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Numbness in face - Causes, Treatment, During Pregnancy

Updated on September 7, 2013

What is Numbness in face?

Facial numbness has quite a number of causes. But the clear manifestations of this condition may be accompanied by the following:

  • Pain
  • Tingling sensation
  • Paralysis
  • Redness or swelling.
  • Sensitive to touch.
  • Muscle weakness

These included symptoms are found to be worsening signs. However, when there is an abrupt change in the level of consciousness of the patient, seek medical attention immediately. This can be a sign of a cerebrovascular accident (stroke). Other unlikely symptoms would be slurred speech, paralysis of another body part, and change in vision.


Injury – Nerve damage in the face, neck or spine can be a root for the numbness felt in the face. This has an effect of decreased sensation in the face. This could be from a force, impact or exposure to cold temperatures.

Neuropathy – Multiple sclerosis is a chronic condition that manifests face numbness. A disorder that involves dysfunctional nerve-relaying signals between the body and the brain. A tumor in the brain can cause such, and alter nerve functions. Bell’s palsy is a self-limiting but painful form of facial paralysis. The 7th cranial nerve is duly affected, which is the facial nerve. The cause of this condition has been found unknown and its onset to be acute that progresses no more than a week. Trigeminal neuralgia can also manifest little or no at all facial numbness. But this condition involves intense pain in the face which may accompany facial numbness.

Position – Wrong positioning can trigger numbness. For example, during sleep when you put more pressure on the face causing numbness. But this numbness can be self-limiting and can be followed by a prickling or tingling sensation.

Migraine – This is defined as intense headache. Numbness of the face usually accompanies migraine, which makes the condition more intolerable. Migraine should be treated accordingly so not to feel more uncomfortable when it strikes.

Stroke – A typical sign that you are having a stroke or impending stroke is the feeling of numbness on the face. Usually it is one-sided, indicating that a specific lobe of the brain is affected.

Common cold –A cold has usual symptoms including numbness of the face. This may be due to the nose stuffiness and the damp feeling when you have this respiratory infection.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency – Cases have been reported that those who are deficient of Vitamin B12 in the diet are prone to numbness in the face and even to other areas of the body.


Once facial numbness is felt and found to be disrupting, call your physician immediately. This would prompt the doctor for assessment and that medical history can be filled up. Doctors would usually prescribe you medicines that block nerve impulses, those causing the pain and numbness. Tricyclic antidepressants and anti-seizure medications have been found effective in treating this condition. Vitamin B supplements are recommended to be taken daily. Seeking an occupational therapist is a must to those with underlying conditions of neuropathy. Techniques should be taught in order to avoid further damage or worsening of the condition, especially after a stroke. Follow the strict treatment for neuropathy involvement.

Other advisable remedy is proper positioning when sleeping. Sleeping face-down can be a cause of facial numbness the next day, so better avoid such practice in order to have no complaints afterwards.

During Pregnancy

While you are pregnant, you are in delicate state. But complications can never be avoided. It can be due to hormonal or inadequacy of nutrients in the body.

One of the complications of pregnancy is Bell’s palsy development. It has already been discussed that it is self-limiting. But this complication can be sudden and can make a pregnant woman panic. Bell’s palsy usually occurs during the 3rd trimester and is three times common in pregnant women. The manifestations would be painless loss of facial muscle function and loss of taste can be observed.

Headaches are common during pregnancy. This is primarily caused by the tension and chemical changes experienced by the carrying mother. Although rare, facial numbness will accompany such symptom.

Vitamin B12 insufficiency can be a root too for facial numbness during pregnancy. It is highly advised to expecting mothers to have adequate diet and rest during the period of waiting.


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