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There is a reason that people say that if you do not have your health, then you do not have anything. All of the best experiences in life are greatly affected by the level of your health at the time that you experience them. That demand for health is one of the main reasons that the market for vegas nerve stimulation treatments is worth more than $500 million every single year!
On top of that, this industry is expected to grow at a rate of about 11.4% every year. That means that it will more than double to a size of nearly $1.2 billion by 2026. This is an incredibly fast rate of growth that very few industries enjoy.
So what exactly is so great about vagus nerve stimulation? Why is it becoming so popular?
Read on to learn all about the most important things to understand about vagus nerve stimulation and what it might be able to do for you!
What Does the Vagus Nerve Do?
The vagus nerve connects to the brain. It helps manage bodily functions like swallowing and coughing.
However, most of the input into the nerve fibers of the vagus nerve goes directly into the brain. A small minority of electrical feedback can also be transmitted down to the heart.
However, because the majority of electrical feedback feeds into the brain, it makes the vagus nerve an ideal place to stimulate in order to affect the brain in potentially positive ways.
What Is Vagus Nerve Stimulation?
Vegas nerve stimulation consists of using a pulse generator. A pulse generator is somewhat similar to a pacemaker. It sits under the skin and directs electricity into the vagus nerve.
As we have discussed, the majority of this electrical stimulation will then feed into the brain.
Depending on the situation, the pulse generator might be used automatically or manually. It can be programmed to automatically turn itself on and off in a certain pattern that helps manage certain health problems.
In contrast, it can also be manually stimulated by using a magnet. This can allow you to stimulate your vagus nerve whenever you feel the need to.
Who Can Vagus Nerve Stimulation Help?
Vegas nerve stimulation treatments are most commonly given to children who suffer from epilepsy. In particular, the more serious the epilepsy a child suffers from, the more likely a doctor is to recommend something like vagus nerve stimulation.
However, vagus nerve stimulation can also help with other conditions that cause seizures. For example, it can help people who suffer from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
On top of that, vagus nerve stimulation can sometimes lead to improvements in energy levels and mood regulation. Interestingly, it can provide these benefits even for people for whom it does not work to eliminate seizures.
What Does Vagus Nerve Stimulation Treatment Look Like?
To receive a pulse generator for vagus nerve stimulation, you need to go through surgery. You will first receive an anesthetic, and then a surgeon will insert the pulse generator near your left pectoral.
An average surgery will last approximately two hours. Vagus nerve stimulation surgery is not intensive. In many cases, you can go home the next day.
However, you will not want to activate your pulse generator immediately. It is important to give your body time to adapt to it. After about two weeks, your body will have healed sufficiently that you can begin to activate the pulse generator.
Benefits of VNS
Vagus nerve stimulation is moderately effective for managing seizures. It can often provide relief for around half of recipients. The amount of relief it provides can vary.
In some cases, recipients stop suffering from seizures at all. However, this is only in the minority of cases. More frequently, the rate of seizures will be cut in half.
In other cases, vagus nerve stimulation will not reduce the rate of seizures. Unfortunately, nobody knows how to tell in advance who will respond to vagus nerve stimulation treatment and who will not.
Potential Side Effects of Vagus Nerve Stimulation
Vagus nerve stimulation treatment is generally safe. However, as with any treatment, it does come with certain side effects.
In most cases, the side effects are both minor and temporary. Some of the most common side effects include mild symptoms like a hoarse voice.
Vagus nerve stimulation can also lead to pain or sensation around the neck or throat. It may also cause a cough, shortness of breath, or occasional ear pain.
In more unusual cases, VNS can cause vomiting and dizziness. Some people will also have difficulty sleeping or start to lose weight.
In rare cases, the surgical wound can develop an infection.
In extremely rare cases, and only in the cases of adults, VNS implantation has led to a cessation of heartbeat. However, this has not been observed in child patients.
In most cases, VNS side effects are mild. They tend to go away on their own over time. You can also receive treatment to help resolve them more quickly.
The more that you understand about VNS therapy and the benefits that can come if you properly stimulate vagus nerves, the more you might be interested in your options for a vagus nerve stimulator treatment. Learning to recognize the symptoms of vagus nerve damage can help prepare you for the possibility of a VNS implantation.
Understand the Important Things You Should Know About VNS
We hope learning about vagus nerve stimulation has been helpful for you. Many people deal with seizures for a long time without realizing how much vagus nerve stimulation might be able to help them.
The more you know about how the vagus nerve works, the more you will appreciate how stimulating it might be able to resolve your symptoms. In some cases, it may even resolve your problems completely. To learn more about the latest developments in medicine and more, check out our other articles!