How to Prevent Balding If balding or thinning hair is one of your worries, we have got the solutions for you. In this article, we will chat about the symptoms of balding, the causes, how to prevent balding and how to cope with hair loss. Losing a few strands of hair every day is completely normal, but what do you do when you begin losing more hair than you should? According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), 80 million people in America have hereditary hair loss (alopecia). In addition, according to the American Hair Loss Association (AHLA), approximately 25% of men who have hereditary male pattern baldness start losing their hair before the age of 21. By the age of 50, about 85% of men are bald or have significantly thinner hair. 8 Ways to Prevent Balding If genetics is the reason for your hair loss, there might not be a lot that can be done to prevent it. However, these tips can help slow down or prevent loss if other reasons are causing it: Treat your hair gently and avoid pulling; use caution when washing, brushing and styling your hair. Avoid harsh treatments, such as coloring and perms. Protect your hair from the sun; wear a hat and avoid tanning beds. Quit smoking. Some studies suggest there is a link between balding and regular smoking. Eat a balanced diet rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Avoid hot showers and shampoo that causes scalp irritation. Talk to your doctor or dietician about supplements that may help slow down your hair loss. If you are getting treatments for cancer or taking a medication that causes hair loss as a side effect, speak to your doctor about getting a cold cap or other measures to prevent hair loss. If you try the above tactics and still feel that hair loss is negatively impacting your life, it is important to seek out medical advice. First, talk to your doctor about prescription or over-the-counter treatments for hair loss. Your doctor may refer you to a dermatologist who specializes in hair loss. Hair Loss Symptoms Hair loss can look different from person to person, depending on the severity and cause. However, here are some common symptoms to watch for. Slow and Consistent Loss of Hair Starting at the Top of the Head This is the most common form of hair loss. As you age, you can experience thinning of the hair on the top of your head, especially men. In men, this typically looks like a receding hairline or thinning hair or a thinning patch on top of the head. In women, this typically looks like the widening of the part of the hair, along with loss of hair around the forehead. Sudden Loss of Hair It's as if it has become loose from your scalp. Our bodies are extremely sensitive to changes and will work hard to cope with those changes. Therefore, environmental and emotional stress can cause you to lose handfuls of hair at a time. Thankfully, this type of hair loss is typically temporary and will stop once the stressors have been addressed. [youmaylike] Patches of Hair Loss All Over the Scalp With this type of hair loss, hair consistently falls out from the same spot on your scalp. This leaves your scalp with patches or circular spots of missing hair. Not only can this affect the hair on your head, but it can also leave patches of missing hair on your face, such as in your beard or eyebrows. Loss of Both Scalp and Body Hair This type of hair loss is less common than the others. It typically only affects individuals who are taking a strong medication or treatment, such as chemotherapy. The lost hair generally regrows with ease once the treatment has stopped. Causes of Hair Loss There are several reasons why you may experience hair loss, including: Hereditary and genetic factors. Hormonal and systemic body changes. Certain medications and medical conditions. Mechanical stress, such as consistent pulling on the hair. Emotional and environmental factors. Radiation exposure. Some degree of hair loss is entirely normal. Typically, you lose between 50 to 100 strands of hair per day. New hair strands grow at about the same rate, meaning that hair loss isn't generally noticeable until you have exceeded this number.
Acoustic Neuroma Symptoms
Have you heard about a condition called acoustic neuroma? You might have heard it mentioned a few times, as it might not be as common as other tumors. In the U.S., around 2,000 to 3,000 people are diagnosed annually. Data shows that it afflicts 1 person per 100,000 per year. Although its incidence is not at an alarming rate, it is worth knowing a thing or two about this condition, as it can bring a lot of discomfort and disability to those who experience it. If you have not heard about acoustic neuroma before, this is the best time to know what it is. This article will explain what acoustic neuroma is, how it occurs and the common acoustic neuroma symptoms.
What is Acoustic Neuroma?
Acoustic neuromas are benign tumors that commonly arise from the vestibular nerve, a part of the eighth cranial nerve, which is responsible for maintaining balance through signals sent to and from the inner ear.
Acoustic neuromas are also called vestibular schwannomas, a term that better describes the tumor as it is due to the tumor’s overproduction of the Schwann cells, accessory cells that produce the protective myelin sheath of nerve cells. These usually occur in the cerebellopontine angle, a small triangle between the cerebellum and lateral pontine area where are a lot of cranial nerves pass, among them the eighth cranial nerve, which is affected in acoustic neuromas. Around 80% to 90% of tumors in this area are schwannomas, with the rest being meningiomas (tumors of the meninges).
The majority of acoustic neuromas are usually unilateral, that is it occurs on one side of the body. Bilateral tumors tend to occur especially in patients with another condition called type 2 neurofibromatosis, which more commonly occurs in children. Acoustic neuromas usually start to occur in patients aged 40 to 60 years old, with bilateral tumors associated with type 2 neurofibromatosis occurring at a younger age (30 years old). There is an equal incidence between males and females.
What Are the Symptoms?
Because of its usual occurrence in the cerebellopontine angle and the involvement of the eighth cranial nerve, the symptoms of acoustic neuroma are associated with the function of the structures in these areas. The vestibular nerve plays a role in balance and position, while the cochlear nerve plays a role in hearing. Naturally, a tumor involving these areas would cause problems with hearing and balance.
1. Hearing Loss
The most common presenting symptom of acoustic neuroma is unilateral hearing loss. This is due to the tumor causing a block in the cochlear nerve or in its blood supply and occurs in 90% of people with acoustic neuroma. Aside from it being the most common presenting symptom, it is also one of the earliest symptoms of the condition. It is sometimes not detected immediately and can be dismissed in the early stages. It can even be undetected for years.
However, once it occurs, it can worsen as time passes. Because acoustic neuromas are usually unilateral in nature, the hearing loss is also unilateral, but it can also be bilateral in some cases. The hearing loss can also be accompanied by a sensation of ear fullness, which people can describe as having pressure or the sense of having water inside the ear.
Another common symptom is tinnitus, wherein a certain noise is heard in the ears. The noise heard is usually a ringing, buzzing, or whistling sound. In acoustic neuromas, this is usually an intermittent, high-pitched sound due to the tumor. If the tumor is removed, tinnitus usually disappears in around 30% to 60% of cases. However, in a small group of individuals, tinnitus remains and may sometimes get worse even after the tumor is removed.
3. Balance Changes
Other common symptoms of acoustic neuromas are loss of balance, dizziness, or vertigo. This is because the vestibular nerve is affected, which plays a role in balance. This can occur in up to 50% of affected patients and worsens as the tumor grows. If the tumor grows big enough, it can compress the brainstem and cause problems in gait with the person falling on the side of the tumor. Dizziness or vertigo, which is a spinning sensation, can also be experienced once the tumor is large enough.
The following are other symptoms of acoustic neuromas:
- Facial numbness.
- Loss of facial muscle movement.
- Facial twitching.
- Problems swallowing.
- Changes in sense of taste.
- Dry eyes or excessive tearing.
It can sometimes be hard to diagnose acoustic neuromas immediately because symptoms such as hearing loss, dizziness, or tinnitus can also be caused by common ear problems. Moreover, these are symptoms where some people will not get a consult immediately, which can further cause a delay in the diagnosis.
Fortunately, acoustic neuromas are benign tumors and patients generally have a good response to treatment. Complications are also not common and are minimal.
Although symptoms may persist, in most cases they disappear. Tumors also rarely reoccur. However, prompt diagnosis and management are important, as acoustic neuroma can still worsen and be fatal if it is left untreated due to an increase in tumor growth, which can compress brain structures and lead to fluid buildup in the brain. This is why the evaluation by a trained professional is important. Acoustic neuromas are not a cause of worry once you know the signs and symptoms and get checked early.