Hypoesthesia (sensitivity disorder) leads to reduced perception of stimuli because the transmission of stimuli to the central nervous system is disrupted. The extent to which these symptoms can be treated depends on the causative diseases. It is important to treat this as successfully as possible in order to eliminate the cause of hypoesthesia.
What is hypesthesia?
According to abbreviationfinder, the numbness can occur together with various side effects such as visual disturbances, pain, speech disorders and balance problems.
A reduced sensation of touch or pain as well as a sensory disturbance and sensitivity to irritation, especially in the area of the skin, is neurologically referred to as hypaesthesia (numbness). This means that hypesthesia is one of the sensory disorders.
These disorders mean that the nerve endings, receptors and sensors distributed throughout the body, but also the eyes, ears, nose and mouth as our sensory organs, no longer perceive the emotional stimuli correctly. From this it automatically follows that there is also no correct transmission to the central nervous system (CNS).
From this point on, those affected can no longer distinguish between mechanical sensations such as pressure, temperature differences and vibrations, but also pain.
A distinction is made between four (five) forms of hypesthesia:
- tactile hypesthesia with reduced sensitivity to touch and pressure
- in thermal hypesthesia there is a reduced sensitivity to heat and cold
- Hypoalgesia is a reduced pain sensation
- Pallhypesthesia is shown by a reduced sensation of vibrations
- anesthesia refers to the complete loss of sensitivity.
It is quite possible for other symptoms to appear at the same time.
Hypoesthesia can be caused by a variety of factors. The following causes can be considered as triggers such as skin damage, for example from burns, polyneuropathy (systemic damage to peripheral nerves), peripheral nerve lesions or a brain infarction (somatosensory cortex).
Intoxications, i.e. the effects of harmful substances of a biological, chemical or physical nature on the organism or ischemia (reduced or stopped blood flow to tissue due to insufficient arterial blood supply) can also trigger hypaesthesia.
It is just as possible that a herniated disc leads to sensory disturbances. Permanent or recurring pressure on the nerve root initially causes pain and then a feeling of numbness in the supply area.
The insufficient supply of blood, oxygen and nutrients to the brain during a stroke can also be considered. Nerve failures can lead to numbness in the arms and/or legs.
Shingles and Lyme disease are infections that can also lead to a numb feeling in the body. A vitamin B12 deficiency can damage the central nervous system and, in addition to tiredness and lack of concentration, lead to numbness in the hands and feet.
If the numbness occurs in the head or face, it can be the beginning of a migraine attack or a brain tumor. It is therefore of great importance to consult a doctor in the event of persistent or recurring numbness so that appropriate therapy can be initiated as early as possible. If there are any suspicions, further investigations are required.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
The numbness usually occurs in the limbs, more rarely in the head or abdomen. It can be felt in both legs or both arms, or it can occur on one side. One-sided expansions in the body are also known.
The numbness can occur together with various side effects such as visual disturbances, pain, speech disorders and balance problems. If the numbness subsides, there is almost always a tingling sensation in the affected area.
Diagnosis & course of disease
The diagnosis is based on as accurate anamnesis as possible. Crucial questions for the doctor are which parts of the body the numbness occurs in, how long the numbness has existed, and in which situations it occurs. It is also important whether the numbness is unilateral or bilateral, whether it is constant or decreasing, and whether it comes back.
Furthermore, the doctor checks to what extent underlying diseases are known. Those affected are tested for balance, hearing, vision and consciousness. Further examinations such as blood tests, computer tomography, electroneurography and X-ray examinations are to be carried out depending on the suspected diagnosis.
The course of the disease is shown by unilateral or bilateral numbness in certain local areas of the body. In extreme cases, a total loss of sensitivity, anaesthesia, can occur. Pain in the affected areas is also often described in advance. It is not uncommon for comorbidities to occur.
Hypoesthesia leads to disturbances in sensitivity and perception of stimuli. The affected person is thus significantly restricted in his everyday life, since ordinary and everyday stimuli are no longer properly or completely not absorbed. This leads to numbness in various regions of the body, although the legs can also be affected.
In this case, there is a significant restriction of movement. The arms and fingers can also be affected by the paralysis, so that normal activities can no longer be carried out. Not infrequently, the patient is dependent on the help of other people due to the hypaesthesia in order to master everyday life.
Furthermore, problems with the eyes or ears can also occur, so that the patient suffers from visual disturbances, for example. Language disorders also occur. In severe cases, mental confusion can also occur. The treatment of hypesthesia is always causal.
Complications usually occur if the hypesthesia is not treated for a long period of time, which can lead to irreversible consequential damage. Treatment uses antibiotics to limit the underlying inflammation. Furthermore, the patient is often dependent on therapies, although this does not lead to further complications.
When should you go to the doctor?
Hypoesthesia should always be treated by a doctor. As a rule, self-healing does not occur and the symptoms usually worsen if no treatment is initiated. A doctor should be consulted if numbness or various sensory disturbances occur in the body. These usually occur on the limbs, but can also affect the head.
It is not uncommon for hypesthesia to lead to sudden visual disturbances or pain, and speech problems can also indicate the disease. If these symptoms occur without a reason and do not go away on their own, you should definitely consult a doctor. Those affected may also show balance problems and suffer from a permanent tingling in the affected regions.
First and foremost, the general practitioner should be consulted for hypaesthesia. This can diagnose the disease and initiate treatment, which may also require the support of other specialists.
Treatment & Therapy
After a detailed anamnesis with findings, a differentiated treatment can be carried out, which must be specially tailored to the problem at hand. The focus is always on eliminating the cause. Infection-based deafness is usually treated with antibiotics depending on the cause.
If diabetes is the trigger, the blood sugar level is adjusted. In the case of a causative polyneuropathy, the symptoms are treated as best as possible, since the cause cannot yet be treated. However, good approaches are achieved as part of a TCM treatment with acupuncture.
If a herniated disc is the trigger, orthopedic or surgical treatment is carried out to eliminate the cause. Physiotherapy is also possible. In the case of migraines, the ENT doctor and/or the neurologist is consulted. If there is shingles or Lyme disease or a vitamin B12 deficiency, internal treatment is required to eliminate the cause.
The stroke belongs in the neurological or neurosurgical treatment. Carpal tunnel syndrome or ulnar tunnel syndrome can be treated conservatively by an orthopedist, physiotherapist or chiropractor. If this treatment is unsuccessful, the surgeon should be consulted.
The best prevention is to avoid the diseases that can cause hypoesthesia. This includes a balanced diet to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency. Sport, so that the bony frame of the body gets enough support through a strengthened musculature and a lot of movement, so that circulatory disorders do not occur in the first place. If triggering factors are noticed, a doctor should be consulted immediately. A complete check-up, at least once a year, is helpful in identifying pathological changes at an early stage.
The follow-up care for hypoesthesia depends on the disease that caused it. Doctors often recommend a healthy diet to prevent vitamin deficiencies. Especially if there is a connection with diabetes, an adjustment of the previous diet makes sense. In the course of the follow-up treatment, any changes in the organism must be checked.
Those affected should therefore have a check-up carried out at least once a year. After the therapy itself, it is also important to adjust the medication if necessary. This reduces the risk of the typical numbness occurring. If the disease was triggered by a herniated disc, the doctor usually recommends physiotherapy.
The aim here is to move enough to strengthen the muscles and thus avoid the circulatory disorders caused by the disease. Depending on the degree of disease and the course of further development, gentle exercises often help. In the course of aftercare, a massage or acupuncture may also be useful.
There are other approaches available than those offered by conventional medicine. Among other things, some methods of Chinese medicine have led to noticeable success. Strict compliance with the medical recommendations should be a matter of course for the patient.
You can do that yourself
In the case of hypesthesia, the most important self-help measure is to identify the causative disease and treat it in a targeted manner. If the symptoms are caused by diabetes, the diet may have to be changed. A change in medication can also reduce the numbness under certain circumstances.
If the symptoms occur as a result of a herniated disc, physiotherapeutic treatment is indicated, which can be supported by those affected by gentle sport and suitable exercises. In some cases, hypesthesia can be treated symptomatically with massage or acupuncture. Methods from Chinese medicine also bring relief. Alternative treatment methods should always be used in consultation with a doctor. In this way, complications can be avoided and the hypaesthesia can be treated optimally and in a targeted manner.
If the numbness is due to a serious cause such as a stroke, the person affected must be cared for on an outpatient basis or in a nursing home. The traumatic experience can be processed as part of therapy. Often the doctor can also establish contact with other affected people if the patient so wishes. If the cause is serious, hypaesthesia is usually treated with medication. Regular visits to the doctor and keeping a sickness diary are the most important measures in this case.