Neuritis is the medical term for nerve inflammation. If a group of nerves are inflamed then the appropriate word is polyneuritis. Peripheral neuritis, vestibular and optic neuritis are the basic types of neuritis.
Peripheral neuritis refers to inflamed nerves in your periphery. This inflammation can cause peripheral nerve damage, aka peripheral neuropathy. A couple of examples of inflamed nerve health conditions are sciatica and ulnar neuritis.
A few telltale symptoms of peripheral neuritis are:
Vestibular neuritis means your vestibular nerve is inflamed. Viral infections are the main suspects for causing this type of nerve inflammation.
Because your inner ear’s vestibular nerve carries info regarding head movement, suggestive symptoms of this inflamed nerve are:
Optic neuritis means inflammation of your optic nerve. This nerve bundle transmits visual information to your brain.
Optic neuritis frequently develops due to an autoimmune disorder, which may be triggered by a viral infection. And this type of inflamed nerve condition may also be an indication for multiple sclerosis.
Nerve inflammation can be caused by numerous health conditions or health impinging situations, such as:
- Bell’s palsy
- chronic acidosis
- metabolic issues
- diabetes mellitus
- pernicious anemia
- Guillain-Barre syndrome
- malnutrition ~ vitamin B-12 deficiency
- bone fracture, dislocation, herniated disc
- neurotoxins, poisons ~ insecticides, mercury, lead, arsenic, alcohol
- physical trauma, penetrating injury, bad bruise, heavy pressure on a nerve
- autoimmune diseases ~ lupus, sarcoidosis, Behcet disease, multiple sclerosis
An infection could be a trigger for nerves to inflame as well, including
- herpes zoster
- Lyme disease
- viral encephalitis
- measles, rubella
- bacterial pneumonia
- upper respiratory tract infection
Often, the primary type of treatment for peripheral neuritis is by treating the health condition causing your nerve inflammation. And supplementing this treatment with symptom relief.
There are a couple of drug options used to treat pain caused by peripheral inflamed nerves, like:
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is a type of therapy treatment wherein electric current is delivered to the site of nerve inflammation. Some report improvement of their painful nerve symptoms.
Vestibular neuritis usually gets better on its own in a few weeks. Until your body fights off its infectious disease and your vertigo subsides, a couple of drugs used to help relieve this neuritis symptoms are:
An antiemetic drug is prescribed when nausea and vomiting is severe.
Optic neuritis usually gets better on its own and vision restoration can be expected with an isolated episode. However, those suffering neuritis due to an autoimmune disorder may suffer recurrent attacks and a higher risk of sustained vision problems.
Corticosteroid treatment may help speed up your optic neuritis recovery. Should severe vision loss persist and drugs fail to help it along, then plasma exchange therapy may be used to treat this type of neuritis.
Steroid medications used to treat optic neuritis suppresses your immune system, therefore you’ll be more susceptible to infections. So pill takers beware.