Numbness in any part of the body is a signal that something is amiss in the neural network of that part. Now, how severe is the issue varies greatly among individuals. In some cases, the underlying cause could be an injury, while in others, it may be a medical condition. Also, in most cases, the problem seems to resolve on its own. However, this is not true in all circumstances, which do require medical help. What you would read in the following is about the possible factors which may cause numbness on right side of the face.
Causes of Face Numbness
Cause # 1
One common cause for the right or the left side of the face to go numb could be a condition known as Bell's palsy. This tends to affect only one side of the face, and in rare cases, both the sides. The facial muscles are controlled by a set of nerves. Due to some reasons, the nerves on one side of the face swell up and suffer inflammation. So the affected side of the face may feel numb and stiff. People who are vulnerable to develop this condition are the ones between 15 - 60 years of age. If the numbness on one side of the face is accompanied by symptoms like pain, headache, loss of taste and hearing sensitivity, then one may suspect this very condition to have set in.
Cause # 2
It may happen that the facial nerves have to withstand too much pressure from their surrounding muscles, bones, and tendons. When the pressure exceeds beyond a certain limit, the nerves may get damaged, and malfunction. And this damage is signaled by numbness, pain and weakness in the affected part of the face, which could be the right, left or even both sides of the face.
Cause # 3
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder of the body. As the name suggests, here, the body's own immune system attacks the tissues of the body. So, in this case, the disorder attacks the nerves thus, causing a disruption in the messages that are relayed by them to different parts of the body. And one of the repercussions of this malfunction could be numbness on right side of the face, or even the left side.
Other offenders could include:
- Acoustic neuroma [characterized by the growth of a tumor (non-cancerous) on the nerve between the inner ear and the brain]
- Brain aneurysm [a condition wherein, a bulge forms in a blood vessel in the brain]
- Hyperventilation [Too much and increased rate of breathing]
- Injury to the head, neck or spine
- Peripheral neuropathy [Nerve damage; mostly affects the limbs]
- Spinal tumor [A non-cancerous or a cancerous growth may develop within, near or on the bones of the spinal cord]
- Syphilis [a bacterial infection; an STD]
- Trauma to the face
- Vasculitis [blood vessels become inflamed]
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
The solution to the problem lies in treating the underlying cause. If we speak of Bell's palsy as the cause, then treating it will deal with the problem of numbness automatically. The treatment options to correct this ailment include medications, physical therapy and surgery. Under medication, corticosteroids (reduce swelling), and antiviral drugs (in case a virus has caused it.) are prescribed. Physical therapy is about massaging the facial muscles to reduce the likelihood of contractures which results once the muscles are paralyzed. And when nothing responds, surgery is the option to go for. However, this option is not so popular as it is rarely recommended by professionals.
As you can see, most of the causes are severe by nature. And that is why it is important to immediately seek medical assistance if you notice any numbness on your face that is prolonged than normal.