ZocdocAnswersIs my cold causing the numbness in my face?

Question

Is my cold causing the numbness in my face?

I have a cold that is lasting kind of a long time (8 days). Now I have some numbness in the left side of my nose and my upper lip. Is it from the cold? Why else would I have numbness?

Answer

A cold is caused by a virus that infects the upper respiratory tract. As you know, it causes a runny nose, a sore throat, sometimes a nasty cough, and often makes us feel run down and generally crummy. The numbness you feel on the left side of your nose and upper lip is unlikely to be caused by a cold virus. Cold viruses do not generally infect or affect nerves and this is what would be needed for this symptom to occur. Numbness in this area is caused by some condition that affects the trigeminal nerve. This is the nerve that sends signals of pain, touch, and temperature feelings from the face to the brain. One even that can cause this is a stroke, but it would be extremely unusual for a stroke to only cause numbness in such a small area. If you have had previous strokes this should still be considered. Another possibility that is somewhat more likely is that you have a viral infection with a virus from the herpes family of viruses. Cold sores that are caused by herpes viruses can start off as areas of numbness on the face. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she will take a detailed history of your symptoms and perform a neurological exam. From there, you should get the answers you need.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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