ZocdocAnswersI have numbness that comes and goes in my face, what could cause this?

Question

I have numbness that comes and goes in my face, what could cause this?

History of migraine, numbness in hand and foot too

Answer

Unprovoked changes in sensation is a concerning symptom, and it is important that you schedule an appointment to see a neurologist, so that he or she can obtain a more thorough history, perform a physical examination, and run appropriate testing. Although there are several conditions that can cause a sensory perception of numbness, two immediately come to mind in your case. The first of these is sensory changes associated with migraines. Migraines can manifest themselves in many different ways, and they may even occur without an associated headache. Migraines are thought to cause transient vascular (relating to blood vessels) changes within the brain that can result in symptoms such as focal weakness, dizziness, vision changes, and even numbness and tingling. Given your history of migraines, this is one possible cause of your sensory changes. Another potential cause of your symptoms is multiple sclerosis. This condition is characterized by neuroloic changes that are separated by time and space, meaning that the symptoms occur at different times during your life and affect different parts of the brain and body. Your history of numbness in your hand and foot and now your experience of numbness in your face fit this description and warrant further investigation. Transient ischemic attacks ("mini strokes") would be another concerning underlying cause of intermittent sensory changes. However, for both transient ischemic attacks and multiple sclerosis, your age and other medical conditions would be very important to ascertain in order to determine how likely these conditions would be in your case. Again, I highly recommend making an appointment to see a neurologist, so that he or she can perform a more complete evaluation in order to arrive at the correct diagnosis and offer any treatment options that would be indicated.

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

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