Facial Tingling

Facial Tingling Can Have Many Causes

Facial tingling can be a somewhat upsetting phenomenon. We're somewhat used to this condition when it occurs elsewhere in the body, such as when our arm falls “asleep” when we've been lying on it, or our leg tingles when we've been sitting in one position for too long. We attribute this type of tingling to the application of too much pressure for too long a time on certain nerves. This doesn't seem to be the case as far as facial tingling is concerned, yet there are similarities.

The tingling phenomenon, often accompanied by a feeling of numbness, is called parasthesia. It is usually a temporary situation, and seldom seems to have any long term effects. Whatever the underlying cause may be, it is nerve cells that are affected, and if for some reason it is nerve cells in the face that are affected,  parasthesia or numbness and tingling can be experienced just as easily in the face as in any other part of the body. There are several major nerve groupings which directly affect the face.

Nerves Affecting The Face - The mandibular nerve, consists of two branches, one branch traveling along the jawbone to the sides of the chin and the skin along the jaw, the other branch centering on the side of the face below the earlobe.  The maxillary nerve comes into close proximity with the skin below the eyes and travels down the cheeks, along the upper lip, the nose and below the eyelids. The ophthalmic nerve enters the facial tissues above the eyes, providing nerve endings in the forehead and top of the head. Something that irritates or puts pressure on these nerve groupings or the nerve endings could cause facial tingling or numbness, depending upon which nerves are affected.

Facial numbness can be caused by a neurological disease or disorder, vascular disorders, metabolic changes or infections. Within these major types of disorder are many possible causes.

Disease And Trauma - Shingles for example, can produce facial tingling, usually only on one side. While shingles is often associated with a painful rash or blisters, this is not always the case. At times the one and only symptom of shingles can be tingling or numbness. Parasthesia can also be caused by trauma, something as simple as a dental procedure, or as serious as a stroke. Facial tingling is but one symptom of multiple sclerosis, an auto immune disease which affects among other things the spinal cord and central nervous system. An injury to the spinal cord can bring on similar symptoms.

Allergies, Poisons, And Metabolic Changes - Facial tingling does not necessarily mean an underlying disease is the cause. Allergic reactions can be experienced as tingling or numbness, especially around the area of the mouth. Mild food poisoning is often a cause of facial tingling, as is an infection or abscess in proximity to one of the major nerve systems. Facial tingling can also be triggered by certain changes in metabolism, whether it be due to a thyroid condition, or simply a deficiency in one or more nutrients. Deficiencies or excesses in minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium have been known to be responsible for triggering parasthesia, in the face or elsewhere in the body.

Other External Causes - The cause behind facial tingling may come from an external source. Many disorders can be traced back to a medication one is taken. Radiation treatments have been known to cause tingling and numbness, as has chemotherapy. Withdrawal form alcohol, especially if one has been drinking heavily is often a cause of facial tingling. Even some types of arthritis can manifest themselves as tingling or numbness in parts of the body, including the face.

The list goes on, and an occurrence of facial tingling generally will give no clue as to what the underlying cause may be. It is always a good idea to consult with a primary care provider should this condition be experienced, and certainly if it is being experienced with any frequency. A cure for facial tingling is most likely dependent upon treating or curing the underlying condition.