A number of conditions can cause numbness in the left side of the face. Some of these conditions aren’t cause for concern. Others are life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
Numbness in the left side of the face can be a sign of a stroke. You should seek emergency medical care right away if you or someone you know experiences the following symptoms:
- numbness, weakness, or tingling, often on one side of the body
- difficulty speaking or understanding speech
- lack of coordination
- vertigo or balance problems
- dizziness or fatigue
- nausea or vomiting
- vision loss in one or both eyes
- severe headache
Symptoms of stroke come on suddenly. Fast treatment is required to minimize damage to the brain.
Read on to find out more about the causes of left-sided facial numbness.
Numbness, including facial numbness, is often related to nerve damage. A number of different conditions can affect the facial nerve, triggering symptoms such as left-sided facial numbness. Some of the most common causes of left-sided facial numbness are listed below.
Bell’s palsy is a condition that affects the facial nerve and the muscles of the face. Signs and symptoms of Bell’s palsy include:
- facial weakness and paralysis
- facial drooping
- ear or jaw pain or pressure on the affected side
- increased sensitivity to sound
- decreased sensitivity to taste
- abnormal tear or saliva production
Bell’s palsy typically affects the entire left side of the face or the entire right side. In rare cases, it affects both sides of the face at the same time.
Symptoms of Bell’s palsy are similar to those of other life-threatening conditions, such as stroke. You should seek medical attention right away for these symptoms.
Common bacterial and viral infections can affect the facial nerve, causing numbness on the left side of the face.
Infections that can cause one-sided facial numbness include:
- dental infections
- influenza (flu)
- HIV or AIDS
- Lyme disease
- respiratory infections
Infections can cause numbness in the entire left or right side of the face, or just a part of the face. In some cases, both sides of the face are affected. Additional symptoms are often present.
If you have an infection, seeking treatment may help to alleviate facial numbness.
Migraines are intense headaches that can be accompanied by nervous system symptoms, including left-sided facial numbness. Some common migraine symptoms include:
- throbbing or pulsing head pain
- nausea and vomiting
- sensitivity to sounds, light, smells, or touch
- blurred vision or vision loss
- tingling in the limbs
- dizziness and sometimes fainting
- difficulty speaking
- seeing flashes, shapes, or bright spots
Migraine headaches can affect the left or the right side of the face. Numbness may appear in parts of the face or the whole face.
You should call a doctor if you experience new symptoms or changes in your migraine pattern. Certain migraine symptoms are similar to the symptoms of a stroke. Seek emergency medical assistance if you experience the symptoms of a stroke.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. Left-sided facial numbness is a common sign of MS. It may be one of the first signs to appear prior to a diagnosis.
Other signs and symptoms include:
- pain, numbness, or tingling in the body or limbs, sometimes on one side
- vision loss, often in one eye
- double vision
- tremors and lack of coordination
- slurred speech
- weakness, dizziness, and fatigue
- bladder and bowel problems
- sharp, painful sensations during neck movements
MS can cause partial or full numbness on the left side of the face. It can also affect the right side of the face or sometimes both sides of the face.
MS requires medical treatment. You should make an appointment with your doctor if you experience any of the above symptoms without a known cause.
A stroke is a life-threatening condition that can cause numbness on the left side of the face, among other symptoms. The symptoms of a stroke are listed at the beginning of this article.
Facial numbness caused by a stroke can typically affect the entire left side of the face. It can also affect the right side of the face or both sides at the same time.
A stroke is a medical emergency that requires swift action to minimize brain damage. Contact emergency medical services right away.
Other causes of left-sided facial numbness include:
- brain injuries
- dental surgery
- head or neck tumors
- autoimmune diseases, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome
- transient ischemic attacks
- chemical burns
- heat or fire burns
- severe allergic reactions
- cold exposure
- severe diabetic neuropathy
- severe anemia
Left-sided facial numbness is cause for concern. It isn’t always caused by a serious medical problem, but you should contact a doctor to be sure. If you don’t already have a primary care doctor, the Healthline FindCare tool can help you find a physician in your area.
If you experience sudden left-sided facial numbness in combination with other stroke symptoms, you should call emergency health services right away.
You should share any symptoms you are experiencing with your doctor, even if you don’t think they are related to your facial numbness. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking medication or have other health conditions.
Your doctor might conduct a physical exam and ask you about your medical history. You might also be asked to complete a series of movements. Other tests that can help your doctor understand the cause of left-sided facial numbness include blood tests, imaging scans, and electromyography.
Management for left-sided facial numbness depends on the cause. Treating the underlying cause may help to alleviate or eliminate numbness. Sometimes facial numbness goes away on its own.
There are currently no drugs available to treat left-sided facial numbness. Over-the-counter pain medication, prescription painkillers, and corticosteroids are sometimes used to treat symptoms related to facial numbness, such as pain.
Speak to your doctor to find out what you can do to manage left-sided facial numbness.
The first step in addressing left-sided facial numbness is seeing a doctor. Make an appointment and keep a record of your symptoms, including the length and intensity of facial numbness, to share with your doctor.