You At Your Best

September 2022 • The 5 Senses

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September 2022 the 5 SenSeS iSSue We rely on our senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch every day in so many ways. In this issue of You at Your Best, we examine ways to protect these precious wonders that are so important to our health and well being. From wearing sunglasses to protect our eyes, to scheduling regular hearing evaluations, taking care of our senses is vital to living our best, most connected life. President Brent A. Powers Sales Manager Don Jones Advertising Operations Manager Sandy Robinson Creative Services Manager Brian huntley Content Marketing Manager Karen Rice Special to You at Your beSt The human body is a complex marvel. Various systems within the body work together to make life as humans know it possible, and though these systems are resilient, they're not invulnerable to injury. The nervous system is a fascinating part of the human body that includes the brain, the spinal cord and nerves. This system controls much of what the body does, so it's no surprise that nerve injuries can have a profound effect on individuals' daily lives. What do peripheral nerves do? Johns Hopkins Medicine notes that peripheral nerves send messages from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. This is done through a network of 43 pairs of motor and sensory nerves that control the functions of sensation, movement and motor coordination. Are peripheral nerves vulnerable to injury? Peripheral nerves are fragile and easily damaged, so they are vulnerable to injury. Serious injury or trauma may require surgery, and the grade of severity, which can be determined using the Sunderland scale, will help doctors determine a treatment plan. The Mayo Clinic emphasizes the importance of seeking immediate treatment for peripheral nerve injuries, as doing so can prevent complications and permanent nerve damage. What causes peripheral nerve injuries? Johns Hopkins Medicine indicates that peripheral nerve injuries can occur after suffering a laceration (a cut or tear in the nerve tissue), severe bruising, stretching, electrical injury, or drug injection injury. Gunshot wounds also can cause peripheral nerve injuries. Whar are the symptoms of peripheral nerve injuries? The Mayo Clinic notes that symptoms of peripheral nerve injuries, including pain, range from mild to severe. Severe symptoms can seriously limit individuals' ability to perform and engage in daily activities. Symptoms differ depending on which nerve fibers are affected. Motor nerves regulate all the muscles under conscious control, helping people to walk, speak and hold objects. Sensory nerves relay information about touch, temperature and pain, while autonomic nerves regulate activities that are not consciously controlled, such as breathing, heart function and digestion. Since these functions are so different, it's no surprise that injuries to each type of nerve produce different symptoms. • Motor nerves: Muscle weakness, uncontrollable muscle twitching and painful cramps are characteristics of motor nerve injuries. • Sensory nerves: Sensory nerve injury symptoms may include numbness, tingling in the hands or feet and difficulty sensing pain or changes in temperature. Individuals also may experience difficulty walking, maintaining their balance with their eyes closed or fastening buttons. • Autonomic nerves: Excessive sweating, changes in blood pressure, an inability to tolerate heat, and gastrointestinal issues are potential indicators of autonomic nerve injuries. Peripheral nerve injuries can adversely affect quality of life. But reporting symptoms early can help doctors devise treatment plans to minimize pain and reduce risk for permanent damage. What to know about nerve injuries 2 | You at Your beSt | September - the 5 SenSeS | SundaY, auguSt 28, 2022

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