Answer by Dr.Bhumika Aggarwal on Fri 08, Jan 2010 10:59am:
Welcome to 'ask medical doctor'. Your symptoms are typical of CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME. This is a
condition in which the nerve in the wrist is compressed causing the symptoms you describe. The symptoms being
in the night and getting alright after moving them also point towards this. The cause of this could be bad
sprain, fracture, crush injury, or dislocation can cause acute carpal tunnel syndrome or nerve compression.
Other causes are repetitive activities like typing , using a jack hammer, drill etc. The diagnosis involves
clinical examination and a nerve conduction test - preferably by a neurologist. Treatment measures involve
pain relief medications like ibuprofen, a wrist splint, physical therapy and most importantly rest. If your
symptoms still persist despite the above measures you would need surgery. Surgery is usually successful in
reversing the symptoms. It is best to see a doctor at the earliest before there is permanent nerve damage. The
other rare possibilities in your case could be ulnar nerve compression, vitamin B 12 deficiencies, mineral
deficiencies, circulation problems etc. It would be advisable to see a neurologist / your doctor at the
earliest about this so that definitive treatment can be initiated as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed. The
treatment (non- surgical) can go on for a long time.
About the crackling in your right ear - this could be due to ear wax, a hair or any foreign substance in your
ear, eustachian tube dysfunction, temporomandibular joint disorders and spasm of the ea muscles. I understand
this is a long list - but a visti to your doctor and an ear examination would help find the cause. If it is
wax or some substance - your doctor would remove it, (do not try this yourself); if this is eustachian tube
dysfunction you would need steroid nasal sprays to help decrease the swelling and inflammation. Avoid exposure
to loud noises or cleaning your ear yourself. Hope you find this information useful. You can get back to us if
you need further clarification. Regards.
Comment by Dr Bhupinder K, MD on Fri 08, Jan 2010 07:48pm:
Welcome to the forum. Dr Bhumika has explained all the relevant possibilities to your. Chances of Carpal
tunnel syndrome are definitely there since it is usually found in perimenopausal females. Moreover your
symptoms are suggestive of this. But it is important to rule out few other possibilities as well. Given your
history of stroke, The other important possibility which needs to be thoroughly investigated is peripheral
vascular disease. It is due to obstruction of the vessels supplying the peripheries like the hands and feet.
This obstruction can be due to a thrombus or emboli formation in the blood vessels. Color Doppler of the blood
vessels, MRI angiography and arteriography may be done to confirm the diagnosis. My sincere advice would be to
consult a vascular surgeon. Other Possibility is of diabetes as diabetic peripheral neuropathy can cause such
symptoms. For that it is advisable to get blood sugar levels and Hb A1c levels estimated. Other important
possibilities are hypothyroidism and hypoparathyroidism, vitamin B12 deficiency or malnutrition and
neurological causes like transient ischemic attack, motor neuron disease, or autoimmune disorders like
multiple sclerosis or lupus erythematosus. A diagnostic evaluation by a doctor is necessary to rule these out.
For crackling sounds in the ears, apart from the causes listed by Dr Bhumika(important ones being Eustachean
tube dysfunction, ear wax, TMJ disorder), disease of the middle ear bones or ear drum, advancing age, diseases
of the inner ear, damage to the nerve in the inner ear, some medicines like aspirin and sometimes aneurysm or
an acoustic tumor. Exactly what is causing such symptoms in your case can be confirmed only after ENT
examination, auditory brain stem response (ABR), a computerized test of the hearing nerves and brain pathways
and CT/MRI brain. In your case, age can also be an important cause. I would suggest you to consult an ENT
specialist for that. I hope it helps. Take care and please do keep us posted in case you have any additional
doubts. Kind regards.
Comment by Jamie on Tue 18, May 2010 09:55am:
I am 20 years old and don't work. I had a baby 15 months ago, but lost it. Since then my hands and
arms,(up to the shoulder now) fall asleep during the night. I wake up multiple times and find my arms
practicly "dead". I drop the arms one at a time over the bed becuase i have no feeling to shake so i
use my whole body to lightly tap my arm on the mattress until I get tingling in my fingers. Then I start to
have feeling back in my arm and the cold numb,pinching and twitching happens as i'm waking up my arm. The
cold pinching pain is the worst ever. I have tried splints and sleeping differently. I even fixed the pillow
height. Sometimes during the day my hands get tingly when i'm holding something. i even dropped the cat
food when i thought i had a good grip. Even more recently my legs and feet are doing the same thing, only they
don't go "dead" and it doesn't happen when i'm asleep. My legs get numb and tingly
only during the day when i sit or stand to long and when my legs are crossed. I am afraid my legs and feet
will do what my arms and hands are doing. It is very debilitating to know your body parts have lost contact
with the brain. I have been told that i have tendinitus and carpol tunnel but nothing has been confirmed. I
get state medical assistance and the things i should be getting are not paid for and i just want relief. What
can i do?
Comment by on Wed 30, Mar 2011 08:31pm:
Fingers fall asleep because of vitamin deficiency, carpal tunnel syndrome, physical injury (trauma) to a
nerve, tumors, chemicals (lead,arsenic.) , autoimmune responses, alcoholism and several other reasons like
Comment by on Thu 07, Apr 2011 08:17pm:
Hands fall asleep every night due to carpal tunnel syndrome or neurological causes like spinal or cervical
spondolysis. Try avoiding use of pillow and sitting on computer or prolonged neck down positions.
Comment by on Mon 09, May 2011 09:38pm:
Index and middle finger falling asleep can be due to carpal tunnel syndrome which effects women in young age
group. Symptoms begin with numbness and tingling of the first three or two fingers from the thumb side. Then
the numbness or tingling can spread upwards to the arms. Nerve conduction studies are quite diagnostic.
Comment by on Mon 16, May 2011 10:48pm:
If both hands fall asleep at night then it can be due to parasthesia skin. Causes include injury to the back
or spinal cord, Lack of blood supply as a result of plaque formation in the blood vessels, diabetes, stroke,
multiple sclerosis and underactive thyroid. Abnormal levels of calcium, potassium, or sodium in your body and
a lack of vitamin B12 can also cause such symptoms.