Facial Paresthesias: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment- Medications, Surgery

Paresthesia is the medical terminology used for a change in sensation in part of the body. This is usually temporary. However, if it starts to occur more frequently then it may represent a neurological problem in that individual. Usually, paresthesias involve a prickling or a tingling sensation. A very brief sense of coolness or heat may also be accompanied. There are crawling and itching sensations that may be felt with paresthesias. There are two types of paresthesias, transient and chronic. Transient paresthesias occur briefly and last for a very short period of time, for example legs falling asleep when squatting for a long period of time. Chronic paresthesias are a more chronic condition and are usually caused by some malfunction of neurons. When the above described sensations or paresthesias occur in the facial region, then it is called as Facial Paresthesias. In this article, we will go in detail about the various causes, symptoms, and treatment of Facial Paresthesias.

Facial Paresthesias

How Do We Define Facial Paresthesias?

Facial Paresthesia is the term used to describe a sensation of numbness and tingling in face and is generally caused by some kind of injury to Trigeminal Nerve. The general symptoms which an individual suffering from Facial Paresthesia will experience are sensation of pins and needles, tightness in the face, and facial numbness. In addition to some sort of damage to the nerves, Facial Paresthesias may also be caused as a result of cold temperatures, nutritional traits, or a host of other medical conditions. In many cases, the exact etiology of Facial Paresthesias remains unknown even after extensive medical tests and examinations.

If an individual has Facial Paresthesia, then it does not mean that the individual had a life-threatening disease condition. The condition where emergency medical attention needs to be sought is when this sensation of Facial Paresthesias is accompanied by a numbness and tingling sensation of the upper and lower extremities, which can be an indication of a stroke. If the symptoms of Facial Paresthesia are sudden in onset, then again medical evaluation needs to be done.

Causes of Facial Paresthesias

For majority of cases of Facial Paresthesias, the main cause identified is nerve damage. This nerve damage may be as a result of some trauma to the face or as a result of some disease process. The two main disease conditions which can cause Facial Paresthesia are Multiple Sclerosis and Diabetes. If an individual has some issues involving the jaw or the trigeminal nerve, then that individual can also be prone to Facial Paresthesias.

Some of the other causes of Facial Paresthesia are hormonal irregularities, nutritional deficiency, exposure to colder temperatures etc. There are some medications which can also cause Facial Paresthesias, especially anti-epileptics.

Symptoms of Facial Paresthesias

The Signs And Symptoms Of Facial Paresthesias Are As Follows:

  • Sensation of tingling in the face
  • Numbness sensation in the face
  • Feeling of an unusual sensation in the face

Diagnosis of Facial Paresthesias

In order to diagnose the underlying cause of Facial Paresthesias, the physician may take a detailed history and conduct a physical examination.

During The History Taking, The Physician May Ask The Following Questions:

  • Apart from the face is the numbness and tingling present around the eyes, cheek, or mouth?
  • Are both sides of the face involved or is it unilateral?
  • Is there a change in the color of the face, or does it feel cold or warm?
  • Are there any other abnormal sensations?
  • How long it has been since the symptoms started?
  • Is there anything which makes it better or worse?

Apart from that he may take x-rays or check a blood work to look for the underlying cause of Facial Paresthesias.

Treatment for Facial Paresthesias

The treatment for Facial Paresthesias is dependent on the underlying etiology of the condition. Generally, prescription medications are used, although it is not effective for everyone suffering from Facial Paresthesias. In some cases, injections may be given directly into trigeminal nerve. Surgical procedure may be attempted to repair the damaged part of the facial nerve to help relieve symptoms. If these Facial Paresthesias are not caused due to a brain dysfunction like a stroke, then it is very difficult to identify a successful treatment for Facial Paresthesias. The physician can come up with a plan of care for the patient in order to relieve symptoms, depending on what he finds objectively and based on test results.