Hypesthesia- A medical condition where there is reduced sensation to stimulus in any part of the body. It also refers to some degree of loss of sensation to the sensory stimuli, a nerve ending which responds to a stimulus. Hypesthesia or Numbness may affect any part of the body. When Hypesthesia or Numbness affects the facial nerves, it is called as Facial Hypesthesia or Facial Numbness. In this article, we are going to discuss about what Facial Hypesthesia or Facial Numbness means and its causes, symptoms, and diagnosis.
What Is Facial Hypesthesia or Facial Numbness?
Hypesthesia in layman's terms can be understood as numbness. It means a lack of skin sensation which can be either partial or complete over any part of the body. Numbness of Hypesthesia in any part of the body suggests nerve dysfunction but can also occur due to some defects in the central nervous system. Hypesthesia often goes hand in had with paresthesias, which means a tingling sensation. Facial numbness or Facial Hypesthesia can develop as a result of an injury or dysfunction of branches of cranial nerve supplying the trigeminal nerve. It is rare but Facial Hypesthesia can also be caused due to certain brain disorders. Facial nerve dysfunction will not cause Facial Hypesthesia.
Causes of Facial Hypesthesia or Facial Numbness
Facial Hypesthesia or Facial Numbness can be caused due to a number of underlying medical conditions some of which are illustrated below:
- Peripheral Neuropathy: Peripheral nerve dysfunction which in the case of Facial Hypesthesia is the trigeminal nerve can occur due to variety of reasons which are vitamin deficiency, diabetes, excessive alcohol abuse, lead poisoning etc. In some cases electrolyte imbalance can also cause peripheral nerve dysfunction leading to Facial Hypesthesia.
- Multiple Sclerosis: Multiple Sclerosis which affects the trigeminal nerve or brain regions which are responsible for facial sensations can cause Facial Hypesthesia.
- Nerve Injury: Injury to different branches of trigeminal nerve can result in Facial Hypesthesia. Nerve injury can also occur as a result of sleeping in an awkward position which may result in prolonged compression of nerves of the face.
Symptoms Of Facial Hypesthesia or Facial Numbness
Some Of The Symptoms Of Facial Hypesthesia or Facial Numbness Are:
- Numbness of skin
- Numbness around the lip area
- Facial paresthesias
- Paresthesias around the lips
- Numbness around the cheek region
- Bluish discoloration of the face
Diagnosis of Facial Hypesthesia or Facial Numbness
In order to diagnose the underlying cause of Facial Hypesthesia, physician takes a detailed history and conducts a physical examination, especially of the facial region.
The Physician May Ask Following Questions In Order To Come Up With A Precise Reason For Facial Hypesthesia or Facial Numbness:
- Apart from the face is the numbness present around the eyes, cheek, or mouth?
- Is the numbness present on both sides of the face or only one?
- Is there discoloration of face?
- How long it has been since these symptoms started?
- Is there anything which makes it go away?
Apart from checking for the above, he may conduct routine blood examination to look for the underlying cause of Facial Hypesthesia or Facial Numbness.
Treatment for Facial Hypesthesia or Facial Numbness
For treatment of Facial Hypesthesia or Facial Numbness, the individual has to diligently take the medications prescribed by the physician. Tricyclic antidepressants can also be used since its function is to block nerve messages sent to brain and may help with easing out Facial Hypesthesia. Antiseizure medications may also help since it alters the body's perception of pain and may reduce Facial Hypesthesia. Vitamin B supplements need to be taken daily. Some researchers are of the belief that a decrease in the level of vitamin B-12 can increase the risk of Facial Hypesthesia or Facial Numbness. Also, it is recommended that the individual suffering with Facial Hypesthesia see an occupational therapist to cope with the symptoms which can affect eating or drinking. The occupational therapist may suggest different exercises which can help with Facial Hypesthesia or Facial Numbness and help cope up with the symptoms. A visit to a physical therapist might also be useful as the therapist can suggest ointments or creams to help relieve Facial Hypesthesia or Facial Numbness.