Hyperesthesia, that extreme sensitivity to stimuli applied to the skin, so extreme as to be a problem. We speak of hyperesthesia both if the phenomenon emerges on a tactile level, both on a thermal level, or even in the form of pain. Whatever the feeling exaggerated, if it is so exaggerated as to be abnormal the cause must be investigated and a doctor consulted. Without being alarmed, it is necessary to understand where this excessive sensitivity comes from. They are rarer, but there are also cases in which thehyperesthesia is hypersensitivity to bright light and loud noises and smells.
We talk about sensory hyperesthesia precisely because this phenomenon can affect any sensory organ, sometimes more than one at the same time. The most frequent form of this disorder it concerns the skin, an area of it is sensitive to stimuli not in a pleasant way but with painful consequences or at least annoying even in response to what it would be for all the others of the normal tactile stimuli.
Similarly it happens if the stimuli are thermal or painful. The causes of this type of problem are numerous, often involving an increase in the functioning of the peripheral sensory apparatus compared to the norm.
Among the causes of hyperesthesia we find numerous neurological diseases, meningitis in the first place, or it can be a consequence of irritation of the nerves or sensory nerve pathways such as neuritis and myelitis. These are the most "direct" causes but there are times that hyperesthesia appears as a secondary symptom of different problems.
For example of infectious diseases such as tetanus, herpes zoster infections and rabies. Also in autism, in St. Anthony's Fire, in Poliomyelitis, in Multiple Sclerosis, in Asperger's Syndrome and in the Fibromyalgia Syndrome there may be cases of hyperesthesia.
Faced with a stimulus, we result too sensitive and we experience exaggerated pain, exaggerated heat or cold, exaggerated discomfort. This is the symptom. Not so much the reaction but the "measure" of the reaction, compared to the intensity of the cause.
An example: If you gently touch a person and lightly press their arm, seeing them blow up in pain is not normal. If so, it can be suffering from hyperesthesia. These extreme reactions indicate an irritation of the nerve path involved, which may be due to a process of a central or peripheral nature.
It is important to distinguish this problem from the cases in which one has one dissociation of nervous perceptions caused by ischemic nerve damage.
Hyperesthesia and anxiety
Anxiety can also cause some exaggerated reactions to external stimuli, whether they are tactile, thermal or otherwise. Of course, when the cause is psychological, the symptom is not continuous; once the anxiety has passed, even the exaggerated reactions become more temperate and fall within the normal range. It is quite well known that anxious people tend to always be alert and to react in a particularly "lively" way to what is happening around them.
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