- Numbness is a condition where a person suffers deficiency or loss of feel (sensation).
- The condition is usually caused by peripheral nerve impingement.
- Numbness can occur on any part of the body depending on the type and location of the affected nerve.
- Numbness more often is felt on the fingertips, palms, soles, upper arms and legs.
Numbness can be caused by the following conditions:
- Injury to the nerves in an accident
- Peripheral nerve compress caused by ‘herniated disc’ or osteophytes formed as a result of a degenerative process
- Infection of the peripheral nerves such as in shingles
- Diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, stroke and hypothyroidism
- Carpel Tunnel Syndrome (Median nerve is compressed in the wrist area)
- Lack of vitamins in the body, such as vitamin B12 and folate deficiency
- Side effects of drugs, such as isoniazide. Nerve damage due to toxic substances such as lead poisoning, alcohol and cigarettes
ACTION TO BE TAKEN
- See your doctor if you experience numbness for further examination and treatment
- See your doctor immediately, if you feel numbness in the following situations:
- you had an accident involving the head
- if you experience symptoms such as limb weakness, difficulty speaking, dizziness and headaches that come with sudden severity
- Get an appointment to see a doctor immediately if you experience numbness that worsens quickly, involving both the upper and lower body- especially when you do certain activities; the numbness could be at the tip of toes and hands
DIAGNOSIS / TREATMENT
- The doctor will interview, carry out physical examination and perform tests as needed to assist in making the diagnosis
- Numbness may disappear or at least be prevented from worsening after receiving specific treatment for the disease that causes numbness
- Numbness that spreads rapidly needs immediate attention of the doctor
- Numbness that causes weakening and paralysis also needs immediate attention of the doctor
|Last Reviewed||:||10 October 2014|
|Writer||:||Dr. Salmiah Md Sharif|
|Translator||:||Varuges V.M Abraham|
|Accreditorr||:||Dato’ Dr. Hj. Md Hanip b. Rafia|