Causes and Treatments of Facial Numbness During Pregnancy

Updated on May 4, 2018
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Dr. Suresh Kumar lives in India and enjoys writing about medical topics.

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What Causes Facial Numbness During Pregnancy?

Facial numbness during pregnancy can be due to hormonal issues or inadequate nutrients in the body. One of the complications of pregnancy is Bell’s palsy development. This condition is self-limiting, but it can be sudden and can make a pregnant woman panic. Bell’s palsy usually occurs during the 3rd trimester and is three times more common in pregnant women. Symptoms include painless loss of facial muscle function and loss of taste.

Headaches are also common during pregnancy. This is primarily caused by tension and chemical changes. Although rare, facial numbness will accompany a headache. Vitamin B12 deficiency can also be a cause of facial numbness during pregnancy. It is highly advised for expecting mothers to eat an adequate diet and rest.

Medical Disclaimer

It's always important to see a doctor when experiencing facial numbness since there are a number of different causes. If there is an abrupt change in the level of consciousness, seek medical attention immediately.

Other Causes of Facial Numbness

Injury

  • Nerve damage in the face, neck, or spine can be a root cause of facial numbness due to a decreased sensation in the face.
  • This could be from force, impact, or exposure to cold temperatures.

Neuropathy

  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic condition that can cause facial numbness. MS is a disorder that involves dysfunctional nerve-relaying signals between the body and the brain.
  • A tumor in the brain can cause numbness and alter nerve functions.
  • Bell’s palsy is a self-limiting but painful form of facial paralysis. The seventh cranial nerve is duly affected, which is the facial nerve. There is no known cause for this condition.
  • Trigeminal neuralgia can also cause facial numbness. But this condition involves intense facial pain that may accompany the numbness.

Sitting or sleeping position

  • Sitting or sleeping in a bad position can trigger numbness. For example, during sleep, you might put more pressure on your face, which can cause numbness. But this numbness can be self-limiting and can be followed by a prickling or tingling sensation.

A migraine

  • Numbness of the face usually accompanies a migraine, which makes the condition more intolerable.
  • A migraine should be treated accordingly to help ease discomfort.

Stroke

  • A typical sign that you are having a stroke or impending stroke is the feeling of numbness in the face. Usually, it is on one side, indicating that a specific lobe of the brain is affected.

Common cold

  • A cold can sometimes result in facial numbness. This may be due to nasal stuffiness and the damp feeling you get when you have this respiratory infection.

Vitamin B12 deficiency

  • Cases have been reported that those who are deficient in Vitamin B12 are prone to numbness in the face and even in other areas of the body.

What Are the Symptoms That Accompany Facial Numbness?

Facial numbness has a number of causes. Here are other symptoms that sometimes accompany the numbness:

  • Pain
  • Tingling sensations
  • Paralysis
  • Redness or swelling
  • Sensitive to touch
  • Muscle weakness

These symptoms can signal that things are getting worse. However, when there is an abrupt change in the level of consciousness of the patient, seek medical attention immediately. This can be a sign of a cerebrovascular accident (stroke). Other unlikely symptoms would be slurred speech, paralysis of another body part, and change in vision.

What Are Treatment Options for Facial Numbness?

  • If you have facial numbness and it's disrupting your daily life, call your physician immediately. Your doctor can examine you and look into your medical history to determine any causes.
  • Doctors will usually prescribe medicines that block nerve impulses that are causing the pain and numbness.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants and anti-seizure medications have also been found effective in treating this condition.
  • Daily Vitamin B supplements are recommended.
  • Seeing an occupational therapist is a must for those with underlying conditions of neuropathy. Techniques should be taught to avoid further damage or worsen the condition, especially after a stroke. Follow the strict treatment for neuropathy involvement.
  • Another advisable remedy is proper positioning when sleeping. Sleeping on your stomach can cause facial numbness the next day, so it's better to avoid this position.

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