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Numbness in Head: Why Does It Happen?

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The head and face receive sensations such as touch, cold or heat through the trigeminal nerve. When it is affected, a variety of symptoms can appear, including numbness in the skin in these areas.

Diseases such as viral infections, trauma, degenerative problems, such as multiple sclerosis, or tumors can give this type of sensation.

If you ask yourself ” why do I feel that part of my head falls asleep “, we invite you to continue reading this article by FastlyHealto know the answer.

The trigeminal nerve

The trigeminal is the nerve that receives sensation in the head . It is in charge of receiving sensations such as touch, cold and heat both in the face and in the anterior and upper area of ​​the head.

An alteration in its path from the brain to the skin can cause a tingling or numbness sensation . Pain or itching may also appear. A picture of severe pain and in crisis is known as trigeminal neuralgia . This can begin with tingling or numbness and after a few minutes lead to very significant pain.

Next, we will discuss what are the causes that can affect the trigeminal nerve and generate numbness of the face or head.

Viral infection

The herpes is one of the viruses that most commonly affects the trigeminal. It usually occurs in outbreaks when for some reason the defenses lower, which causes the appearance of numbness or tingling in the affected area.

After that, you will feel pain and small blisters with clear content will appear. When the lesions break, they give rise to ulcers.


These types of infections are limited, that is, after a while they will resolve themselves. If the defenses are low, the injury is very extensive or the duration of the disease is to be shortened, antiviral creams or antiviral tablets can be used.

Among the home measures that help limit the disease and facilitate recovery are:

  • Avoid sun exposure.
  • Eat light and healthy.
  • Using clarified butter or ghee on the injury: greatly accelerates the recovery from the injury.
  • Application of chamomile or calendula infusion: they are anti-inflammatory.


blow to the head can cause the trigeminal to be affected in some area of ​​its journey. If there is only inflammation, hopefully recovery will be quick. On the other hand, if the trauma was very important and the section of the nerve or a part of it occurred, it is more difficult to return to the previous state.


If head tingling or numbness started after trauma, it is important to seek medical advice quickly. Sometimes other important structures may also be affected.

First, an attempt will be made to find out where the nerve was affected and to what extent. In addition to a thorough history and examination, imaging tests such as a CT scan or MRI may be needed as appropriate.

If the injury is mild, spontaneous recovery can be expected. Rest, anti-inflammatories and maintaining a good diet are usually necessary. If there is any section of the nerve or a hematoma compressing it, a surgical procedure may be required.

In the following article, we explain what first aid is for blows to the head .

Muscle contractures

The chewing muscles are among the strongest in the body. When they contract, they can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including numbness in the head or face.

It can affect the jaw joint, generate itching in the ears, a feeling that they are plugged, headache and contractures in the neck.

The main cause why these muscles contract is bruxism . This occurs frequently at night and is an unconscious way of releasing tension. The problem is that it is not a very healthy way to do it.


If this is the problem, the main thing is to improve some habits so that bruxism improves:

  • Exercise regularly: movement is a healthy way to release tension and generate well-being.
  • To do stretches.
  • Apply heat.
  • Perform massages: these promote circulation in the contracted muscles.
  • Avoid eating things that are very hard or that involve opening your mouth too much.
  • Muscle relaxants can be taken, but it is really not recommended to do it frequently. Remember that all drugs have unfavorable side reactions.

Multiple sclerosis

One of the best known diseases that can cause nerve symptoms is multiple sclerosis . In it, the outermost layer of the nerves (myelin) is lost and nerve impulses cannot be conducted correctly . That is why it gives very varied symptoms such as loss of strength, loss of vision and, of course, numbness in the head or other areas of the body.


It is a chronic disease that evolves little by little, affecting various bodily functions. Improving eating habits, movement habits, promoting calm and stability are key so that the disease does not advance or even regress.

Among the pharmacological treatments may be indicated: corticosteroids, immunosuppressants or drugs that modify the evolution of the disease.


The abnormal growth of tissues in the trigeminal nerve tract can cause an alteration in its function. If a tumor of the nerve or its surroundings grows, it can cause symptoms such as:

  • Numbness in the area that innervates the trigeminal (face and head).
  • Pain.
  • Decreased strength of the chewing muscles.


If there is a possibility, the lesion can be removed.

In all kinds of chronic diseases, improving your diet and doing activities that generate well-being are keys to a good recovery.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why do I feel that part of my head is falling asleep , we recommend that you enter our Brain and Nerves category .

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