can understand what goes on in the brain to start tinnitus and cause it to persist, they can look for those places in the system where a therapeutic intervention could stop tinnitus in its tracks.
In 2009, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders sponsored a workshop that brought together tinnitus researchers to talk about the condition and develop fresh ideas for potential cures. During the course of the workshop, participants discussed a number of promising research directions, including:
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Joy Victory Managing Editor Healthy Hearing
Joy Victory has extensive experience editing consumer health information. Her training in particular has focused on how to best communicate evidence-based medical guidelines and clinical trial results to the public. She strives to make health content accurate, accessible and engaging to the public.Read more about Joy.
When Should I See A Doctor For Swimmers Ear
- Pain is not controlled with over-the-counter medicines that are taken as recommended on the label. Any pressure on the outer ear may cause great pain, so it is often difficult to lie down with the affected side against a pillow. Many people with swimmers ear have trouble sleeping until they get medical attention.
- The person feels dizzy.
- The person has any signs of facial weakness or double vision.
- The person has diabetes or some other condition that prevents the immune system from functioning normally.
- If there is associated redness or swelling that extends down the neck or along the face from the ear, immediate medical attention should be sought.
- If the swimmers ear does not improve after one week of medical treatment.
- The symptoms of swimmers ear worsen.
Swimmers ear, in general, is not an emergency. However, a person should go to an emergency department at the hospital if they are experiencing symptoms of swimmers ear and have diabetes, a compromised immune system, are running a fever, are experiencing dizziness or facial weakness, or have a history of prior ear surgery.
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Testing For Adrenal Health
In order to figure out the health of your adrenal glands a basic blood, urine, or saliva test such as the Adrenal Stress Index can be carried out through your professional. Cortisol levels can be checked by blood in the morning or throughout the day by a saliva test. DHEA, and Epinephrine, are some other indicators of adrenal function. The information offered by screening can assist to figure out the most proper type of treatment.
What Are The Best Ways To Protect Against Swimmers Ear
Most people who have experienced the pain of swimmers ear are not keen to repeat it. Fortunately, the condition is fairly easy to prevent with a few simple precautions:
- Wear fitted earplugs or a swim cap when swimming, especially in untreated waters.
- When you are done swimming, tilt your head to each side to drain the excess water.
- Dry your ears thoroughly with a towel or hair dryer or use ear-water drying aid drops after swimming.
- Avoid using cotton swabs or inserting small objects into your ears.
- Check the bacterial count of the water before swimming. If a public beach has a sign warning against high bacterial counts , stay out of the water.
If you or someone you love has contracted swimmers ear, you should see a hearing care professional as soon as possible. The sooner you begin treatment, the sooner your pain will subside and you can get back on the beach for some more fun in the sun. Call us today at 202-8517 to set up an appointment today!
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What Are The Other Signs Of Dehydration
Some other dehydration symptoms to watch out for include:
- Thirst.Feeling thirsty is your bodys way of telling you that you need to drink more fluids.
- Reduced urination. When youre dehydrated, your body will signal your kidneys to retain fluids. Because of this, youll likely urinate less frequently.
- Dark urine. If youre well-hydrated, you urine is typically clear or pale yellow. Dark urine indicates that your urine has become more concentrated.
- Constipation. Your large intestine is responsible for absorbing water from your food. When you dont have enough fluids, your stools may become harder and more difficult to pass.
- Dry mouth, lips, or skin. As your body loses fluids, you may notice dryness, flaking, and cracking of your lips and skin.
- Fatigue. Being dehydrated makes it harder for your body to carry out its normal functions. Because of this, you may feel lethargic or more tired than usual.
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If Youre Feeling A Little Unsteady On Your Feet Its Not Just In Your Head It Might Actually Be In Your Ears
Weve all experienced dizziness after a boat trip, an amusement park ride or spinning in a circle as a kid. But if you feel like youve just gotten off a roller coaster even if youve hardly moved, you could have a balance problem related to your inner ear. Heres how it happens.
Your inner ear has three canals that sense different types of movement: up and down, side to side, turning in any direction and tilting. These canals are filled with fluid within that fluid are floating membranes with tiny cells that send signals to your brain. That special sensory information, combined with what you see and feel, helps you navigate the physical world. The brain ultimately interprets all of this incoming sensory information and translates it into coordination, balance and movement. If those incoming signals are thrown off, you can experience dizziness, nausea or a feeling that the world is spinning. You may even feel like youre about to fall down. Several different conditions can cause your inner earbalance system to become off-kilter, but thankfully they can be managed with help from a doctor.
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Work With Your Audiologist To Find Relief
Before you pursue any non-medical options for tinnitus management, you need to see a doctor to rule out any underlying problem requiring medical or surgical intervention, says Dr. Sandridge. The next step is to have a hearing test done by an audiologist to determine if hearing loss could be the cause as well as to determine if you can benefit from sound therapy.
Unfortunately, at this point, there is no FDA-approved medication to treat tinnitus. The majority of management options are non-medical and should be directed by your audiologist who may work with other specialty professionals such as a dentist, a physical therapist or a psychologist to find the best treatment option for you.
These may include different types of counseling such as cognitive behavioral therapy , mindfulness therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy or sound therapy such as fans, sounds apps on your smartphones, hearing aids or sound generators.