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Symptoms of Nerve Damage

Updated February 21, 2019

Nerve damage can cause a wide variety of symptoms depending on what nerves were damaged and the nature of the injury. Damage to the nerves of the autonomic nervous system may cause problems with involuntary bodily responses, such as sweating and digestion, and damage to the peripheral nerves may cause problems responding to pain and environmental changes. The symptoms of nerve damage may cause difficulty with self-care and in taking part in enjoyable activities.

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Difficulty with balance along with dizziness and fainting may be caused by damage to nerves in the automatic nervous system.


According to the Mayo Clinic, damage to nerves that control the bladder may cause difficulty with urination and an inability to completely empty the bladder, which can result in urinary tract infections.

Sexual Dysfunction

In men, nerve damage may be a cause of erectile dysfunction and in women, nerve damage may cause difficulty in getting aroused during sexual activity.


Damage to the nerves that lead to the stomach and intestines may cause digestive problems, such as loss of appetite, diarrhoea, constipation and bloating.

Slow Response

Delays in visual adjustments to changes in light and in reactions, such as removing your hand from a hot burner, may be a result of nerve damage, according to the Mayo Clinic.


A lack in sensations of pain when pinched, hit or otherwise injured, or feelings of tingling or numbness may be caused by damage to peripheral nerves, according to the Cleveland Clinic.


Damage to nerves that sense temperature may cause excessive sweating or an inability to sweat in hot weather, and general difficulty in controlling body temperature in response to weather conditions.

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About the Author

Jessica Lietz

Jessica Lietz has been writing about health-related topics since 2009. She has several years of experience in genetics research, survey design, analysis and epidemiology, working on both infectious and chronic diseases. Lietz holds a Master of Public Health in epidemiology from The Ohio State University.

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