A year-old Caucasian female presents to the emergency department ED with a complaint of facial numbness that was isolated to her left cheek. She described a tingling sensation in her left cheek that began approximately one hour prior, which she noticed while drinking coffee and having her breakfast. Concerned that she might be having a stroke, she drove herself to the ED for immediate evaluation. She denies ever having similar symptoms previously. There have been no recent changes in the doses of her prescribed medications, nor have there been any changes in her activities of daily living.
Numbness refers to the partial or complete loss of sensation. It can be a symptom of nervous system malfunction. People with numbness may be unable to feel light touch, pain, temperature, or vibration or to know where parts of their body are position sense. When people do not know where parts of their body are, they have problems with balance and coordination. Many people mistakenly use the term numbness when they have abnormal sensations such as tingling, prickling, or a pins-and-needles sensation or when a limb feels weak or is paralyzed—perhaps partly because people with numbness often also have such abnormal sensations and symptoms. The presence of other symptoms depends on what is causing numbness.
Facial nerve disorders can cause weakness on one or both sides of your face. You might lose your facial expressions, and find it difficult to eat, drink and speak clearly. It can also become difficult to close your eye and blink, which can lead to damage to your cornea. It's also known as idiopathic unilateral facial paralysis.