In April, I woke up one night with sharp pain in my left ear. The next morning the left side of my head was very tender and later in the day, my left side of my face went numb. I went to the doctor, she couldn't figure anything out. The numbness went away the next day, so I did nothing else.
In May, the numbness of the left side of my face came back and remains today. The severity of it changes and there is sometimes shots of pain through my left ear associated with it. I am also having some pain in my left shoulder that can result in numbness of the left arm occassionally. I have had a CT scan, 2 brain MRIs, 1 C-spine MRI, numerous blood tests and everything has come back normal. The only thing that came back abnormal was the evoked potential testing and that was inconclusive. I also took corticosteroids this past week with no results.
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Hemi facial (half side) numbness is also seen in Bell’s palsy, trigeminal neuralgia where a spasm may cause numbness, or due to acoustic neuroma which is a benign tumor of the eighth cranial nerve. Sharp pain in the side of face could be due to injury to a nerve or pinched nerve, an infection or a trauma. Hence it could be Trigeminal neuralgia, abscess in tooth, exposed root canal, internal ear infection, maxillary sinusitis, TMJ, migraine, herpes (recurrent) without rash or fibromyalgia localized to face. Ear numbness or pain can be due to pinched cervical spinal nerves, TMJ, peripheral neuropathy as in diabetes, ear infection, cold and in Bell’s palsy, trigeminal neuralgia where a spasm may cause numbness, or due to acoustic neuroma which is a benign tumor of the eighth cranial nerve. It can also be an atypical migraine.
I think you should discuss these possibilities with your doctor. It is difficult to comment beyond this without examining. A comprehensive investigation is required keeping all the points in mind.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
Thank you for your response. I have currently seen my primary care physician twice, an ENT, a neurologist and been to the ER - no one can tell me what this is. I have an appointment with a new neurologist, but that isn't until December 17. I am assuming there is no tumor as nothing has shown up on the MRIs or CT scan. They have tested for infection, white blood count, etc and nothing, so I think ear infection, etc. can be ruled out. I have no loss of motor function, so I think Bell's palsy has been ruled out. These other alternatives are helpful, so I will look into it. Any suggestions on how to relieve the numbness since I don't have an appt until December?
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