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NEUROLOGICAL

I. Neurologic Anatomy and Physiology


A. Central nervous system (CNS) - coordinates and controls body functions
1. Brain (illustration 1 illustration 2 )
a. cerebrum (illustration )
i. hemispheres right and left
ii. frontal lobe - higher intellectual functions, social behavior,
personality
iii. parietal lobe - interprets sensory input
iv. temporal lobe - hearing, taste and smell
v. occipital lobe - vision
b. cerebellum - provide equilibrium and muscle coordination
c. brain stem - midbrain, pons and medulla oblongata; controls basic body
functions and relays impulses to and from spinal cord
2. Spinal cord (illustration 1 illustration 2 )
a. descending tract - anterior portion of cord carrying motor information
b. ascending tract
i. the posterior portion of cord, carrying sensory information
ii. 31 segments
• eight cervical: neck and upper extremities
• 12 thoracic: thoracic and abdomen
• five lumbar: lower extremities
• five sacral: lower extremities, urine and bowel control
• one coccygeal
B. Peripheral nervous system - carries information to and from the CNS (illustration 1
illustration 2 illustration 3 )
1. Motor nerves
2. Sensory nerves
C. Autonomic nervous system - regulates body's internal environment (illustration )
1. Sympathetic - prepares body for fight or flight; used only as needed
2. Parasympathetic - controls normal body functioning for day to day activities, e.g.,
increases muscle tone, maintains secretions; maintains heart rate within normal limits;
maintains peristalsis
D. Cranial nerves (illustration )

These nerves are the vital bridges between the brain and the rest of the body.

To remember the cranial nerves, remember this sentence:

On Old Olympus Towering Top A Frenchman And German Viewed Some Hops

OR Oscar Osmond Ought To Try To Find A Girl's Voice Singing High

E. Physiology - nervous system coordinates and controls all activities of the body
1. Receives internal and external stimuli
2. Processes information to determine appropriate response
3. Transmits information over varied motor pathways to effector organs
F. Findings for increased intracranial pressure (ICP)
1. Early
a. change in level of consicousness (LOC): restlessness, disorientation, confusion,
lethargy, stupor
b. pupils: dilated ipsilaterally, react slowly to light
c. abnormal motor activity: contralateral hemiparesis
d. abnormal reflexes - hyper or hypo reflexia
e. vital signs within normal parameters

2. Late
a. LOC: semicomatose, coma
b. pupils: dilated bilaterally and fixed; no reaction to light
c. motor function: decorticate posture then decerebrate posture; flaccid muscles at
end stage
d. vital signs - increased systolic pressure to result in a widened pulse pressure,
decreased respirations with bradycardia, temperature initially may rise then fall
below mornal parameters

Don’t let the testing procedure overwhelm you. Take it one step at a time and remain focused.
Say to yourself "I will make decisions about at least 75 clients with individual needs," rather than "this is THE TEST!"

II. Degenerative Disorders


A. Parkinson's disease (illustration )
1. Definition: degenerative disorder of the dopamine hydrochloride - producing neurons
a. result: dopamine hydrochloride depletion
b. usually occurs in older adults and males more than females
c. etiology unknown
2. Findings
a. resting tremors of the lips, jaw, tongue, and limbs, especially a resting pill-
rolling tremor of one hand that is absent during sleep. This is different from an
essential or intention tremor in which the tremor is action related.
b. bradykinesia
c. fatigue
d. stiffness and rigidity with movement
e. signs first unilateral, then bilateral
f. mask-like facial expression
g. slow, shuffling walk; gradually more difficult
h. difficulty rising from sitting position
i. ultimately confined to a wheelchair
j. mind stays intact unless other aggravating conditions
k. echolalia in most cases
3. Diagnostics
a. based on finding with history
b. EEG (illustration )
c. MRI (illustration )
d. computerized tomogram (CT scan) (illustration )
4. Management
a. outcomes: palliative; postpone dependence
b. pharmacologic
I. anticholinergics - minimize extrapyramidal effects
I. benzotropine mesylate (Cogentin)
II. procyclidine (Kemadrin)
II. dopamine hydrochloridergics: Levodopa (L-Dopa)
III. antiparkinsonian agent: amantadine hcl (Symmetrel) reduces rigidity
and tremor
IV. MAO inhibitors: selegiline (Eldepryl)
c. therapies
I. physical
II. occupational
III. speech
d. surgery: stereotaxic thalamotomy to decrease tremor
5. Nursing interventions
a. maintain safety of client
b. prevent effects of immobility
c. foster independence in activities of daily living (ADL)
d. reinforce the use of assistive devices for ambulation as indicated
e. maintain good nutrition
I. small, frequent meals
II. soft foods
III. roughage with sufficient fluids to decrease constipation
f. monitor effectiveness of administered medications
g. provide emotional support to client and family members
h. teach client
I. when and what side effects of the drugs to report
II. the benefits of daily exercise
B. Huntington's disease
1. Definition
a. progressive atrophy of basal ganglia and some parts of cerebral cortex
b. etiology - genetic disorder, autosomal dominant
2. Findings: increased involuntary movements, progressive decline in cognitive, findings
usually occur in middle age
a. motor
I. impaired chewing and swallowing
II. chorea
III. dystonic posture
IV. gradually becomes bedridden
b. cognitive: less able to organize, plan and sequence behavior
c. mental: personality changes, depression, even psychosis
3. Diagnostics: history and physical exam
4. Management
a. outcomes: postpone dependence
b. supportive care for findings
c. therapies: speech, physical
d. genetic counseling
5. Nursing interventions
a. foster independence in ADL (activities of daily living)
b. reinforce the use of assistive devices for ambulation as needed
c. teach client to:
I. maintain good nutrition
II. get emotional support from support groups, friends seek genetic
counseling
1. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease)
5. Definition
a. progressive atrophy of spinal muscle; bulbar palsy
b. progressive degeneration of the motor neurons of the anterior horn cells of the
spinal cord, brainstem, and motor cortex
c. onset in later middle age; more in men than in women
d. clients with ALS usually die within two to six years
e. etiology unknown
6. Findings
a. usually beginning in head and arms, distal portion first
b. mild clumsiness progressing to total incapacity
c. muscle wasting, atrophy, spasticity
d. speech disorders
e. no change in sensation or autonomic system
f. death most often from complications: respiratory failure, urinary or pulmonary
infections for stasis
g. mind usually intact
7. Diagnostics: history and physical exam
8. Management
a. outcome: keep functional independence as much as possible
b. no cure
c. management of findings
i. muscle relaxants for spasticity
ii. therapies:
1. speech
2. physical
3. respiratory
9. Nursing interventions
a. provide for respiratory care and referrals
b. maintain a safe environment focused toward infection prevention
c. prevent complications of immobility
d. postpone dependence
e. maintain nutrition
f. provide emotional support and referrals to support groups
2. Dementia
5. Etiology
a. characterized by irreversible, progressive cerebral dysfunction
b. Alzheimer's disease - most common cause of dementia
i. characterized by brain atrophy
ii. development of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the
cerebral hemispheres
iii. etiology unknown
6. Findings
a. characterized by decreased intellectual functioning
b. Alzheimer's disease has three stages
i. early stage:
1. memory loss
2. subtle personality changes
3. difficulty with abstract thinking
ii. middle stage:
1. impaired language
2. difficulty with motor activity and object recognition
3. wandering
4. inability to carry out ADLs
5. impaired judgment
iii. final stage:
1. complete loss of language
2. loss of bowel and bladder control
c. prognosis - incurable
7. Management - maintenance of functional capacity
8. Nursing interventions
a. meet client's physical needs
b. promote client's independence
c. promote contact with reality
d. establish a routine
e. provide emotional support or caregiver support with appropriate referrals
2. Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA, Stroke) (illustration )
1. Definition: decreased blood supply to the brain
5. Risk factors
a. hypertension, uncontrolled
b. smoking
c. obesity
d. increased blood cholesterol and triglycerides
e. chronic atrial fibrillation
6. Five classes of stroke: by severity
a. transient ischemic attack (TIA), "angina" of the brain
i. TIA is warning sign of stroke
ii. localized ischemic event
iii. produces neurological deficits lasting only minutes or hours
iv. full functional recovery within 24 to 48 hours
b. reversible ischemic neurological deficit (RIND)
i. similar to TIA
ii. findings last between 24 hours and three weeks
iii. usual full functional recovery within three to four weeks
c. partial, nonprogressing stroke: some neurological deficit, but stabilized
d. progressing stroke (stroke in evolution)
i. deteriorating neurological status often with grand mal seizure activity
ii. with residual neurological deficits
e. completed stroke
7. Two types of stroke by cause
a. ischemic (also known as occlusive) stroke (clot) - slower onset
i. results from inadequate blood flow leading to a cerebral infarction
ii. caused by cerebral thrombosis or embolism within the cerebral blood
vessels
iii. most common cause: atherosclerosis
b. hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding) - abrupt onset
i. intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke
1. blood vessels rupture with a bleed into the brain
2. occurs most often in hypertensive older adults
3. may also result during anticoagulant or thrombolytic
therapy
ii. subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH)
1. most often caused by rupture of saccular intracranial
aneurysms
2. more than 90% are congenital aneurysms
iii. epidural bleeds
1. arterial is involved
2. often loss of consciousness for a short period or called
transient
3. recall clue: associate that "e" in epidural and "a" in artery
are together at the top of the alphabet
iv. subdural bleeds
1. vein is involved
2. may not be evident until months after the initial trauma
3. recall clue: associate that "s" in subdural and "v" in vein are
together at the bottom of the alphabet
2. Findings (depends on location of lesion)

C. Diagnostics
1. History and physical exam
2. Computerized tomogram (CT) scan (illustration )
3. Magnetic resenance imaging (MRI) (illustration )
4. Doppler echocardiography flow analysis
5. Carotid artery duplex doppler ultrasonography
6. EEG (illustration ) - shows electrical activity
7. Lumbar puncture (illustration ) - shows if blood found in cerebral spinal fluid
8. Cerebral angiography - shows blood flow
a. may be done with or without contrast
b. Types of CVA

D. Management - to prevent or minimize the damaging effects of stroke; dependent on the type of
CVA
1. Expected outcomes:
a. prevent or minimize the damaging effects of stoke
b. is dependent on type of type of CVA
2. Occlusive stroke
a. pharmacologic
1. thrombolytics
2. anticoagulant therapy: heparin, coumadin
3. antiplatelet therapy: aspirin, dipyridamole
1. platelet aggregation inhibitor: clopidogrel (plavix),
ticlopidine HCL (ticlid)
4. steroids: dexamethasone
b. surgery - bypass
3. Hemorrhagic stroke
a. pharmacologic
1. antihypertensive agents
2. systemic steroids: dexamethasone (decadron)
3. osmotic diuretics: mannitol
4. antifibrinolytic agents: aminocaproic acid (amicar)
5. vasodilators
6. alpha-blockers and beta-blockers
7. anticonvulsants
b. surgical excision of aneurysm
4. Common to both types of stroke
a. care based on findings
b. therapies:
1. occupational
2. speech
3. nutritional support
E. Nursing interventions
1. In acute stage of stroke
a. maintain airway patency; if grand mal seizure activity note time, length,
behaviors
b. monitor neuro vital signs
c. maintain adequate fluids
d. provide activity as ordered
e. perform passive and/or active range of motion exercises
f. position with head of bed elevated 15 to 30 degrees with client turned or tilted
to unaffected side
g. maintain proper body alignment
h. administer medications as ordered
i. care for post op client as indicated
j. provide care for client with increased intracranial pressure
2. Long-term care of client with stroke
a. monitor elimination patterns
b. teach/evaluate the use of supportive devices
c. maintain a safe environment
d. prevent the effects of immobility
e. maintain adequate nutrition in light of feeding and swallowing problems
f. assist with eating and ADL as indicated
g. provide emotional support
h. provide methods of communication for client with aphasia
2. Infectious, Inflammatory Disorders
C. Meningitis (illustration 1 illustration 2 )
1. Definition/course
a. acute or chronic inflammation of the meninges
b. average length of illness is four months
2. Types
a. bacterial: most commonly meningococcus, haemophilus influenzae,
pneumococcus
b. viral
c. fungal
d. parasitic
3. Findings
a. severe headache
b. fever
c. nuchal rigidity (stiff neck)
d. altered LOC
4. Diagnostics
a. history and physical exam
b. positive Kernig's sign: 90-degree flexion of hip and knee with extension of
knee causes pain
c. positive Brudzinski's sign: flexion of neck causes flexion of hip and knee
d. lumbar puncture (illustration ) for characteristics of cerebral spinal fluid
5. Management
a. expected outcome: to cure the infection and prevent complications
b. pharmacologic
1. antibiotic therapy depends on type and pathogen
2. preventive therapy for people exposed to those with meningococcal
and H flu meningitis: rifampin (rifadin)
3. H flu vaccine
c. actions to minimize fever
d. prevention of increased intracranial pressure or seizures
6. Nursing interventions
a. care of client with increased ICP
b. seizure precautions
c. administer drugs as ordered
d. provide comfort measures for pain
e. reduce external stimuli
D. Parameningeal infections
1. Definition
a. localized collection of exudate in brain or spinal cord
b. usually caused by bacteria
2. Findings
a. similar to meningitis
b. headache, fever, stiff neck, altered consciousness
3. Diagnostics
a. NO lumbar puncture; may cause herniation
b. computerized tomogram (CT) scan
4. Management
a. surgical decompression of abscess
b. symptomatic and preventive treatment as with meningitis
c. drugs: antibiotics
5. Nursing interventions: same as meningitis
E. Encephalitis
1. Definition
a. acute inflammatory viral disease
b. can occur as epidemics or sporadically
c. death rate ranges up to 70%
d. most common pathogen for sporadic encephalitis is herpes simplex
e. may follow a systemic viral illness such as chicken pox
2. Findings
a. sudden fever
b. headache
c. seizures
d. stiff neck
e. altered LOC progressing to coma
3. Diagnostics
a. history and physical exam
b. computerized tomogram (CT) scan
c. brain biopsy
4. Management
a. uncomplicated cases require supportive and preventive care
b. bed or chair rest
c. maintain nutrition
d. maintain fluid balance
e. herpes simplex calls for antivirals: vidarabine (viraA), acyclovir (zoviraz)
(illustration )
f. prevention of increased ICP
5. Nursing interventions
a. comfort measures for fever
b. administer drugs as ordered
c. seizure precautions
3. Bed rest with padded side rails 2.Suction machine at bedside 3. Oxygen at bedside
d.care of the client with increased ICP

a. when needed, ensure isolation and airborne-droplet precautions

CARE OF CLIENT WITH INCREASED INTRACRANIAL PRESSURE

1. Monitor neuro vital signs as ordered


2. Maintain fluid restriction as ordered
3. Raise head of bed at 30-45 degrees; avoid 90 degrees since pressure in hip area increases ICP
4. Prevent any activities that increase ICP such as: straining at stool, coughing, vomiting, any
restrictive clothing around neck, neck rotation, flexion, extension, anxiety, pushing up in bed with
heels, pulling on rails when turning
5. Observe for herniation syndrome
6. Monitor for changes in intracranial pressure
7. Administer oxygen as ordered
8. Institute seizure precautions
9. Provide for care of the unconscious client
10. Autoimmune Disorders of Neurologic System
1. Multiple sclerosis
1. Definition
1. demyelination of white matter throughout brain and spinal cord (illustration
)
2. third most common cause of disability in clients aged 15 to 60
3. specific cause unknown
4. increased incidence in temperate to cool climates
5. illness improves and worsens unpredictably
2. Findings depend on the location of the demyelination
1. cranial nerve: blurred vision, dysphagia, diplopia, facial weakness and/or
numbness
2. motor: weakness, paralysis, spasticity, gait disturbances
3. sensory: paresthesias, decreased proprioception
4. cerebellar: dysarthria, tremor, incoordination, ataxia, vertigo
5. cognitive: decreased short-term memory, difficulty with new information,
word-finding difficulty, short attention span
6. urinary retention or incontinence
7. loss of bowel control
8. sexual dysfunction
9. fatigue
3. Diagnostics
1. history and physical exam
2. lumbar puncture
3. magnetic resonance imagery (MRI)
4. computerized tomogram (CT) scan
5. evoked potentials or response - the EEG record of electrical activity at one of
several levels in the CNS by stimulation of an area of the sensory nerve system
4. Management
1. expected outcomes: to alleviate findings and prevent complications
2. pharmacologic: adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)
3. therapies based on findings
1. physical
2. occupational
3. pharmacologic
5. Nursing interventions
1. maintain functional independence in ADL
2. determine effectiveness of administed medications
3. prevent complications of immobility
4. prevent injury from difficulties walking
5. provide emotional support
6. provide counseling for sexual dysfunction
7. teach client to:
1. avoid fatigue and stress
2. conserve energy
3. exercise regularly
4. know drugs and side effects
5. use self-help devices
6. maintain a diet that supports nutrition and energy needs
2. Guillain-Barre syndrome
1. Definition
1. acquired inflammatory disease
2. process: demyelinization of peripheral nerves
3. precipitating factors include prior bacterial or viral infection within one to two
weeks
2. Findings
1. muscle weakness: progressive, ascending, bilateral
2. leads to paralysis of voluntary muscles
3. loss of superficial and deep tendon reflexes
4. bulbar weakness
5. dysphagia
6. dysarthria
7. respiratory failure
8. sensory findings: paresthesias, burning pain
9. paralysis may vary from being total to partial of only one-half way up the body
3. Diagnostics
1. history and physical exam
2. lumbar puncture will show increased protein in CSF (illustration )
3. electromyography (EMG)
4. Management
1. expected outcomes: to prevent complications and maintain body functions until
any reversal
2. steroids in acute phase
3. care as dictated by areas involved
5. Nursing interventions
1. maintain the care of client on ventilatory support
2. provide for care of the immobilized client
3. have a safe environment to minimize infection
4. maintain nutrition and fluid balance
5. refer families or client to support groups
6. supply referrals to therapies such as speech, physical, occupational and
counseling
3. Myasthenia gravis
1. Definition:
1. antibodies destroy acetylcholine receptors where nerves join muscles
(illustration )
2. two age clusters: women in early adulthood and men in late adulthood
3. progressive with occurances of crises
2. Findings
1. progressive fatigue of voluntary muscles, but no muscular atrophy
2. facial
1. ptosis (drooping eyelid) and reduced eye closure
2. weak smile
3. diplopia, blurred vision
4. speech and swallowing disorders
5. weakness of facial muscles
3. signs of restrictive lung disease
4. sensation remains intact
3. Diagnostics
1. history and physical exam
2. edrophonium (tensilon) test: improved muscle strength after tensilon injection
indicates a positive test for MG
4. Management
1. expected outcome to improve strength and endurance
2. pharmacologic
1. anticholinesterase agents: pyridostigmine (mestinon), neostigmine
(prostigmin)
2. corticosteroid therapy
3. immunosuppressants: azathioprine (imuran)
3. thymectomy (illustration )
4. plasma exchange
5. myasthenic crisis management
1. crisis usually follows stressor or during dosage changes
2. signs: sudden inability to swallow, speak, or maintain patent airway
3. cholinergic crisis may follow over dosage of medication
4. positive edrophonium (tensilon) test signals myasthenia
5. if negative endophronium test, client has not myasthenic but
cholinergic crisis, so treat with atropine
6. ventilatory support as indicated
5. Nursing interventions
1. identify aggravating factors, such as:
1. infection
2. stress
3. changes in medication regime
2. if client is in crisis: provide care of the client on ventilatory support
3. give medications as ordered and on time
4. help with ADL and feeding as indicated
5. provide
1. emotional support
2. adequate rest periods
3. care of the surgical client
6. teach client
1. energy conservation techniques
2. medications, expectations and side effects
3. signs of impending crisis, both myasthenic and cholinergic
4. to avoid stressors
11. Seizure Disorders
1. Definition/etiology
1. Sudden, transient alteration in brain function
2. Disorderly transmission of electrical activity in the brain
3. Causes
1. cerebral lesions
2. biochemical alteration
3. cerebral trauma
4. idiopathic
2. A classification of seizure types: partial, simple, complex, generalized

SEIZURE CLASSIFICATIONS

A. Types of generalized seizures - one classification system


1. Absence seizures (petit mal seizures)
2. Myoclonic seizures (bilateral massive epileptic myoclonus)
3. Generalized tonic-clonic seizures (grand mal seizures)
4. Akinetic seizure
B. Proposed international classification of epilepsies and epileptic syndromes
1. Idiopathic
2. Benign childhood epilepsy
3. Primary reading epilepsy
4. Symptomatic
5. Chronic progressive epilepsia partialis continua of childhood
6. Syndromes characterized by seizures with specific triggers
7. Cryptogenic
8. Presumed to be symptomatic but etiology is unknown
9. Differs from Symptomatic by lack of etiologic evidence

1. Partial seizures
1. focal motor
2. seizure activity only in specific parts of the brain
3. usually client remains conscious
2. Simple with findings associated with
1. motor activity
2. special sensory feelings
3. autonomic activity
4. psychic issues
5. psychomotor actions
6. no loss of consciousness
3. Complex
1. impairment of consciousness
2. secondarily generalized
3. progressing to generalized tonic-clonic
4. Generalized seizures: eight types
1. petit mal - called absence seizures
2. myoclonic
1. sudden, uncontrollable jerking movements of one or more extremities
2. usually occurs in the morning
3. clonic
1. characterized by violent muscle movements
2. hyperventilation
3. face contortion
4. excessive salivation
5. diaphoresis
6. tachycardia
4. tonic
1. first, client loses consciousness suddenly and muscles contract
2. body stiffens in opisthotonos position (illustration )
3. jaws clenched
4. may lose bladder control
5. apnea with cyanosis
6. pupils dilated and unresponsive
7. usually lasts less than a minute

e. grand mal: most common type


i. tonic-clonic movements
ii. may be preceded by prodromal
iii. lasts two to three minutes
iv. after clonic phase, client is unresponsive for about five minutes
v. arms, legs go limp
vi. breathing returns to normal
vii. possible disorientation or confusion for sometime afterwards
viii. possible headache and fatigue afterwards
f. atonic: sudden loss of postural muscle tone with collapse
g. unclassified seizures
h. status epilepticus
i. rapid sequence of seizures without interruption
ii. medical and nursing emergency
iii. client in postictal state when next seizure begins
iv. sometimes occurs if a sudden stop of maintenance doses of
anticonvulsants
v. if cerebral anoxia occurs, brain damage or death can follow
vi. risk for severe organ and muscle hypoxia
6. Diagnostics

e. by the event itself - see above


f. history and physical exam
g. electroencephalogram (EEG)
h. computerized tomogram (CT) scan
6. Management
e. expected outcomes: to control the seizure activity and prevent complications
f. correction of underlying problem
g. medications
i. benzodiazepines, I.V. such as diazepam (valium), lorazepam (ativan)
for active seizures
ii. hydantoin anticonvulsants such as phenytoin (dilantin) - maintenance
iii. barbiturates such as phenobarbitol - maintenance
iv. succinimides such as ethosuximide (zarontin) - maintenance
7. Nursing interventions
e. administer medications as ordered
f. seizure care

1. Do not leave the client who is seizing


2. Attempt to prevent or break client's fall by assisting him/her to horizontal position on the bed or the
floor
3. Loosen tight clothing around neck and chest
4. Remove objects near the client
5. Place a pillow under the client's head if possible and available
6. Place the client's head in a lateral position if possible to maintain airway
7. Place nothing in the client's mouth
8. Cover the client if possible
9. Document
a. type of seizure - describe behavior rather than labeling
b. duration
c. activity during and if incontinence
d. if any precipitating factors
e. client's response - immediate, then at 15 minute intervals until stability is established

g. seizure precautions
h. teach client
i. about medication effects, interactions, and side effects
ii. to learn when a seizure may be triggered
iii. techniques to reduce stress
iv. seizure care at home or at work
v. to wear medic-alert jewelry
vi. if in public area, after the tonic phase turn client to side

VII. Headache
A. Definition
1. Pain located in upper region of the head
2. One of the most common neurologic complaints
B. Classifications
1. Recurrent migraine headache
a. onset during adolescence or early adulthood
b. familial
c. involves unilateral, throbbing pain
d. subtypes
i. classic migraine
ii. common migraine
iii. cluster headache
iv. hemiplegic headache
v. ophthalmoplegic headache
2. Recurrent muscular-contraction headache (pressure, tension headache)
a. most common form of headache
b. may be direct result of stress, anxiety or depression
3. Nonrecurrent headaches
a. occur with systemic infections and are usually associated with fever
b. occur as the result of a lesion, after an invasive spinal cord procedure such as a
lumbar puncture, or subarachnoid bleed
c. caused by increased intracranial pressure
C. Findings
1. Vary by type of headache
2. May include throbbing, nausea, vomiting, visual disturbance, tenderness, neck stiffness,
and focal neurological signs
D. Diagnostics
1. History and physical exam
2. Computing tomogram (CT) scan
3. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
E. Management of headaches
1. Expected outcomes: to alleviate pain and treat underlying cause
2. Vasoconstriction by pressure or cold
3. Management of migraine
a. nonnarcotic analgesics: aspirin, acetaminophen (tylenol), ibuprofen
b. narcotic analgesics: codeine, meperidine (demerol)
c. alpha-adrenergic blocking agentblocker: ergotamine tartrate (ergostat) without
or with caffeine
d. steroids: dexamethasone (decadron)
e. prophylactic treatment with beta-adrenergic blocking agents, serotonin
antagonists, antidepressants, imipramine (tofranil)
f. avoid headache-precipitating foods such as MSG, tyramine, or milk products,
or sudden stopping of caffeinated drinks
4. Management of tension headaches
a. nonnarcotic analgesics
b. muscle relaxants
c. prophylactically: antidepressants and/or doxepin (sinequan)
5. Management of cluster headaches
a. narcotic analgesics: codeine sulfate
b. alpha-adrenergic blocking agentblocker: ergotamine tartrate (ergostat)
c. prophylactically with serotonin antagonists
F. Nursing interventions
1. Suggest a quiet, dark environment
2. Manage pain by prompt medication administration or other comfort measures
3. Help client identify precipitating factors and actions for prevention
4. Keep NPO until nausea and vomiting subside
5. Teach client
a. expected medication actions and side effects
b. alternatives for pain relief including referrals for alternative approaches
c. to avoid or minimize trigger factors
d. to keep a headache diary
VIII. Head Trauma (Illustration 1 Illustration 2 Illustration 3 )
A. Classifications
1. Closed versus open injury
a. closed is nonpenetrating; no break in integrity of skull
b. open injury: skill broken with brain exposed
2. Severity
a. mild: only momentary loss of consciousness with no neurological sequelae
b. moderate: momentary loss of consciousness with a change in neurological
function which is usually not permanent
c. severe: decreased LOC with serious neurological impairment and sequelae
B. Types of skull fractures
1. Linear: simple break in bone; no displacement of skull
2. Depressed: part of skull is pushed in
3. Basal: at base of skull; may extend into orbit or ear; ear or nose may leak CSF; most
difficult to verify by x-ray
4. Concussion: temporary loss of neurologic function but complete recovery
C. Types of bleeding
1. Epidural hematoma
a. usually something lacerated the blood vessels of the middle meninges
b. since this is arterial bleeding, the risk of death is greatest
c. client commonly looses consciousness after injury then is lucid , then LOC
drops quickly with the next 24 hours
2. Subdural hematoma
a. something has lacerated the blood vessels crossing the subdural space
b. acute: findings surface in 24 to 72 hours after injury with rapid neurologic
deterioration
c. subacute: findings surface 72 hours to two weeks after injury with a slower
progression of deterioration
d. chronic: gradual clot formation over time, possibly months with minimal
deterioration
D. Progression of skull fracture injury
1. Onset: contusions and lacerations of nerve cells
2. Gradual demyelinization of affected nerve fibers results in neuron death
3. Scarring: meninges adheres to injured area of brain
E. Complications
1. Edema
a. results in increased intracranial pressure
b. results directly from cerebral ischemia, anoxia, and hypercapnia
2. Syndrome of inappropriate anitdiuretic hormone (ADH) (SIADH)
a. too much ADH is produced
b. water is excessively retained - hemodilution
c. urinary output decreases; urine specific granity increases effect
d. more common in the chronic phase of care after a head injury
3. Diabetes insipidus (DI)
a. DI results from a decrease release of ADH and body excretes too much fluid
b. the increase in urinary output results in a low specific gravity
c. more common in the acute phase of head injury
4. Stress ulcer
a. head injuries activate both the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems
b. stimulation of sympathetic system leads to gastric ischemia from
vasoconstriction
c. stimulation of parasympathetic system leads to increased release of
hydrochloric acid (HCL) into the stomach
d. steroid therapy may contribute to the development of ulcers since steroids
increase HCL acid
5. Seizure disorders
6. Infection in brain, lungs, urinary system
7. Hyperthermia or hypothermia
F. Findings of head trauma
1. Degree of neurological damage varies with type and location of injury
2. Restlessness and irritability - initially
3. Decreased LOC - lethargy, difficulty with arousal
4. Headache
5. Nausea and vomiting - projectile vomiting indicates increased ICP
G. Diagnostics
1. History and physical exam
2. Computerized tomogram (CT) scan
3. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
4. Electroencephalogram (EEG)
H. Management
1. Expected outcomes: to reduce or minimize increases in intracranial pressure and protect
the nervous system
2. Medications for increased ICP
a. osmotic diuretics; mannitol (osmitrol) - IV drip or push
b. steroids: dexamethasone (decadron) - IV push
c. barbiturate coma may be induced to treat refractory increased intracranial
pressure
3. Surgical correction of underlying cause
4. Treatment for evident findings: seizures, fever, infection
5. Therapy
a. speech
b. physical
c. occupational
d. behavioral
I. Nursing interventions
1. Provide care of the client with increased intracranial pressure

CARE OF CLIENT WITH INCREASED INTRACRANIAL PRESSURE

1. Monitor neuro vital signs as ordered


2. Maintain fluid restriction as ordered
3. Raise head of bed at 30-45 degrees; avoid 90 degrees since pressure in hip area increases ICP
4. Prevent any activities that increase ICP such as: straining at stool, coughing, vomiting, any
restrictive clothing around neck, neck rotation, flexion, extension, anxiety, pushing up in bed with
heels, pulling on rails when turning
5. Observe for herniation syndrome
6. Monitor for changes in intracranial pressure
7. Administer oxygen as ordered
8. Institute seizure precautions
9. Provide for care of the unconscious client

a. seizure precautions
b. seizure care
c. care of the client on ventilator

CARE OF THE CLIENT ON VENTILATOR


Nutrition

1. Maintain adequate, balanced nutrition and fluid


2. Administer IV fluids as ordered
3. Provide nasogastric feedings as ordered
4. Evaluate if intake and output are balanced

Hygiene

1. Provide rigorous, scheduled mouth care - prevents ventilator acquired pneumonia


2. Provide bed baths as necessary
3. Provide eye care if client has decreased level of consciousness
4. Provide perenial care to prevent yeast infections
5. Initiate a bowel regime with stool softeners with expected bowel movement every
three days

Skin and Muscle Integrity

1. Prevent effects of immobility by routine passive or active range of motion exercises or get client
OOB as tolerated (illustration )
2. Prevent decubitus ulcers by avoidance of rubbing or massaging reddened areas
3. Turn client every two hours

Safety

1. Apply splints as ordered to prevent footdrop and wristdrop


2. Provide a safe environment - bed in low position, side rails up, call light within reach
3. Start seizure precautions if indicated

Sensory Stimulation

1. Provide appropriate stimulation for client; be away to prevent overstimulation


2. Talk to client before and during procedures, care and when in the room
3. Explain procedures before beginning them
4. Encourage family to talk to client about usual family activities

d. care of the client undergoing surgery


2. Maintain balanced nutrition and fluids
3. Help with ADL as indicated
4. Prevent complications of immobility
5. Monitor neuro vital signs
6. Give medications as ordered
7. Provide emotional support with appropriate referrals
8. Manage pain within guidelines
IX. Brain Tumors
A. Growth of tissue within skull
1. May be cancerous or benign
2. Classified according to tissue type
3. May be primary or metastatic
B. Findings
1. Depend on size and location of tumor
a. frontal lobe: personality changes - classic, focal seizures, visual disturbances,
hemiparesis, aphasia
b. occipital lobe: visual hallucinations, focal seizures
c. temporal lobe: headache, seizures
d. parietal lobe: visual losses, seizures
e. cerebellum: coordination or mobility difficulties
2. Increased intracranial pressure
C. Diagnostics
1. History and physical exam
2. CT scan
3. Magnetic resonance imaging
D. Management
1. Expected outcomes: remove the tumor, and minimize harm to the nervous system
2. Depends on location and size of tumor
3. Treatment for associated increased intracranial pressure
a. surgery
b. craniotomy to remove tumor
c. stereotactic laser surgery
d. radiation therapy for malignancy
4. Medications for malignant tumors: chemotherapy
E. Nursing interventions
1. Provide:
a. care of the client with increased intracranial pressure
b. care of the client undergoing
i. surgery
ii. radiation therapy
iii. chemotherapy
c. seizure precautions
d. seizure care
e. balanced nutrition and fluid
2. Facilitate emotional support with referrals to support groups
X. Peripheral Nerve and Cranial Nerve Disorders
A. Trigeminal neuralgia (tic douloureux)
1. Syndrome of paroxysmal facial pain
a. middle age and older adults
b. affects cranial nerve five (trigeminal nerve)
c. etiology unknown
d. involves one side only
e. triggered by harmless events such as a breeze, hot or cold liquids
2. Findings
a. intense facial pain lasting about one to two minutes along the nerve branches
b. extreme facial sensitivity
3. Diagnostics: history and physical exam
4. Management
a. expected outcome: to relieve pain
b. anticonvulsants: carbamazepine (tegretol), phenytoin (dilantin)
c. surgery
i. minor
I. radio-frequency gangliolysis: heat destroys trigeminal
ganglion
II. glycerol gangliolysis: glycerol injected into subarachnoid
space around gasserian ganglion
ii. major - microvascular compression: move arterial loop away from
posterior trigeminal root
5. Nursing interventions
a. help clients to name trigger points with identification of triggering incidents
b. recommend restful environment with scheduled rest
c. provide balaned nutrition
d. care of the client undergoing surgery
e. teach client
i. medications and side effects
ii. to avoid triggering agents
iii. to chew on the opposite side of the mouth
iv. to avoid drafts
v. to avoid very hot or cold foods
B. Facial nerve paralysis (bell's palsy)
1. Definition/etiology
a. disorder of cranial nerve seven (facial nerve)
b. involves one side only; unilateral
c. etiology unknown
2. Findings often occur suddenly over ten to 30 minutes
a. ptosis
b. cannot close or blink eye with excessive tearing
c. flat nasolabial fold
d. impaired taste
e. lower face paralysis
f. difficulty eating
3. Diagnostics: history and physical exam
4. Management
a. expected outcome: to restore cranial nerve function
b. medications
i. prednisone
ii. analgesics
c. local comfort measures: heat, massage and electrical nerve stimulation for
muscle tone
d. alternative actions: reiki, massage, imagery
5. Nursing interventions
a. provide balanced nutrition: soft diet
b. administer drugs as ordered
c. teach client
i. to chew on opposite side
ii. how to use protective eye wear during risk periods
iii. effects of steroids
iv. the use of eye drugs or ointment to protect the eye from corneal
irritation
v. that once findings disappear their return may occur especially in
times of high stress
XI. In multiple sclerosis, early changes tend to be in vision and motor sensation; late changes tend to be in
cognition and bowel control.
XII. Peripheral nerves can regenerate, but nerves in the spinal cord are thought to not be able to regenerate.
XIII. During a seizure, do not force anything into the client's mouth.
XIV. A major problem often associated with a left-sided CVA is an alteration in communication.
XV. Clients with CVAs are at a greater risk for aspiration. Initially these clients must be evaluated to determine if
dysphagia is present.
XVI. The rate, rhythm and depth of a client's respirations are more sensitive indicators of increases in intracranial
pressure than blood pressure and pulse.
XVII. When caring for a comatose client, remember that the hearing is the last sense to be lost.
XVIII. After a CVA clients often have a loss of memory, emotional lability and a decreased attention span.
XIX. Communication difficulties of a client with a CVA usually indicate involvement of the dominant hemisphere,
usually left, and is associated with right sided hemiplegia or hemiparesis.
XX. The client with myasthenia gravis will have more severe muscle weakness in the evening due to the fact that
muscles weaken with activity - described as progressive muscle weakness - and regain strength with rest.

Acalculia Agnosia akinetic mutism aphasia apraxia ataxia bruit coma concussion contusion CT
scandecerebratedecorticate posture echolaliafestination flaccid hemiparesis homonymous hemianopia
myasthenianuchal rigidityprodromal period ptosisstupor transient ischemic attack

III. Disorders of the Eye

Overview: eye disorders from front to back of eye

Eye disorders from most common to least common

A. Disorders of refraction
1. Myopia (near-sightedness) - blurred distance vision, but clear close vision
2. Hyperopia (far-sightedness) - blurred close vision, but clear distant vision
3. Presbyopia - in middle age, lens loses elasticity with results of hyperopia
4. Astigmatism - lens refracts light rays to focus on two different points of retina
B. Glaucoma - second most common cause of vision loss in the USA (illustration ); may be
unilateral or bilateral
1. Most common type: chronic open-angle glaucoma (simple, adult primary, primary open-
angle)
1. etiology/epidemiology
1. hereditary link
2. etiology unknown
3. aqueous humor does not drain adequately which leads to increased
intraocular pressure (IOP)
4. this pressure on optic nerve causes destruction of nerve fibers in
retina to result in a vision loss
2. findings
1. most clients are without findings until a loss of vision
2. peripheral vision affected first
3. three classic assessment findings
1. elevated IOP
2. visual field loss (peripheral)
3. cupping of optic disk
3. management
1. expected outcomes
1. reduction of IOP
2. prevention of visual field defects
2. treatment of choice: pharmacotherapy
1. miotic eyedrops (parasympathomimetic agents)
2. carbonic anhydrase inhibitors - Diamox
3. beta-adrenergic blocking agents - Timoptic drops
4. epinephrine eyedrops (contraindicated in clients with
cardiac conditions) - more in emergency care
3. trabeculectomy or laser trabeculectomy
1. performed when pharmacological agents not effective
2. small piece of sclera containing the trabecular network is
removed and an iridectomy is performed
3. cycloplegic and steroids are instilled
4. antibiotics may be ordered

4. a mydriatic is then used to prevent adhesions to the cornea

4. nursing interventions
1. for pharmacotherapy management
1. compliance with medical treatment
2. teach client to instill eyedrops usually recommended before
bedtime
3. teach safety risks related to impaired vision
2. for trabeculectomy by traditional surgery
1. monitor dressing for excessive bleeding
2. antiemetics, analgesics and antibiotics as ordered
3. mydriatics as ordered.
4. assist client with activities of daily living
3. for trabeculectomy by laser surgery
1. vision may be blurred for first day or two post-op
2. eye patch or sunglasses for photophobia
3. analgesics as ordered
4. education of client with glaucoma
1. avoid activities that increase IOP - bending, stooping,
straining, caughing, blowing nose
2. stress importance of routine eye examinations - usually
yearly
2. Less common type of glaucoma: acute closed-angle (shallow, narrow-angle, primary, or
congested glaucoma) - iris bulges and blocks trabecular network.
1. etiology /epidemiology
1. a medical and nursing emergency
2. iris lies near drainage channel (canal of Schlemm) and bulges
forward against cornea, blocking the trabecular network and
increasing IOP
3. affects more women; usually after age 45
2. findings
1. sudden onset of blurred vision, halos or colored rings around white
lights, frontal headache
2. sudden severe eye pain, reddening of the eye, nausea, vomiting
3. followed by progression of findings as pressure increases:
1. profuse lacrimation
2. mildly dilated, nonreactive pupil
3. nausea/vomiting
4. cornea appears hazy
4. blindness may result in two to five days if left untreated
3. management
1. expected outcome: to prevent or minimize the damaging effects of
acute closed-angle glaucoma
2. emergency pharmacologic treatment to decrease IOC
1. intravenous osmotic agents
2. miotic eye drops
3. includes carbonic anhydrase inhibitors
4. systemic analgesics
3. surgery
1. iridotomy or iridectomy
2. procedure is usually then repeated on unaffected eye
4. nursing interventions
1. monitor for effectiveness of medications as ordered
2. post-op eyepatch or sunglasses for photophobia
3. tell client that vision will be blurred for one to two days postsurgery
4. stress importance of routine yearly or more frequent eye
examinations
5. teach clients to avoid activities that increase IOP
C. Cataract - maybe unilateral or bilateral
1. Etiology/epidemiology
1. clouding of lens - one of the most common eye disorders
2. first type: senile cataract - result of aging process
3. second type: traumatic
1. develops within months of eye trauma
2. painless but progressive loss of sight in one or both eyes
2. Expected outcome: correction of visual field defect
3. Treatment: only surgical
1. cataract extraction: removal of cloudy lens
1. most commonly done as outpatient procedure
2. usually done on one eye at a time
3. types of cataract extraction
1. extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE)
1. procedure of choice
2. removes lens contents, leaving posterior chamber
intact
2. Phacoemulsification - ultrasound fragments the lens
contents
3. intracapsular cataract extraction (ICCE)
1. removes lens contents and lens capsule
2. eye becomes hypermetropic
2. intraocular lens implant usually performed at time of extraction
3. peripheral iridectomy usually performed as part of ECCE or ICCE
4. Potential complications of surgery
1. hyphema (blood in anterior chamber of the eye)
1. may require bed rest and patching
2. observe for increased IOP - complaints of severe pain
3. may prescribe miotics or cycloplegics
2. vitreous prolapse
1. allows vitreous humor to fall forward into wound
2. may result in pupil block
3. may lead to retinal detachment
4. vitrectomy may be performed
3. intraocular infection
1. complaints of throbbing or in eye pain, drainage from eye
2. antibiotics (ophthalmic and/or systemic)
5. Nursing interventions
1. teach client to avoid causes of IOP
2. observe client's ability to instill eyedrops correctly; provide referrals if unable
to
3. provide written list of complications for the client to report
4. inform clients that an expected feeling after surgery is one that "sand" is in the
eye for six to eight weeks afterwards
D. Retinal detachment (illustration )
1. Etiology/epidemiology
1. holes or breaks (tears) in retina
2. fluid, blood or a mass separates the retina's sensory layer from the pigmented
epithelium (pigment cells)
3. common causes are inflammation, trauma, hemorrhage, and tumors
4. retinal detachment often begins in periphery and spreads posteriorly
2. Findings
1. a rapid separation gives feeling of a curtain being pulled over eye so that client
has partial vision in affected eye
2. slow separation may be asymptomatic
3. ophthalmic exam reveals detached area as gray bulge, ripple or fold
3. Management
1. expected outcome: correction of and/or prevention of further vision loss: 90%
are successfully repaired
2. laser surgery
1. photocoagulation: laser beam is directed through dilated pupil
2. effect is to seal localized breaks or rips in retina
3. cryotherapy: extreme cold freezes rips in retina
4. diathermy: heat applied with ultrasonic probe to repair rips
5. scleral buckle
6. pharmacotherapy:
1. adrenergic-mydriatic agents
2. cycloplegic agents
3. antibiotics
4. Nursing interventions
1. maintain bed or chair rest as ordered
2. post-op eye patch to rest eye (or both eyes)
3. dark glasses for photophobia
4. administer medications as ordered
5. prevent increases in IOP
E. Eye trauma
1. Foreign body:
1. use eversion procedure
2. if foreign body has penetrated, do not remove
3. irrigate eye with sterile normal saline eye irrigant
2. Corneal abrasion
1. disruption of the cells and loss of superficial epithelium
2. caused by trauma, chemical irritant, foreign body, or lack of moisture
3. findings: severe pain, blurred vision, halo around lights, lacrimation, inability
to open eye
4. diagnosis by fluorescein sodium dye
5. abrasions heal usually within 48 hours, usually with no scarring or visual
deficit
6. treatment includes short-acting analgesic drops, eye rest
3. Corneal laceration
1. same causes, findings as abrasions, but lacerations are serious emergencies
2. surgery is generally required
3. follow care for client undergoing eye surgery (see points to remember at the
end of this section)
4. Penetrating injury
1. do not remove object
2. do not apply pressure of any kind to the eye or the object
3. cover the injured eye to protect movement of the object. may use a cup or eye
patch
4. cover uninjured eye with eye patch to avoid sympathetic movement
5. get client to emergency room immediately
6. surgery will be required
5. Chemical irritants
1. flush eye with plenty of water or sterile normal saline
2. get client to emergency room immediately
3. alkaline substances penetrate the cornea rapidly and must be removed quickly

Alkaline substances include lye, ammonia, some powdered detergents, drain cleaner, oven cleaner, and battery fluid.
To remember alkaline, remember the rhyme:If the Ph is high, it's alkali.

6. Ultraviolet burns
a. occur from sun exposure or welding flashes
b. irritate epithelium, which swells and scales off (desquamation)
7. Management
a. general pharmacotherapy for eye trauma
i. topical anesthetics
ii. antibiotics
iii. mydriatic-cycloplegic agents: prevent pupillary constriction
8. General management of any eye trauma
a. irrigation of affected eye
b. bilateral dressings to rest eyes by decreased movement
c. tinted glasses for photophobia to reduce discomfort
d. assist client with activities of daily living as indicated

The Ear

II. Ear Disorders


A. External ear
1. Swimmer's ear
a. diffuse bacterial otitis externa
b. preventable by using 70% alcohol to cleanse ears after swimming
2. Otitis externa
B. Meniere's disease
1. Definition - inner ear disorder: endolymphatic system dilates and volume of endolymph
expands
2. Etiology unknown
a. usually develops between ages 40 and 60
b. acute attack may require hospitalization
c. client may average two to three attacks per year
3. Findings
a. attacks intermittent
b. three recurrent and progressive findings
i. vertigo with prostrating nausea and vomiting
ii. tinnitus
iii. hearing loss (on involved side) persists and progresses

4. Management
a. expected outcomes: prevent hearing loss and control vertigo
b. medical
i. cholinergic blocking agents such as atropine
ii. antihistamines or decongestants
iii. during remission:
• diuretics to decrease fluid
• vasodilators such as histamine
• vestibular suppressants such as diazepam (valium)
• adrenergic neuron-blocking agents such as epinephrine
• low-salt diet
c. surgical
i. decompression of endolymphatic sac: insertion of endolymphatic
subarachnoid shunt
ii. labyrinthectomy: client will lose all hearing in affected ear

5. Nursing interventions during an acute attack of Meniere's disease


a. bed rest in quiet, dark room
b. avoid unnecessary movement of client especially the head
c. give general care of clients with nausea and vomiting
d. restrict salt and water intake
e. have client avoid tobacco, caffeine, and high triglycerides
f. institute precautions to prevent client from falling
2. Otosclerosis
5. Formation of new bone in labyrinth fixes stapes to oval window
6. Hereditary degenerative disorder results in conduction deafness
7. Etiology unknown
8. Assessment: findings
a. hearing loss
b. tinnitus
c. bone conducts more sound than air does
9. Management
a. expected outcome: improvement of hearing in affected ear
b. medical: use of hearing aid
c. surgical: stapedectomy - replacement of stapes with prosthesis
10. Postoperative care
a. clients are to avoid anything that might displace prosthesis, such as coughing,
blowing nose, swimming
b. give antibiotics as ordered
c. limit activity as ordered and tolerated
d. give pain medications and/or antiemetics as ordered
e. post-operatively assess facial nerve function for asymmetry
f. keep ear dry
g. instruct client not to fly for six months

Eye

• Anything that dilates the pupil obstructs the canal of Schlemm and increases intraocular pressure.
• Color blindness is caused by a deficiency in one or more types of cones and is caused by a sex-linked
recessive gene.
• Destruction of either the right or left optic nerve tract results in blindness in the respective side of both eyes
• When mydriatics are instilled, caution clients that vision will be blurred with photophobia for up to two hours
since the pupils have been dilated
• After eye surgery teach client to avoid, for six weeks, activities that can increase IOP
• Stooping
• Bending from the waist
• Heavy lifting
• Excessive fluid intake
• Emotional upsets
• Constrictive clothing around neck
• Straining with bowel movement (or straining at stool)
• Sustained coughing or blowing of the nose
• Teach client proper administration of eyedrops especially to wash hands before installation
• Provide sunglasses for photophobia
• Assist with activities of daily living as required
• When clients wear one eye patch, they lose depth perception. Remember that this loss presents a safety risk.
• Systemic disorders that can change ocular status include diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, Graves' disease
(hyperthyroidism), AIDS, leukemia, lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis sickle cell disease.

Ear

• Changes in barometric pressure will affect persons with ear disorders to cause increased findings or
malfunctions
• Hearing loss can
• be partial or total
• affect one or both ears
• occur in low, medium or high frequencies
• in elderly be more frequently high frequency so special smoke detectors may be needed
• American Medical Association formula for hearing loss: hearing is impaired 1.5% for every decibel that the
pure tone average exceeds 25 decibels (dB)
• A hearing loss of 22.5% usually affects social functionality and requires a hearing aid
• Noise exposure is the major cause of hearing loss in the United States of America
• Ask client how he/she communicates: lip-reading, sign language, body gestures, or writing
• To gain the client's attention, raise a hand or touch the client's arm
• When talking with client, speak slowly and face him/her
• Speak toward the client's good ear
• If the client wears a hearing aid, allow him/her to show how it's inserted
• Speaking louder to a hearing impaired client does not increase his/her chances of hearing
• Communicate the client's hearing loss to other staff members
• Ototoxic drugs include:
• Aminoglycosides
• Antimyobacterials
• Thiazides
• Loop diuretics
• Antineoplastics
• Tell clients taking ototoxic drugs to report any signs of dizziness, loss of balance, tinnitus, or hearing loss

accommodation acoustic neuroma acuity ametropia anisocoria astigmatism audiometry blepharitiscanthus cataract
cerumen chalazion conduction deafness conjunctivitis dacryocystitis decibel ectropionentropion enucleation esotropia
exotropia hyperopia hyphema keratitis keratoplasty labyrinthitis lacrimationmiosis mydriasismyopia myringoplasty
nyctalopia nystagmus photophobia presbyopia pterygium ptosisretinopathy scotoma sensorineural deafness trachoma
uveitis Neurology