What Causes Head Numbness?

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What Causes Head Numbness?
What Causes Head Numbness? (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

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Keep Track of Your Symptoms

If you are experiencing numbness on any part of your head, it is most likely caused by a disturbance between your nerve endings and your skin. Many types of illnesses and conditions can cause head numbness, so it is very important when you speak to your physician that you are able to tell him everything you can about your discomfort. Make a list of all of your symptoms, and keep track of when they occur. Your doctor will want to know where the numbness is located, whether or not it is accompanied by a tingling sensation, loss, double or reduction of vision, ringing in the ears, loss of balance, slurred speech, twitches, sharp or dull pain in your extremities, chest or head, nausea, vomiting, appetite changes or weakness in your arms or legs.

Possible Causes

Conditions that may cause head numbness include cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, medical complications from prior surgeries or treatments, multiple sclerosis (MS), stroke, blood disorders, immune disorders, autoimmune problems, hereditary conditions, fibromyalgia, nutritional deficiencies, joint or bone disorders, migraine syndrome, toxins, metabolic disorders, cancers, spinal cord injury, head injury, circulatory disorders, panic or anxiety attacks, syphilis, herpes, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, epilepsy, Lyme disease or shingles.

Other neurological conditions may also cause symptoms of head numbness, and because the symptoms may be similar in many conditions, misdiagnosis is not uncommon. Get a second opinion if your symptoms do not improve within two weeks after your doctor has made a diagnosis and started therapy.

Treatments

If you are experiencing head numbness for the first time and have not yet seen a doctor for your condition, call a physician right away. Your symptoms may be related to a serious or life-threatening condition, and only a trained clinician can properly diagnose the cause. Depending on the severity and duration of your head numbness, possible treatments may include blood pressure medication, surgery for damaged nerve endings, anti-inflammatory drug therapy, antidepressants, anticoagulant drugs, lifestyle and diet change, oral medication or creams, acyclovir for herpes or shingles, steroids or physical or psychological therapy.

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