Raynaud’s disease (vibration white finger)
Raynaud’s disease is a condition caused most commonly as a result of continued use of vibrating hand-held machinery. A secondary form of this is called hand-arm vibration syndrome, or HAVS, more commonly known as vibration white finger.
Raynaud’s disease is a widespread problem among industrial workers, affecting tens of thousands of people each year. As a disorder, it can be particularly unpleasant, affecting the blood vessels, nerves, joints and muscles of the wrist, arm and hand, and often has irreversible effects on the body. The term ‘vibration white finger’ comes from the colour your fingers can turn as a result of prolonged exposure to vibrations. It usually starts with the tip of your finger turning white, where the vibration has affected the blood vessels and nerves in the finger. This is most commonly noticeable at the end of the working day, and may get better overnight. However, as the condition worsens it then goes on to affect the whole finger, and the whiteness can spread to the knuckle as feeling is gradually lost in the finger.
With this condition, the blood vessels are commonly affected and one result of this is that they are more sensitive to temperature. When exposed to the cold, often the fingers will change colour and feeling is quickly lost. This can then be followed by a red flush as blood returns to the fingers and is accompanied by uncomfortable throbbing.
The condition can also affect the nerves and muscles. Symptoms you may experience include attacks of pain in the fingers when performing daily tasks and a loss of manual dexterity and grip strength. In extreme cases, the sufferer may lose fingers, and if exposure to vibration continues over months or years the symptoms can worsen and eventually become permanent.
If you wish to discuss your personal situation further with experts in the field of industrial diseases, contact us today for professional help and advice. You can call us and speak to a member of our team on 0800 1123 256, text ‘contact’ to 80011* or select ‘Make a claim’ above.