Numbness is an abnormal sensation which is characterized by increased or reduced sensation on the skin and can be present on any part of the body. This sensation is often associated with tingling or sensation of formication (i.e. sensation of ants crawling on the skin). Numbness of the face is a very distressing condition, though it may not be associated with any functional problems.
What Causes Numbness In Face?
Some of the leading factors that can contribute to numbness on the face include some of the following,
- Sleeping on one side of the face for long duration of time can result in numbness on that side. This cause is attributed to compression of the nerve supplying to that part and is temporary in nature disappearing after a few minutes.
- Nerve damage, especially to the nerves supplying to the face can lead to numbness. Usually the facial nerve (i.e. the fifth cranial nerve) is affected. Head injury or injury to the face can precipitate into nerve damage.
- Infection, tumor or scarring of tissue can also lead to inflammation or pressure on the concerned nerve resulting in numbness in face.
- Shingles or herpes zoster affecting the nerve can lead to numbness sensation.
- In relatively rare cases, reduced blood supply to the affected area, as in cases of peripheral vascular disease, atherosclerosis or frost bite, numbness is common.
- Other medical conditions associated with numbness of the face include multiple sclerosis, seizures, diabetes, migraine, under-active thyroid, etc.
- Abnormal electrolyte balance resulting in altered levels of potassium, sodium or calcium can cause this condition.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency is another leading factor attributed to numbness in face.
- Other causes include medications, radiation therapy or overuse of alcohol or tobacco.
- Lead poisoning can also trigger an episode of numbness in face.
Symptoms Of Numbness In Face
The typical symptoms associated with numbness in face include tingling sensation along with burning (especially if the condition is associated with diabetes or other metabolic disorders). In most cases there is a loss of sensation; however hypersensitivity to touch may also be present in some cases.
In cases of nerve damage, numbness may be associated with loss of motor functions resulting in dropping of eyelids, inability to open the mouth and sensation of numbness along one side of the tongue. Dribbling of saliva from the affected side is another symptom associated with damage of motor functions.
Home Remedies For Numbness In Face
Certain simple home based treatment options can help in alleviating numbness in face. Some of these treatment options include dietary and lifestyle corrections,
- Include vitamin and calcium supplements in your routine. Include foods like dairy products, eggs, pulses, legumes, nuts, etc to increase the supply of these nutrients naturally.
- Management of diabetes is crucial in alleviating the symptom of numbness in face. Consume 2 to 3 grams of cinnamon after a meal. Cinnamon helps increase uptake of sugar by the body cells and thereby reduces the negative effects of high blood sugar levels. Consult your physician before attempting to use cinnamon.
- Regular neck and face exercises can help improve blood circulation to the face and thereby reduces the chances of numbness. Simply chewing a gum or smiling can be very helpful to improve facial blood supply.
- Stop smoking and limit the consumption of alcohol. Reduce sea foods as they can increase the risk of lead poisoning.
If dietary and lifestyle modifications fail to improve the condition, consult your physician immediately to get a thorough evaluation.