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Face Numbness

For the last two weeks I have experienced 'pins and needles' sensations in the left side of my face especially behind my left eye and ear. The sensation goes occasionally to my lower lip then moves to my top lip but the location of the sensation is mainly in my left eye. I thought at first I was having stroke symptoms but it's been two weeks and there is a constant pain in the midpart of my neck at the base of my skull. Should I see a Dr. in an office of is this something that will go away? My concern of course is not knowing what it is and then the obvious, MY EYE!!! This is always followed by a very LOUD ringing in my left ear. Thank you for any help you can provide. sdann
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284078 tn?1282616698
Could be a disorder of the facial nerve (5th cranial nerve.)  Also auditory nerve (8th crainial nerve) could also be involved.  Could also be a generalized neuropathy.  A fairly major workup may be needed.  I strongly recommend you see your primary care physician right away and get a referral to see a neurologist and an ophthalmologist immediately.  Trigeminal neuralgia is a possility.  I'm unclear how the ear and neck fit into your case.  It's a complex case.  If  you get a chance, let us know what they discover.

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152264 tn?1280354657
It often takes weeks or even months to get in to see a neurologist for a first visit. Don't be surprised if you have to wait. They may not consider this an emergency. You may be able to get in to see an ophthalmologist or an ENT (for the ringing) much sooner.

I have had a LOT of strange facial sensations on both sides including "crawling," stabbing pains, and electric shocks around my eye, cheek, side of nose, upper lip, teeth, and even stabs in the corner of my eye. They did MRIs, considered MS, etc., but nothing was ever diagnosed in the many years I've had these symptoms. Hope you will be luckier in getting a diagnosis (but I also hope it is nothing serious, and it probably isn't, especially if it's only on one side of your face). I also had hearing loss. You should probably try to get your hearing checked as soon as possible, given the ringing.

The facial nerve is the 7th cranial nerve (which runs together with the 8th cranial nerve from the brain toward the ear) and controls the movement of facial muscles. The 5th cranial nerve, a.k.a. the trigeminal nerve, controls sensation to the face and some other parts of the head. I think the 5th nerve is what would be involved in strange sensations in the face, eye, etc. But I think (not sure) that some of the cervical (neck) spinal nerves run upwards, too, so I wonder if the pain in your neck could be related? Just wildly guessing (no medical training here--just learned a dangerously little bit from reading as a layperson when I developed all these strange symptoms).

Hopefully your PCP will be helpful in sorting all this out ASAP. Do NOT let your PCP blow off your symptoms--and be sure to mention the ear ringing. My hearing loss was not diagnosed until a month after it happened (they kept telling me it was wax or a plugged Eustachian tube when in fact it was a severe sensorineural hearing loss).

Nancy T.
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