Posts for: July, 2021
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease affecting the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves, also known as the central nervous system. The medical professionals at Winchester Neurological Consultants located in Winchester, VA, have experience diagnosing and treating multiple sclerosis.
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis is an auto-immune disease, meaning your immune system attacks healthy tissue, and there is no definitive cause of this disease. When the attack occurs, the myelin sheath, or area surrounding your nerves, becomes damaged, leading to inflammation and pain. Eventually, the myelin sheath disappears from the repeated attacks leading to scars or sclerosis. They can be seen as plaques or lesions on imaging.
Only the nervous system is directly affected by multiple sclerosis, and it includes the:
- Spinal cord
- Optic (Eye) nerves
- Brain stem
As more nerves become affected, your body loses the ability to carry out certain functions.
Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
Your body's central nervous system serves as the primary control center for all your bodily functions. So, when it is damaged, you will start to see symptoms from all parts of the body.
The most common signs of multiple sclerosis include:
- Generalized muscle weakness
- Numbness and tingling of face, body, arms, and legs
- Electric shock sensation with neck movement, also known as Lhermitte's sign
- Increased urinary frequency, loss of bladder control, retention of urine
- Constipation and loss of bowel control
- Muscle spasms
- Double or blurry vision
- Impaired ability to walk
As the disease progresses, you may experience more symptoms, and mild symptoms may increase in severity.
The doctors at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, will be able to evaluate you for multiple sclerosis and create an effective treatment plan.
How Can Multiple Sclerosis Be Treated?
There is no known cure for multiple sclerosis at this time, but there are treatment options available to reduce and relieve symptoms while also slowing the progression of the disease.
The current treatment options available include:
- Medication: Some given by mouth, injection, or infusion. The regimen is dependent upon the drug itself and individual care plan.
- Symptom Management: Other medications may be added to the regiment that helps reduce symptoms like inflammation and pain during flare-ups.
- Behavioral Changes: Reducing screen time when vision is affected, increased rest periods when tired, and frequent breaks with activity.
- Physical Therapy and Assistive Devices: Help improve balance, mobility, and tremor severity.
- Dietary Changes: May help with bowel and bladder issues.
- Alternative Therapies: heat and massage for pain, acupuncture, stress management, and exercise.
If you have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the medical staff at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, can help you manage your condition. Please call today for a consultation at (540) 667-1828.
The sleep disorder known as sleep apnea is a severe condition that should be addressed by a medical professional. The physicians at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, are sleep apnea experts and can evaluate you today.
What is Sleep Apnea?
People will sleep apnea will stop repeatedly breathing during sleep, leading to a decreased flow of oxygen to your brain and body.
There are two kinds of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): Most common and is caused by an airway blockage like the soft tissue in the back of the throat that may collapse during sleep.
- Central Sleep Apnea: This is caused by the brain failing to transmit signals to your muscles to breathe.
What Are the Signs of Sleep Apnea?
Snoring is one sign of sleep apnea, but it is not found in all patients and doesn't always mean people who snore suffer from the disorder. When you sleep, you might pause your breathing at different times or take very shallow breaths. If you sleep alone, you may never know that this occurs. However, if you have frequent fatigue and tiredness throughout the day, it may be caused by sleep apnea.
Other possible signs of sleep apnea include:
- Loud snoring
- Waking up to sore or dry throat and mouth
- Waking up in the night with a sudden choking or gasping sensation
- Insomnia and restless sleep
- Lack of energy during the day
- Morning headaches
- Mood swings and forgetfulness
- Decreased sex drive
- Dizziness when awaking from sleep
If you experience some or all of these symptoms, the medical professionals at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, can evaluate you for sleep apnea.
Am I at Risk for Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apneas affect people of all ages. Certain risk factors should be considered when determining if you are at high risks, such as:
- Over the age of 40
- Overweight or obese
- Large neck
- Deviated septum or other nasal obstruction
- Allergies or sinus issues
- Large tongue, tonsils, or a small jaw bone
How Does Sleep Apnea Affect Me?
A severe sleep disorder, like sleep apnea, can cause significant issues if left untreated. You will be at higher risk of severe diseases such as:
- Heart Failure
Furthermore, your personal and professional life may be affected if you are too tired to perform your daily activities.
If you are at risk or experiencing possible sleep apnea symptoms, please don't wait and call Winchester Neurological Consultants located in Winchester, VA, today at (540) 667-1828.