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Is facial numbness a serious issue? Find out all you need to know

Different sets of nerves control the movements of your face. Any problem with these nerves can take away the feeling from a part of your face

Is facial numbness a serious issue? Find out all you need to know

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Sentinel Digital Desk

Any problem with these nerves can take away the feeling from a part of your face.

Usually, the body goes numb when nerves get damaged, pinched or irritated. A pair of nerves that run down the left and right side of the head helps us to feel pain, temperature, touch and other sensations. Numbness in the face signifies a loss of feeling in the face which could be a symptom of many health conditions, including migraine and allergies too.

Numbness occurs in a human body if any nerve in any part of the body lacks functioning or is disturbed. Sometimes, nerves turn numb simply due to cold.

The duration and numbness of face depends vary on different causes. At times, nerve becomes numb due to underlying problems that develop slowly, over time. If you are suffering from face numbness which is making a part of your body numb or weak you should reach for medical help immediately, as these could be a sign of stroke.

Medical conditions can also be a reason for facial numbness.

Some of the signs that may cause facial numbness are:

• Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Numbness is one of the first and most common signs of MS. It causes a lack of feeling in the face or other parts of the body resulting in numbness in face. It occurs due to the body's immune system attacking the layer of nerve protecting nerve fibres.

• Shingles

This is a kind of infection of the nerves that causes the same virus that gives us chickenpox. Shingles can trigger a painful rash on one side of the face or body only. Sometimes, around one eye. Before 1-5 days of the rash, you may suffer from itching, burning, pain, tingling in face, or numbness in face.

• Stroke

This medical emergency happens when a blood vessel pumping blood and oxygen to the brain gets blocked or bursts. One of the most common warning signs of a stroke is that the face suddenly goes numb or droops. Without blood and oxygen, brain cells die quickly and the part of the body they control stops functioning.

• Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)

Also known as mini or warning strokes, TIAs cause the symptoms as a stroke, including numbness in face. And similar to a stroke, it is caused by a clot in the brain. However, unlike a stroke, the clot here clears quickly and symptoms last only for a few minutes.

• Bell's Palsy

This condition makes the muscle on one side of your face weak or paralysed. That side appears to droop, along with the eyelids and the corner of your mouth. Bell's Palsy is likely to happen when the facial nerve gets swollen, which affects how your face moves. Symptoms like drooling may come on within hours or days.

• Tumour

Some benign or noncancerous tumours may grow on or near the nerves that control sensation in your face. If the tumour enlarges and presses on the nerve, it could be dangerous. The symptoms depend on which nerve is pressed by the tumour. There could be numbness in face or you could have trouble chewing.

• Brain Aneurysm

This is a weak, bulging spot in the wall of a brain artery. A small one may not cause any symptoms. However, as the aneurysm grows, it can press on the brain tissues and nerves, and lead to numbness or tingling in face or on one side of the face. It may lead to pain in one eye or have double vision.

• Hemiplegic Migraine

It is a very rare type of migraine that gives a headache or can make one side of your body feel numb or weak. This is possible to happen on your face, arm or leg. There could be tingling in face.

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