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left side of face numb, sometimes burning, could this be ms?
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left side of face numb, sometimes burning, could this be ms?

Hello, I'm sure this has been asked before but I'm just scared and without a doctor, trying to work on getting insurance today because I just can't take these symptoms anymore and I'm willing to pay for the doctor on my own even though it's extremely difficult.

Since June 2006 I have been having a tingly sensation in the left side of my face that comes and goes.  The first time it happened I thought I had slept on my side wrong but it lasted all day. Finally that night I called an advice nurse (at the time I had insurance) and they were worried it was a stroke so I went to ER, where they couldn't find anything wrong and I went home.  The numbness wasn't there the next day, so I didn't think about it again until August of the same year, where it came back.  I was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy, which I was told would go away on its own since I had a mild case.  It went away after about 2 weeks.

Then every now and then through out the year I would get that tingly, numbness again.  It is so difficult to ignore, and sometimes it feels like it burns.  I have had anxiety attacks in the past, and so family members think it is me doing this to myself.  But it is always the same part of my face so I don't think that stress and anxiety could cause it in certain nerves and not in others.  I wish it were just nerves, but I don't see how it could last for weeks.  I have now had this numbing sensation for 2 and a half weeks.  It goes away a little and then comes back, so its visiting me way more frequently.Sometimes it feels like it is coming from my ear and spreading to the nerves in my face, down to my neck and left arm sometimes.  But nothing is noticeably wrong, as in, no one can tell as in Bell's Palsy when the face droops down and others can tell.  I can feel everything as well, so numbness isn't the best way to describe it but the only way I feel I can.  I have read about so many different things it could be..MS seems to be a possibility but these are my only symptoms so I'm not sure.  Does anyone know what this could be?  Any input is greatly appreciated..I am female and 25 by the way.
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Avatar_n_tn
I don't know what it is, but I've had it for over a year.  The left side of my face goes numb or tingly....the drs have no answer for me.  Some say stress, but I didn't have a big amount of stress until these symptoms.
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147426_tn?1317269232
Hi, I'm so sorry no one answered your post.  Sometimes, the forum gets so busy someone gets overlooked, but that doesn't help you.  It sounds like both of you are having a dysasthesia or parathesia (wrong and obnoxious sensation from a nerve) from the Trigeminal Nerve which is the 5th Cranial Nerve.  If it were pain it would be a classic description of a severe and painful condition called Trigeminal Neuralgia.  I was taught that some people who will develop full-blown Trigeminal Neuralgia will have a period of months to years beforehand when they just have "odd" sensations in the nerve, such as both of you describe.  Here is a discussion of this:

http://www.umanitoba.ca/cranial_nerves/trigeminal_neuralgia/manuscript/anatomy.html

(This site discusses the different forms of TN and Section D discuss the PRE-TN tingling part.

Of course, I can't examine either of you, but I disagree with the assessment of a Bell's Palsy.  This is a condition which results from trauma to the facial nerve with is the VII Cranial nerve.  Mostly it controls the muscles of facial expression.  It's only sensation is a certain area of the taste buds on the tongue, and a few areas inside the ear and just behind the ear.  So where you describe the numbness/tingling doesn't fit with Bell's (7th nerve)Palsy.  

I do not believe AT ALL that this kind of nerve sensation results from being under stress.  It is too defined and too specific.  Problems with the Trigeminal nerve can occur with pressure on the nerve at some pooint after it leaves the brain stem (it is one of the 12 cranial nerves).  It can be a result of infection, virus or other infections of the central nervous system like Lyme Disease.  It can also happen without any cause being determined.

And, since you landed on an MS site, it can be one of the presentations of MS.  A small percentage (probably less than 5%) of  people with this condition will go on to develop MS and vice versa.  So, with this sensation alone, MS is possible, but pretty unlikely.

I would seek out a neurologist knowledgable in treating TN and see what they recommend.  I believe an MRI would be appropriate to rule MS or a tumor, both of which can cause this.  I relaize that MRI's are expensive.  There are several medications which can be used to treat the pain (so I would presume they would treat the sensations prior to the pain) such as Tegretol, Lyrica, and several others. Sometimes the med treatment is VERY successful.   I also have heard that in Europe they have used the over-the-counter supplement Alpha Lipoic Acid 600mg per day for this condition.  I do not recommend that you treat this own your own, though without a thorough evaluation by a qualified physician (which I am not).

One other possibility  is that this numbness is part of a migraine attack, where there is the preceeding numbness , but the person never gets the headache afterwards.  This is where a neurologist would be more helpful.

Good luck and let us know what happens.

Quix
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you Quix, I'll be sure to check out that discussion.  This problem has forced me to look into getting a new insurance plan, which is good anyway.  When I have some answers I will post back.  

One thing that did happen is my boyfriend started to massage my neck and said especially on my left side I had a lot of tension and suddenly I felt better, this was about 4 days ago, since then I've been feeling better but today its back, although not as strong.  Wondering if this means anything..oh well bf isn't a doctor so we'll see what they have to say.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi.  I am going through the same symptoms right now.  And I also have an anxiety/Panic Disorder.  I am sick of people telling me its all in my head that I make things worse than what they are.  I have been experiencing this on and off for about 6 years. This weekend I went for an MRA, just like an MRI but it looks at the arteries and vessels.  They did that because I have family history of aneurysms.  The Doc is testing for TIA's, lupus, B12 deficiency, etc.  I am really nerous myself.  and I only started having these panic attacks and anxiety issues when I started having the pain.  If you want to talk about it you are more than welcome to IM me.  My name is Keri and my AIM is DreamQueen52680.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 29 year old woman I have type 2 diabetes I ahve experienced numbness in the lower left side of my face with it I am dizzy and my vision is blurred sometimes I also have MS in my family what could this be?
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