Numbness of the face

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 11.04.2020

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Loss of sensitivity, a feeling of tingling, burning, sometimes drawing unpleasant pain, these unpleasant sensations can arise in any part of the body and are called numbness. Perhaps, the numbness of the face is especially unpleasant.


Causes of the numbness of face

Numbness of the face is not always associated with the disease. Sometimes a feeling of numbness appears during sleep on an improperly chosen pillow or an uncomfortable rest position. In such cases, the loss of sensitivity is temporary and passes on its own in a short time.

In other situations, numbness is more often associated with nerve or vascular disease, or with other pathologies. Briefly, we can distinguish the following probable causes:

  • facial paralysis (facial nerve neuropathy) - defeat of the facial nerve as a result of hypothermia, infection or vascular spasm;
  • Multiple sclerosis - a disease of the nervous system of an autoimmune nature, in which the sheath of nerve fibers disintegrates;
  • neuritis of the trigeminal nerve is the defeat of the nerve due to the pressure on it by the tumor process, edema, spikes and other factors;
  • hemorrhage or thrombosis of cerebral vessels;
  • infringement of nerve endings;
  • stressful situations, depressive states.

Loss of sensitivity can be associated with vitamin deficiency, a deficiency in the body of certain trace elements (sodium, potassium), the intake of certain groups of drugs. Often a person becomes numb with a headache associated with migraine.

The pathogenesis of a transient numbness of the face is often explained by the presence of atherosclerosis, hypertension, or osteochondrosis. The person loses sensitivity in circulatory disorders in the internal carotid artery. In this case, usually the side of the person on whose side the blood flow is broken dies. In addition to numbness, the condition can be aggravated by violations of swallowing, speech, sight. If the sensitivity disappears for more than one day, then you can suspect a persistent impairment of cerebral circulation. In this situation, urgent medical treatment is needed.

trusted-source[2], [3], [4]


Since numbness of the face is only a symptom that can be associated with many diseases, its epidemiology is not defined. Numbness is often a sign of both common and rare pathologies, therefore it is almost impossible to estimate the frequency of occurrence of this condition.

If we consider numbness as a symptom of the stroke state, then we can say that for the year in the world for every 100 000 people there can be up to 300 cases of loss of the sensitivity of the person. About 200,000 patients with impaired cerebral circulation are recorded annually in our country. Most of them make complaints about the weakening of the sensitivity of a part or half of the face and head.

trusted-source[5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14]


The first signs of numbness of the face are expressed in an unpleasant sensation of tingling. On the skin there is a feeling of "crawling creepy." If the affected area of the face is touched by hand, then the loss or weakening of sensitivity becomes noticeable.

This condition can be combined with face swelling, itching, muscle weakness.

The further appearance of symptoms depends on the degree of damage to the nerves or blood vessels.

  • Numbness of a part of the face can be observed with neuritis, which often occurs after hypothermia or infectious diseases. In addition to numbness, there may be asymmetry of the face, disappearance of folds on the forehead, widening of the eye gap, lacrimation.
  • Numbness of half of the face is often a sign of a stroke - an acute disorder of the cerebral circulation. In stroke, loss of sensitivity is always one-sided, and not only half of the face, but also limbs on the affected side grow numb. In addition to numbness, the patient complains of changes in visual function, difficulty with speech and motor coordination.
  • Numbness of the left side of the face is often associated with migraine - paroxysmal headache caused by vascular spasms. Headache with migraine is pronounced, sometimes with nausea and vomiting, dizziness and a sense of pressure in the temples.
  • Numbness of the right side of the face and tongue can indicate the development of cervical osteochondrosis, multiple sclerosis or a tumor process with the brain. Often, one side of the face grows dumb in people who abuse nicotine or steroid hormones. Such numbness can be accompanied by pain in the cervical spine, a sensation of "goose bumps" in the cheek area on the right side.
  • Numbness of the neck and face is also a frequent sign of cervical osteochondrosis. Additional symptoms may be pressing or compressive pain in the neck, temples, dizziness, decreased visual acuity.
  • Headache and numbness of the face can accompany an increase in intracranial pressure. ICP can be suspected if there are other of its signs:
    • bifurcation and visual impairment;
    • noise in the head;
    • swelling on the face;
    • weakness, nausea;
    • irritability, fatigue;
    • the appearance of bags or bruises near the eyes.
  • Numbness and swelling of the face can be a consequence of both banal and serious reasons:
    • disorders of the heart;
    • beriberi, severe diets, eating disorders;
    • sleep disorders;
    • chronic fatigue;
    • allergies;
    • plentiful meal before bedtime.

In addition, it is possible to suspect and increase intracranial pressure, which can be confirmed only by a doctor.

  • Numbness of the eyes and face is often a consequence of head trauma. In this situation, attention should be paid to other indirect signs of injury:
    • bleeding from the nose or ears;
    • frustration of consciousness, dizziness;
    • nausea;
    • blue circles under the eyes;
    • convulsions, difficulty breathing.

In case of trauma, you should always consult a doctor to avoid the possibility of serious damage.

  • Numbness of the hand and face occurs with acute stroke, or with transient ischemic attacks (micro-strokes), for which violations of limb movements on the one hand, speech and vision disorder, drowsiness, and consciousness disturbances are equally characteristic. In addition, there may be dizziness, nausea, coordination disorder.
  • Bilateral numbness of the face most often indicates the defeat of nerves responsible for pain, thermal and tactile sensitivity. In most cases, the trigeminal nerve is either afflicted in the bridge of the brain, or it is suppressed by the tumor processes at the base of the skull. In this case, there is complete numbness, with a loss of response to temperature, pain and tactile stimuli. If only one type of sensitivity is disturbed, then we can only talk about the distal lesion, the possible diseases of the brainstem.

Numbness of face with cervical osteochondrosis

Cervical osteochondrosis is considered one of the most common causes of numbness in the face. The decrease in sensitivity and discomfort in this case is the result of prolonged pressure on the vessels and nerve endings passing near the affected vertebral column.

Numbness of the face with cervical osteochondrosis is usually supplemented by such signs as aching pain in the neck, head, and also a characteristic crunch when trying to move the head. Less often there are dizziness, tinnitus, a feeling of stuffiness in the ear, a deterioration in vision.

The disease is most often found in young and middle-aged people, about 20 to 40 years.

Numbness of face after tooth extraction

When the tooth is removed, the gingival tissue is always damaged, to a greater or lesser extent. Therefore, the occurrence of complications after removal is not uncommon, including loss of sensitivity in a certain part of the face.

Numbness can affect the tongue, lips, cheeks, partially - the area of the lower jaw and neck. Most often this happens after the removal of the teeth of the lower row - the so-called "seven" or "eight". The numbness is connected with the fact that in the immediate vicinity of the listed teeth the fibers of the trigeminal nerve pass, which can be affected at the time of tooth extraction. In this case, the change in sensitivity is usually temporary. Recovery takes place from 2-3 days to a week, sometimes up to six months.

Less often numbness can be the result of local administration of anesthetic. Normally, anesthesia should go away in a few hours. But it also happens that as a result of edema or local disturbance of blood circulation, sensitivity is restored only by 2-3 days.

Numbness of the face with an AVR

Vegetosovascular dystonia is considered a multisymptomatic disease, but among numerous manifestations of VSD, numbness of the face does not happen in all patients. Much more common are signs such as fatigue, sleep disorders, decreased performance, shortness of breath, fainting, unstable stools, a tendency to swelling. Often patients report a decrease in sensitivity in the limbs, especially with prolonged sitting or lying position. At night, there may be seizures, pain in the legs, irregular heart rhythm.

Numbness of the face is not a characteristic sign of vegetative vascular dystonia; however, this symptom can be observed in people with impaired (delayed) circulation, metabolic disorders, low blood pressure, which often happens in the VSD.

Numbness after a trauma to the face

After a trauma to the face or head, numbness may also occur, especially if the injury was accompanied by the following conditions:

  • dissection, damage to the integrity of the skin;
  • edema, extensive hematoma.

With these conditions, the branch of the trigeminal nerve can be damaged or crushed by swelling or bruising. In the second case, numbness disappears on its own together with a tumor that compresses the tissue.

With mechanical damage to the nerve branch, recovery can take much longer. This can take months, and in some cases, with extensive and deep injuries, numbness of a part of the face remains forever.

Such specialists as neurosurgeon, maxillofacial surgeon, neurologist can help in this matter.

Numbness of face at high pressure

High blood pressure can have a damaging effect on the vascular wall of veins and arteries, as well as directly on the organs - the heart, the kidneys. For this reason, the negative consequences of high blood pressure can be strokes, heart attacks.

Sometimes numbness of the face is one of the first signs of the onset of development of complications of hypertension. Gradually, other symptoms may appear:

  • deterioration of limb sensitivity;
  • impaired vision;
  • clouding of consciousness, deterioration of speech function;
  • dizziness;
  • growing nausea;
  • pain in the head (usually sharp, pronounced).

Numbness is more common in stroke. Infarction can be accompanied by a loss of sensitivity of the face only in isolated cases.

Numbness of the face with a neurosis

One of the reasons for partial numbness of a person may be neurosis, severe emotional stress, prolonged depression. Psychological traumas in this case act as peculiar stimuli, which lead to endocrine-humoral disorders and disorders of the autonomic nervous system.

Often numbness occurs at peak times: with fright, a state of psychomotor agitation. Such a temporary loss of sensitivity can be accompanied by a tremor, a state of stupor. Consequences can be various phobias, speech disorders (for example, stuttering), digestion and urinary system disorders.

Numbness in neurosis is usually short-lived and passes on its own after improvement of general condition.

Numbness of the face with genyantritis

Sinusitis is a disease of the maxillary sinuses of the nose caused by the inflammatory process. Usually, sinusitis is manifested by symptoms such as swelling of the nasal mucosa, the appearance of mucopurulent discharge, difficulty in nasal breathing, increased body temperature.

As a complication of sinusitis, inflammation can spread to the branch of the trigeminal nerve, which provokes a partial numbness in the face, forehead, and nostrils. In addition to trigeminal, the facial nerve may also suffer.

To eliminate numbness, you should always contact a doctor-otolaryngologist and take a course of anti-inflammatory treatment. After normalization, the sensitivity of the face is usually restored.

Numbness of the face with multiple sclerosis

Numbness of the body, limbs and face is one of the initial symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Sensitivity is lost dramatically, in a short time, without certain reasons, and at the same time it is not restored for a long time.

In addition to loss of sensitivity, patients pay attention to the general increasing weakness, impaired motor coordination, trembling in the limbs, slurred speech, difficulty in swallowing food.

Any of the listed signs, including numbness of the face, often completely pass after the end of the acute period of multiple sclerosis. However, it is possible that the symptoms will remain forever, and even will gradually increase, regardless of the treatment. The main role in the early recovery of the body is played by the individual characteristics and internal reserves of the patient, as well as the degree of disease damage.

Numbness of the face with polyneuropathy

Numbness in polyneuropathy occurs evenly: if it's hands, then both, if the face is on one side and the other. Simultaneously with numbness the motor ability of muscles weakens.

Numbness, as a sign of polyneuropathy, can occur after a viral infectious disease, after acute intoxication (poisoning). Distinguish diabetic and alcoholic polyneuropathy, which is a consequence, respectively, of diabetes and alcohol abuse.

Numbness of the face with polyneuropathy is less common than loss of sensitivity in the legs (in the ankles). In some cases, simultaneous numbness of the face, limbs, and tongue is observed, depending on the degree and depth of the pathology.

Numbness of face during pregnancy

Numbness of the face in pregnant women is relatively common. This can be due to many reasons, for example:

  • exacerbation of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, osteoporosis;
  • acute deficiency of vitamins and trace elements (calcium, magnesium, potassium);
  • Iron-deficiency anemia;
  • hypotension, slowing of blood flow;
  • a metabolic disorder;
  • a sharp increase in body weight;
  • a sharp decrease in motor activity.

To avoid numbness, a woman "in position" should eat right (do not starve or overeat), engage in special physical exercises for pregnant women, regularly take a blood test to determine the level of hemoglobin.

Who to contact?

Diagnostics of the numbness of face

At the first signs of numbness a person should immediately consult a doctor. To correctly diagnose, the doctor will recommend the patient to carry out some diagnostic procedures.

  • Analyzes that help to correctly determine the cause of numbness of the face:
    • biochemical blood test (determination of iron deficiency or pernicious anemia);
    • lipidogram, determination of cholesterol level in the blood;
    • coagulogram (assessment of the blood coagulation system);
    • general analysis of blood and urine;
    • analysis for antiphospholipid antibodies (diagnosis of autoimmune disease).
  • Instrumental diagnostics used to clarify the diagnosis:
    • the method of radiography and magnetic resonance imaging will help to identify abnormalities in the skull and spinal bone system that could lead to damage or pressure to the vessels or nerves;
    • the method of electroneuromyography allows to determine the localization of the affected nerve fibers, as well as to detect neuropathy;
    • The ultrasonic method of Doppler scan determines the vascular disorders and changes in the carotid and vertebral-basilar artery.

Other types of examinations can also be assigned on an individual basis. For example, often at a numbness of the person address for consultation to the surgeon, the neuropathologist, the traumatologist, vertebrologu, etc. At system diseases the quantity of inspections considerably increases.

Differential diagnosis is performed with all possible causes of numbness in the face. These are strokes, dental problems, infectious diseases, vascular and neurological diseases, and so on.

trusted-source[15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21], [22]

Treatment of the numbness of face

To eliminate numbness of the face, the first thing is prescribed medication, which is selected depending on the results of the diagnosis. Different groups of drugs can be used.

  • Medicines that expand the vascular lumen can simultaneously relieve spasms and increase blood circulation:

Mode of application

Side effects

Special instructions


Usually take from 2 to 4 tablets three times a day, after eating.

Seldom there can be a frustration of digestion, reddening of the face, a pain in a head.

Do not use for hemorrhagic stroke.


Take once a day for half an hour before breakfast, 2 tablets or capsules.

During treatment, nausea, upset of the stool, increased sweating, allergies may appear.

The drug is especially effective for the treatment of numbness of the face associated with diabetic or alcoholic polyneuropathy.

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs that eliminate signs of inflammation, can also remove swelling and promote resorption of infiltrates:

Mode of application

Side effects

Special instructions


The drug is prescribed for internal reception, after meals, 25 mg to 3 times a day.

At reception there can be a nausea, disturbances of appetite, weariness, a pain in a stomach.

Indomethacin should not be taken with ulcerative and inflammatory processes in the digestive system.


Is taken orally once a day, with food. The average dosage is 7.5-15 mg per day.

Possible gastric disorders, anemia, skin rashes, dizziness.

The drug is not prescribed for peptic ulcer, as well as pregnant and lactating women.

  • Preparations-chondroprotectors contribute to the restoration of cartilage and joints, which is especially important if the numbness of the face is caused by osteochondrosis of the cervical spine:

Mode of application

Side effects

Special instructions


Tablets appoint 1 pc. Thrice a day with food.

Perhaps the emergence of nausea, a disorder of the stool, headache, allergies in the form of skin rashes.

Usually the effect appears not earlier than 2 weeks from the beginning of treatment with the drug.


Assign as intramuscular injections, starting at a dosage of 0.3 ml per day, gradually increasing the dose. Duration of treatment - from 15 to 25 injections, depending on the amount of drug administered per day.

Sometimes during treatment, the patient's condition may worsen. This occurs approximately after the sixth injection. Further the state is normalized and improved without any additional correction.

Improvement occurs not earlier than 2-3 weeks after the start of the course of therapy.

  • Means that improve cerebral circulation, help to eliminate the numbness of the face, associated with a violation of the blood supply to the brain:

Mode of application

Side effects

Special instructions


Assign inside 400-800 mg three times a day. Duration of admission is from 6 to 8 weeks.

Perhaps a transient state of arousal, anxiety, insomnia, pain in the head.

In severe cases, injection of the drug is possible.


The drug is taken orally, after meals, 5-10 mg three times a day.

There may be tachycardia, blood pressure changes, sleep disorders.

During treatment, it is necessary to monitor the work of the heart on the ECG.

From the numbness of the face can get rid of, having completed treatment with certain drugs. But these medicines should be prescribed by the doctor, based on the results of diagnosis. Self-treatment with drugs is unacceptable, as this can cause irreparable harm to health.


If the numbness of the face is associated with a deficiency of vitamins in the body, the doctor prescribes an additional intake of multivitamin preparations to make up for the deficiency. Vitamins of group B are the basis of restorative treatment with loss of sensitivity, therefore it is necessary to take them regularly, according to the scheme compiled by the doctor.

  • Thiamine (B1) is a vitamin responsible for the normal functioning of the nervous system and nerve conduction. Thiamine is found in fish and meat dishes, eggs, oatmeal, beans, nuts.
  • Riboflavin (B2) - a vitamin that prevents headache, regulating the effect of increased stress on the nervous system. Riboflavin can be obtained from fermented milk products and meat.
  • Nicotinic acid (B3) is a vitamin that eliminates chronic fatigue, improves thought processes. Nicotinic acid is present in large quantities in various types of nuts, in buckwheat groats, in the liver.
  • Pantothenic acid (B5) is a vitamin that facilitates the unimpeded transmission of nerve impulses. Pantothenic acid can be found in all kinds of cabbage, in dairy products.
  • Pyridoxine (B6) is a vitamin that is responsible for the normal functioning of the entire nervous system. Contained in cereals, bananas, beans.
  • Folic acid (B9) is a vitamin that regulates nervous excitability. Folic acid is sufficient in nuts, fruits, cereals, vegetables.
  • Cyanocobalamin (B12) is a vitamin that is responsible for normal sleep and thinking. Cyanocobalamin is found in the products of the sea, milk, chicken.

Physiotherapeutic treatment

Modern medicine actively uses physiotherapeutic treatment to eliminate numbness of various etiologies, which improves the effectiveness of medicines and accelerates recovery. With the numbness of the face, the following procedures are successfully applied:

  • acupuncture - an acupuncture method that affects certain biologically active points on the body;
  • acupressure - the method of acupressure massage;
  • ultraphonophoresis - the use of ultrasonic vibrations to improve the blood supply of tissues.

In addition, the doctor can prescribe electrophoresis with vitamins, galvanic mud applications, exercise therapy.


Homeopathy is prescribed by a doctor in combination with traditional treatment of the causes of numbness in the face. If numbness is caused by osteochondrosis, Traumeel C can be prescribed. It is prescribed as follows:

  • for injection intramuscular injection - 1 ampoule per day;
  • in tablets - 1 pc. Three times a day, under the tongue.

With violations of cerebral circulation will help homeopathic remedies Gwako 6, Rustoks 6.

In the presence of tumor processes in the brain, you can resort to taking Banerzhi Protocol.

Vascular disorders often use the preparation Gelzemium (Virgin Jasmine). Gelzemium is used in small dilutions, the dosage is calculated and prescribed by the doctor.

If numbness is caused by psychosomatic disorders, neuroses, then in such cases the drug Nervocheel is indicated. The drug is taken under the tongue, an hour after eating. The maximum single dose is no more than one tablet. The general scheme of treatment and frequency of reception is prescribed by the doctor individually.

To date, homeopathic medicines are considered to be the safest, since they practically do not cause side-effects. Rarely can an allergic reaction to individual components of any of the agents occur. There are no contraindications to taking homeopathic remedies.

Operative treatment

Surgical treatment can be prescribed if numbness of the face has arisen as a result of complete rupture of the nerve fiber - for example, after trauma. The operation can give an effect if it is performed in a timely manner, in the first months after the onset of numbness. If this is not done, then the muscles can atrophy, and the nervous innervation will not be restored.

The operation to restore the nerve is quite complicated, but after it there is only a small scar behind the auricle. The consequences of numbness are almost imperceptible.

Alternative treatment

Alternative treatment for facial numbness can only be used as an adjunct therapy approved by the treating doctor.

If loss of sensitivity is caused by vascular disorders, then the following remedy can be used:

  • ½ kg of parsley root, as much celery root, one lemon and peel are ground in a meat grinder;
  • the mass is mixed with 150 g of honey;
  • the medicine is stored in the refrigerator;
  • a day should eat 4 tsp. Mass in the morning before breakfast.

With numbness, contrast compresses are helpful. Two bowls are prepared for the procedure, with hot and cold water. In each bowl, dip a towel. In turn, put a hot or cold towel to your face. So repeat up to 10 times. After the procedure, grease the face with a nourishing cream. For the best effect, you need about 15 such procedures, which should be performed daily, at night.

Also, a good effect gives a honey mask. For its preparation, prepare a mixture of 4 spoons of honey and 4 spoonfuls of warm water. Mass is applied to the face area for about 20 minutes, after which it is washed off with warm water.

It is useful to wipe your face with a medicine based on Ledum. Dry powdered plant in an amount of 10 grams is mixed with 30 ml of apple cider vinegar. Insist for 1 week, after which they are used for rubbing the affected areas 3 times a day.

Herbal treatment deserves special attention in the treatment of numbness in the face. The most often for alleviating the condition are prepared alcoholic tinctures, infusions and herbal decoctions:

  • clover;
  • horse chestnut;
  • willow bark;
  • leaves of birch.

The listed plant components increase blood flow and promote vasodilation, which directly affects the restoration of damaged nerves and tissues.

trusted-source[23], [24], [25]

Complications and consequences

How dangerous is the numbness of the face, the doctor determines. It all depends on the specific cause of the loss of sensitivity. In most cases, numbness goes by itself. However, if this condition arose on the basis of another serious pathology, then the likelihood of negative consequences significantly increases.

Numbness can be a consequence of cerebral circulation, vascular pathologies, nerve diseases. Sometimes severe illness leads to disability and even death. But to make conclusions about possible complications, not knowing the true cause of numbness, it is impossible.

That is why great importance is given to diagnostic procedures, the purpose of which is precisely to determine the cause of the violation of a person's sensitivity.

trusted-source[26], [27], [28], [29], [30], [31], [32], [33], [34], [35]


Prevention of numbness of the face can consist in the timely treatment of heart and vascular diseases, the annual diagnosis of cerebral vessels, regular monitoring of cholesterol and coagulation rates.

The health of blood vessels and the nervous system can be strengthened by following these tips:

  • It is necessary to protect the nervous system from stressful loads, avoid conflict situations;
  • it is important to lead a healthy lifestyle, to eat well and in a balanced way, to move more and walk in the fresh air;
  • should pay enough attention not only to work, but also to rest;
  • night sleep should not be less than 7-8 hours;
  • Regularly you need to monitor blood pressure and seek medical help in a timely manner.

If you give enough time to your health, the vessels and nervous system will properly perform their function, and the body will work smoothly, without failures.

trusted-source[36], [37], [38], [39], [40], [41], [42], [43], [44]


The prognosis of a person's numbness depends on the specific reasons that led to the loss of sensitivity, as well as the degree of development of the damaging factor. In most cases, if a person at an early stage noticed numbness and sought medical help, then the forecast can be called favorable.

It is mandatory to consult a doctor in such situations:

  • if the numbness of the face is combined with pain and a general feeling of weakness in the body;
  • if the sensitivity disappears not only in the face, but also in the limbs;
  • if the numbness of the face is complete, when the skin does not react not only to touch, but also to temperature stimuli;
  • if, simultaneously with loss of sensitivity, vision deteriorates;
  • if numbness is combined with mental disorders.

Numbness of the face is an uncomfortable and unpleasant condition that accompanies various diseases. If you follow the preventive measures and closely monitor your health, then numbness can not only be cured, but also prevent possible negative consequences.


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