Interviewer: In your experience, do clients ever hesitate or are ever in denial?
Dr. Sarim Mir: We have different types of patients. We have some farmers who come in, they come in at the very end. They will come in at the time when they can’t function at all. They can’t use their hand and it interferes with their sleep. They frequently wake up with their hands all numb. They are the old timers and are quite stubborn and hard-headed. They are the ones that came quite too late.
On the other hand, we have some people who are anxious and nervous so they may come to us at the very first sign of the syndrome. The little tingling and numbness they feel would get them very concern.
If the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is Diagnosed Timely then it Can be Properly Treated
What we have seen is that people come to us only when it really begins to interfere with their work; when they can no longer sleep; when things begin to fall from their hand; and/or when they start to lose the feeling on their hand.
The danger with waiting that long is that they could already begin to have permanent damage. I tell people not to wait until they can’t bear the symptoms. It’s better to come earlier so that they can get tested sooner and avoid permanent damage.
I feel bad when patients have damaged their nerve and a carpal tunnel surgery does not make them completely better. When they come on time and surgery is indicated and carried out—they can get completely better.
The Internet is Not a Recommended Tool for Self-Diagnoses of Medical Conditions
Interviewer: Sometimes people like to find answers that they want on the Internet. What is the problem with self-medicating? Why is it important to find a specialist in this matter?
Dr. Sarim Mir: If you want to diagnose what’s wrong with you through the Internet or Google search—a different sets of diagnosis can come up. For example, if you Google numbness, you will get MS, stroke, TIA, diabetes and many more. The Google search results can make you very confused and very afraid.
So I always tell my patients that if they have been diagnosed to have a condition, for example with diabetes, the Internet is very good tool to use as they can go to a reputable site and get information on what is the best diet to control the diabetes. They can find out information about different developments in the field, too. However, the Internet is not a good tool for self-diagnosis.
Taking Painkillers to Mask the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Doesn’t Do Anything to Cure the Disease
Interviewer: Let’s say I talked to a doctor, and they just prescribed me medications for carpal tunnel. What are the pros and cons of that scenario?
Dr. Sarim Mir: The symptoms of carpal tunnel are being caused by pressure on the nerve—so if you mask those symptoms by taking painkillers or other medication, it doesn’t do anything to treat the cause. If people do that, there’s a chance that their carpal tunnel syndrome will continue to progress, and can cause permanent damage by the time they decide to seek medical treatment as they could already have developed permanent damage.
Feeling Pain or Cramps in the Hands or Wrist Justify an Evaluation For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Interviewer: If I called your office and I told you about my symptoms, could that give you an indication if I have carpal tunnel and could we set up an appointment?
Dr. Sarim Mir: If they call up our office and report to have experienced tingling, numbness, pain, cramping and/or weakness on their hand(s)—and especially if they say that the symptoms are increasing particularly at nighttime—we would bring them in to be evaluated for carpal tunnel syndrome.
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