Tingling in the ears


Why is my nose tingling inside?

The following may help get rid of a tickle in the nose:

1. Saltwater nasal spray

Share on PinterestIf home remedies do not work, a doctor may want to diagnose the cause of a tickly nose in order to treat it correctly.

Using a spray in the nose can help to relieve dryness. A tickling or itching sensation can be caused if the skin lining the nostrils has dried out.

A saltwater nasal spray can be used as an alternative to over-the-counter (OTC) nasal sprays. To make a saltwater nasal spray at home:

  • boil 1 pint of water and allow to cool
  • stir in 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • pour some of the liquid into a cupped palm
  • sniff the solution into one nostril at a time

Another option is to pour the solution into a clean spray bottle. This makes it easy to spray the saltwater solution into the nose to rehydrate the skin.

2. Neti pot

A neti pot is a device used to flush out the nose. The following instructions tell you how to use one:

  • fill the neti pot with sterile water from a drugstore or boiled water that has cooled
  • tilt the head to one side over a sink or bath
  • insert the spout of the neti pot into the uppermost nostril
  • tip the neti pot to pour water into the nostril
  • water will run out of the lower nostril

If a tickle in the nose is being caused by something inside it, a sinus infection, or dryness, then using a neti pot may relieve the symptoms. Many are available to buy online.

A neti pot can be used once per day until the problem has been resolved.

3. Drink more fluids

Keeping the body hydrated can help to stop the nose drying out if someone has a cold or sinus infection.

The amount of liquid a person should drink varies by age and sex. For adults, drinking around 8 glasses of water per day is a reasonable goal. Drinking enough fluid is important for general health.

Try adding a slice of lemon to a mug of hot water. Breathing in the steam from the hot water through the nose can also help to clear the sinuses.

4. Avoid triggers

Share on PinterestAvoiding allergy triggers, such as animal fur, may prevent a tickly nose.

If someone has an allergy, they can help avoid a tickly nose by knowing their triggers.

Some common causes of irritation are:

  • dust
  • pollen
  • animal fur

Working in an office with air-conditioning can cause the nose to dry out.

Being in an environment with small particles, such as dirt or sawdust, can irritate the nose.

Using a face mask if working with irritants can prevent breathing them in from the air.

5. Avoid irritating the nose further

It may be tempting to try to clear a tickle in the nose by blowing or picking it. But this can cause more irritation. Rinsing out the nose is often more effective at relieving the itch.

6. Humidifier

A tickle in the nose can be caused by the skin inside the nose drying out. This can happen in hot weather or a dry climate.

Humidifiers can be used to add moisture to the air in a room. Pouring water into shallow bowls placed in warm locations around the home will allow the water to evaporate. This is a simple and cheap alternative to a store-bought humidifier.

7. Check for irritants

Sometimes a tickle in the nose is caused by something in the nose, such as dust or dirt. Gently blowing the nose should remove it. Using a neti pot to rinse out the nose can clear the foreign body if blowing does not work.

8. Take medication

It may be necessary to take an antihistamine if a tickle in the nose is caused by an allergy. Medicated nasal sprays can be bought over-the-counter and can help to relieve itching.

9 Possible Numb Nose Conditions

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced numb nose. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Nose or sinus tumor

A tumor in the nose or one of the sinuses occurs due to abnormal growth of the cells lining the inside of the nose and sinuses. These tumors are rare and can cause symptoms like congestion or blockage, nose bleeds and sometimes facial pain or swelling.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: new headache, congestion, vision changes, ear fullness/pressure, ear pain

Symptoms that never occur with nose or sinus tumor: improving congestion

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Iatrogenic nose condition

Surgery of the nose or nose piercing can result in side effects ranging from infection, pain and swelling to numbness and decreased sense of smell.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: nose pain, bloody nose, bump in or on the nose, nose redness, swollen nose

Urgency: Phone call or in-person visit

Multiple sclerosis (ms)

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a disease of the central nervous system. The body’s immune system attacks nerve fibers and their myelin covering. This causes irreversible scarring called “sclerosis,” which interferes with the transmission of signals between the brain and the body.

The cause is unknown. It may be connected to a genetic predisposition. The disease usually appears between ages 20 to 50 and is far more common in women than in men. Other risk factors include family history; viral infections such as Epstein-Barr; having other autoimmune diseases; and smoking.

Symptoms include numbness or weakness in arms, legs, or body; partial or total loss of vision in one or both eyes; tingling or shock-like sensation, especially in the neck; tremor; and loss of coordination.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, neurological examination, blood tests, MRI, and sometimes a spinal tap.

There is no cure for MS, but treatment with corticosteroids and plasma exchange (plasmapheresis) can slow the course of the disease and manage symptoms for better quality of life.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: severe fatigue, constipation, numbness, decreased sex drive, signs of optic neuritis

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Mild frostbite of the nose

Frostbite is tissue damage caused by exposure to the cold (at or below 32F or 0C). It is most commonly found in people doing leisurely activities like camping, hunting, or snow sports. It is also more likely in those who are intoxicated or have a mental disorder.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: nose pain, swollen nose, nose redness, numb nose, nose coldness

Symptoms that always occur with mild frostbite of the nose: nose coldness

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Numb Nose Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your numb nose

Frostnip of the nose

Frostnip is damage of the outermost layers of the skin caused by exposure to the cold (at or below 32F or 0C). It is most commonly found in people doing leisurely activities like camping, hunting, or snow sports.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: nose pain, nose redness, numb nose, nose coldness, turning blue or purple from coldness

Symptoms that always occur with frostnip of the nose: nose coldness

Urgency: In-person visit


Hypoparathyroidism is a condition in the parathyroid glands do not produce enough parathyroid hormone. This leads to low levels of calcium in the blood, which can cause both short-term and long-term symptoms. Causes of hypoparathyroidism include surgery or radiation to the neck, aut…

Diabetic neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage caused by longstanding or poorly controlled diabetes mellitus (DM). Other risk factors for developing diabetic neuropathy include obesity, smoking, cardiovascular disease, and abnormal lipid levels.

Diabetic neuropathy can present as a number …

Chronic idiopathic peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy refers to the feeling of numbness, tingling, and pins-and-needles sensation in the feet. Idiopathic means the cause is not known, and chronic means the condition is ongoing without getting better or worse.

The condition is most often found in people over age 60. Idiopathic neuropathy has no known cause.

Symptoms include uncomfortable numbness and tingling in the feet; difficulty standing or walking due to pain and lack of normal sensitivity; and weakness and cramping in the muscles of the feet and ankles.

Peripheral neuropathy can greatly interfere with quality of life, so a medical provider should be seen in order to treat the symptoms and reduce the discomfort.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination; blood tests to rule out other conditions; and neurologic and muscle studies such as electromyography.

Treatment involves over-the-counter pain relievers; prescription pain relievers to manage more severe pain; physical therapy and safety measures to compensate for loss of sensation in the feet; and therapeutic footwear to help with balance and walking.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: distal numbness, muscle aches, joint stiffness, numbness on both sides of body, loss of muscle mass

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Low calcium level

Hypocalcemia is a condition where there is not enough calcium in the blood. Calcium is a mineral contained in the blood, which helps the heart and other muscles function properly, and is needed to maintain strong teeth and bones.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, shortness of breath, irritability, general numbness, tingling foot

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Why is my tongue tingling?

There are a range of things that can cause a tingling tongue, including:

Damage to a nerve during a dental procedure

The lingual nerve is responsible for the feeling in the front of the tongue. It is possible to injure this nerve during dental procedures or surgery.

Damage to the lingual nerve occurs most commonly when removing a wisdom tooth, also known as the third molar, in the lower jaw.

This can lead to a feeling of numbness, a prickling sensation, and sometimes a change in how food or drink tastes. It may only affect one side of the tongue, or extend to the lips and chin.

About 90 percent of these nerve injuries are temporary, so a person should get back to normal within 8 weeks.

If symptoms last longer than 6 months, the nerve injury is considered permanent and will need to be treated by a medical professional.

Allergic reaction

Share on PinterestTongue tingling is a potential symptom of oral allergy syndrome, which can be caused by certain fruits.

Some people may have an allergic reaction to certain foods or drinks, particularly if they also have hay fever. This can cause an itching or tingling sensation on the tongue, mouth, or throat.

Oral allergy syndrome can occur after eating raw fruits or vegetables because the proteins in them are similar to those found in pollen.

The allergic reaction should go away on its own but taking an antihistamine and rinsing the mouth with water can speed up healing. Avoiding the trigger food can prevent it happening again. Antihistamines are available for purchase over the counter or online.

A person should consult a doctor if symptoms cause a lot of discomfort, get worse, or hives appear.

People should also be aware of the signs of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction that needs urgent medical attention. Signs of anaphylaxis can include a red rash, swollen throat, trouble breathing, stomach cramps, and difficulty swallowing.

Canker sore

A canker sore is a small mouth ulcer than can appear on the lips, inside of the mouth, or the tongue. It can cause pain or numbness, and sometimes a tingling sensation around the immediate area.

Canker sores should get better within a week but using over-the-counter medication or a mouth rinse can relieve discomfort and speed up healing. A range of canker sore medications is available for purchase online.

Medication reaction

Certain medications may cause tingling tongue as a side effect, particularly if the medication is taken by mouth.

One example is acetazolamide (Diamox), which is used to treat glaucoma, seizure disorders, edema, and periodic paralysis. Parasthesia, or a tingling sensation, is a recognized side effect.

When people are prescribed medication, they should always review the expected side effects by carefully reading packaging, or asking a doctor or pharmacist.

If a tingling tongue is a known side effect, it should go away once the person stops taking the medication. If the side effect does not go away, or the reaction is particularly severe, a person should consult a doctor or pharmacist.


Burning the tongue on hot food or drink can be painful and uncomfortable, and may result in a tingling sensation as the burn heals.

A person can lesson the discomfort by rinsing their mouth with cool water immediately after burning the tongue. Taking anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, can also help if the tongue is very painful or swollen. Ibuprofen is available for purchase over the counter or online.

Stroke or TIA

Share on PinterestA stroke may cause numbness or tingling on one side of the face, including the tongue.

Stroke happens when blood flow to the brain is cut off, resulting in damage to cells that can affect muscle function and memory.

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) happens when blood flow to the brain stops briefly. It can be a warning sign that a stroke could happen in future.

Sudden numbness or weakness in the face or body is a symptom of stroke, particularly if it affects only one side of the body. If the tongue tingles or feels numb and there are other signs of stroke present, it could be a serious warning.

Being aware of the symptoms of stroke and getting emergency medical treatment quickly is crucial. The easy way to remember the signs of stroke is with FAST:

  • Face — one side of the face droops
  • Arms — weakness in one arm
  • Speech — which may be slurred
  • Time is critical — call 911 if someone has these symptoms

Multiple sclerosis

Nerves that are inflamed or stop working properly is a common symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS). This can result in irritation, pain, or a burning, tingling sensation known as neurogenic pain.


A sore, red tongue can be a symptom of anemia caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency. Other symptoms include fatigue, pale skin, feeling faint, loss of appetite, and weight loss.

Anemia is a condition affecting red blood cells in the body, causing extreme tiredness and low energy levels.

It should be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible to prevent long-term problems.


Some people who suffer from migraines may experience visual or sensory symptoms, such as seeing flashes of light before or during a migraine. This is called a migraine with aura.

These types of migraines can also cause a numb or tingling feeling in the tongue, face, or body.


One symptom of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia is a sudden numb or tingling feeling in the tongue or lips.

People with diabetes are particularly at risk, so should check their blood glucose levels and seek immediate treatment if they experience this sudden tingling.

If you are concerned about altered sensations, contact your MS nurse or neurologist directly or ask your GP to refer you for assessment.

Drug treatments for altered sensation

Altered sensation is a type of nerve pain so possible drug treatments are the same as for other types of nerve pain. Treatments like Botox or pulsed magnetic field treatment have been shown to improve altered sensations as well as chronic pain, although they are not yet widely used.

Although altered sensation sometimes feel itchy, there is no rash or sign of skin irritation so creams which are typically used to treat skin irritation, such as hydrocortisone, and other skin calming lotions, like calamine, are not helpful.

Occupational therapy

If altered sensations are interfering with your daily activities, an occupational therapist may be able to provide equipment or make suggestions to help. This is particularly true for numbness, for example:

  • numbness in the feet can cause difficulty walking as it is hard to feel the floor. This could increase the risk of falls
  • numb hands may make it difficult to write, dress or hold a cup, knife or other object safely
  • severe numbness in the face can increase the risk of biting the inside of the mouth or tongue whilst eating or chewing
  • numbness in any part of the body can increase the risk of burning yourself without realising so it may be important to take care around hot water, fires and other sources of heat.

How can I manage altered sensations myself?

  • Triggers. If your altered sensation is triggered, for example, by touch, heat or going out in the wind, you could try avoiding or minimising the trigger. Wearing looser clothing, applying a cool pack or wearing a scarf may be helpful in these cases.
  • Change your habits. It can be helpful to change the way that you usually do something. A different style of pen, cup or knife may be easier to hold. A more upright, supportive chair could be helpful. Think carefully about why you do something the way that you do – it can be surprising how often it is just out of habit. Challenge yourself to think creatively so that you come up with new ways of doing things that are easier for you. Ask your family, friends and colleagues to work with you so that they understand how these changes will help you.
  • Sexual issues. Numbness or reduced sensation can affect the genital area for both men and women with MS and potentially pleasurable sensations can become uncomfortable. You can read more about sexual issues for men with MS and for women with MS.
  • Other options. Many of the tips for managing pain yourself also help with altered sensations. They include using heat, cold or relaxation techniques as well as keeping positive and sharing your thoughts about your symptoms and their impact.
  • Exercise. A study showed that an 8 week gentle activity programme (yoga or aquatic exercise) significantly improved paresthesia for women with MS, as well as improving their fatigue and mood.

Everyone is different so you may need to try a range of different options before you find what works best for you. You may need to do several at once for the best effect. Some people prefer these approaches to drug treatments as there is less worry about side effects.

Early Signs of Multiple Sclerosis

Common Early Symptoms

The following are some common early symptoms of MS:

Vision Loss Eye problems, including vision loss, are often the first sign of MS. Before Jeffrey Gingold received his MS diagnosis, for example, he noticed his vision rapidly declining in one eye. Gingold was 36 at the time, making such dramatic vision loss extremely unusual.

He scheduled an appointment with his regular ophthalmologist, who told him, “You either have MS, or you have a brain tumor.” An MRI confirmed that he had MS.

Balance Problems Balance problems and dizziness are also common early signs of MS. When Rick Sommers was diagnosed with MS at age 34, he was fit and athletic.

“I was training for a marathon, and my balance was off,” he recalls. “I felt light-headed. I went to a doctor who thought it was an inner ear infection.”

But, he says, “I was misdiagnosed.” It took another symptom and another doctor to arrive at the correct diagnosis.

RELATED: 13 Conditions Commonly Mistaken for Multiple Sclerosis

Numbness and Tingling After Sommers’s balance difficulties, he began to notice tingling and numbness in his right side, which motivated him to see a neurologist. The neurologist ordered an MRI and found lesions in Sommers’s brain that indicated MS was causing his symptoms.

Everyone has experienced the temporary, pins-and-needles numbness that accompanies resting on an arm or leg in the wrong way, but this feeling tends to go away within a few minutes as blood flow returns to the area. Numbness or tingling associated with MS tends to last much longer.

Heat Intolerance Sensitivity to heat is another telltale sign of MS. If you feel dizzy, faint, or unusually uncomfortable in warm temperatures or when engaging in body-warming activities, such as soaking in a hot tub, exercising, or sunbathing, it could be a sign of MS. Heat intolerance also tends to make other symptoms of MS more pronounced.

When to See a Doctor

MS symptoms are varied and numerous. In addition to those described above, common symptoms include fatigue, pain, bowel and urinary problems, sexual dysfunction, difficulty swallowing, speech problems, cognitive (thinking and memory) problems, and depression — among others.

Some of these symptoms are common to many disorders, but if you are experiencing any of these for more than 24 hours, there is a chance that MS is the cause.

Of course, any symptom that interferes with your job performance, daily functioning, or quality of life is worth discussing with your doctor, whether or not you suspect it might be related to MS.

For many diseases, the earlier they are caught, the more effective treatment will be, and MS is no exception. Treatments are now available that can effectively slow disease progression, and initiating them as early as possible is generally the best course you can take.

Pins and Needles

MS has many symptoms and we’re told that everyone’s experience is different, that each of us have different ones to contend with.

I have symptoms all the time. Numbness, tingling, joint stiffness and blurry eyes to name a few… no two days are the same.

I’ve gotten use to most of them and I can honestly say there are days when I don’t notice them at all. It’s amazing how my body has adjusted and adapted to accommodate them.

On a good day I’m not aware of my MS. On a not-so-good day I definitely know I have MS. And that is thanks to the pins and needles that inhabit my feet and hands on and off. In particular, in my left foot and toes. They really like hanging out there!

If you’ve ever slept funny on your arm or sat awkwardly with your legs curled up under you, you’ve probably had pins and needles before. You’ve probably spent a frantic few moments shaking out your arm or stamping your foot until they go away.

I get pins and needles like that but without warning or explanation. I’ll be sitting at my desk, working away happily, when all of a sudden I’ll get a hit. My feet will go tingly, before the tingles – which isn’t always unpleasant then it turns into full-blown pins and needles. Ouch!! There is nothing like standing up, and realising you can’t put any weight on your foot to walk. They are uncomfortable at best, painful at worst and embarrassing when you’re in public!

Like a lot of MS symptoms I’ve found that pins and needles hang around until they decide they’re done with you. There’s no quick fix. Stretching out my limbs and having a good shake won’t make them go away, although it relieves them somewhat. Luckily I don’t get them daily but if you see me out and about stamping my foot, chances are they’ve popped in for a visit.

If you’re interested you can learn more about MS Symptoms here.

Thanks for reading!


Why do I feel tingling in my face?

There are several possible causes of tingling in the face, including the following:


Share on PinterestA tingling sensation in the face may result from medications that affect nerve function.

Certain medications can affect nerve function. Although the symptoms will usually resolve once a person stops taking the medication, nerve damage may be permanent in rare cases.

People undergoing treatment for HIV, AIDs, or cancer may be more at risk of experiencing tingling in the face due to their medications. Other medications that can affect nerve function include:

  • drugs for heart conditions or blood pressure
  • thalidomide
  • medicines for infections, such as fluoroquinolones
  • anti-alcohol drugs
  • dapsone (Aczone), a treatment for skin conditions

Nerve-related side effects of medications may include:

  • tingling sensations
  • weakness
  • other unusual sensations, such as burning or prickling, which may begin in the hands and feet
  • numbness

Bell’s palsy

Bell’s palsy is a type of cranial neuropathy that results from the inflammation of a nerve in the face. It causes temporary paralysis to one side of the face.

People may notice the following symptoms in the face:

  • drooping on one side of the face
  • distorted face
  • drooling
  • weakness
  • pain around the ear and jaw
  • ringing in the ears
  • headaches
  • dry eyes or mouth
  • dizziness
  • difficulty using the mouth to speak, eat, or drink
  • twitching or involuntary movements

Bell’s palsy can affect anyone, but it is more common in people between the ages of 15 and 60 years. It affects about 40,000 people in the United States each year.

People with diabetes or upper respiratory conditions, such as the flu, have a higher risk of getting Bell’s palsy.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that affects the central nervous system. Tingling and numbness in the face are among the possible symptoms of MS. People may also experience these sensations in other parts of the body, such as the hands or feet.

The symptoms of MS can vary from person to person but may include:

  • fatigue
  • muscle weakness
  • problems with vision
  • bladder and bowel problems
  • pain
  • dizziness or vertigo
  • mood swings or depression

Risk factors for developing MS include both genetic and environmental factors.


Share on PinterestA person with shingles may experience tingling, numbness, or a burning sensation on the skin.

People can develop shingles if they have had chickenpox in the past, and the virus reactivates after lying dormant in the body. Shingles usually affects a small area on one side of the face or body. Symptoms include:

  • tingling
  • numbness
  • fever, chills, and headaches
  • itchiness
  • a red rash
  • pain
  • a burning sensation on the skin

People who are more at risk of getting shingles include older adults and those with a weakened immune system.


Tingling or numbness in the face can be a symptom of a stroke. The acronym FAST can help people identify the warning signs of a stroke quickly:

Face: One side of the face is drooping, and smiling becomes lopsided

Arms: Weakness in the arms, and inability to keep them raised above the head

Speech: Difficult to understand or slurred speech

Time to call 911: Seek emergency medical help, even if the symptoms go away

Trigeminal neuralgia

Irritation of the trigeminal nerve can lead to trigeminal neuralgia, a condition that causes intense pain in the face. People may experience a stabbing or electric shock sensation on one side of their face.

People may feel tingling in the face before experiencing frequent bursts of pain. Medications can help a person manage the condition.

Hemiplegic migraine

Hemiplegic migraine is a rare type of migraine that causes one side of the face or body to become weak. It can also cause tingling or numbness in the face. Other symptoms include:

  • headaches
  • vision problems
  • nausea and vomiting
  • fever
  • increased sensitivity to light and sound

Nerve damage

Nerve damage, also called neuropathy, can happen as a result of illness or injury.

People are at a higher risk of getting nerve damage if they have the following conditions:

  • diabetes
  • autoimmune disease
  • severe infections
  • high blood sugar levels

Genetics can also contribute to a person’s risk of nerve damage.

Focal neuropathy affects a single nerve, and people may notice symptoms in one area of the body, such as the face. Symptoms can include:

  • tingling sensations
  • inability to move one side of the face
  • an aching behind the eyes
  • vision problems, such as loss of focus or double vision
  • issues with hearing
  • pain in the back, thighs, or chest area

Epilepsy and seizures

Although it is rare, people with epilepsy sometimes experience tingling or numbness in the face or other parts of the body during a partial seizure.

Symptoms can also include:

  • muscle jerking
  • nausea
  • dilated pupils
  • sweating

Other causes

Tingling in the face can also be due to other conditions, such as:

  • cold and sinus infections
  • anxiety and stress
  • an allergic reaction
  • neurodegenerative conditions
  • a head injury

What is Raynaud’s Disease?

Raynaud’s disease is a circulatory condition that affects blood supply to the skin and peripheries and causes the extremities of the body to lose feeling and become numb.

Raynaud’s Disease is most commonly associated with cold temperatures and stress and sufferers of this condition will find their toes and fingers feel very cold or may even lose sensation in response to a stressful situation or exposure to cold. During a Raynaud’s attack, the arteries and blood capillaries narrow, reducing blood circulation to affected areas, usually the extremities such as toes, fingers, ears and the tip of your nose.

This reduced peripheral blood flow is a normal protective mechanism to prevent excessive heat loss from these areas and preserve the body’s core temperature. Similarly, in times of stress the body goes into a “flight or fight” response which causes the blood flow to the fingers and toes to be significantly reduced so that blood is conserved for the vital organs and muscles.

In people with Raynaud’s syndrome these responses are exaggerated – causing troublesome symptoms at inappropriate times. The reduced blood flow leaves the extremities looking pale or even blue and cold as no warm blood reaches these areas.

Diagnosing Raynaud’s Disease

There are no blood tests that can specifically diagnose Raynaud’s syndrome , but generally health care practitioners will make a diagnosis based on the description of your symptoms. Your doctor may examine you and order further tests to rule out other conditions and diseases of the arteries, and to determine if there is a possible underlying condition that is causing Raynaud’s.

In some cases your practitioner may ask you to place your hand in cold water to bring on an episode of Raynaud’s in order to make a more accurate diagnosis.

What are the Symptoms of Raynaud’s Disease?

People with Raynaud’s syndrome may notice their skin changing color, first it becomes pale and then it changes to blue, when they are cold or stressed – most noticeably in the fingers. They may feel a prickly numbness in toes and sometimes a stinging pain with throbbing and redness when they begin to relax or warm up as blood returns to the extremities.

Symptoms of Raynaud’s occur in the extremities and may include the following in affected areas.

  • Fingers, hands, toes, feet and other extremities feel cold
  • white or bluish color
  • numbness in the toes, fingers, nose and other extremities
  • loss of sensory perception
  • mild swelling
  • redness with sensations of throbbing and/or tingling once blood flow returns to normal

Numbness Caused by Raynaud’s Disease

Numbness is one of the most frequently reported symptoms of Raynaud’s disease. Numbness or tingling most frequently occurs in the toes or fingers but in some cases numbness in the earlobes, nose, or lips can also be experienced. Cold weather and stress may intensify numbness and tingling caused by Raynaud’s disease.

What Causes Raynaud’s Disease?

Though its causes are not completely understood, Raynaud’s seems to be caused by an overreaction of blood vessels in the extremities to temperature and stress. In normal physiology, when a person’s body is exposed to cold, the blood vessels in the extremities become narrowed and slow down blood supply to the fingers and toes. In the case of an individual with Raynuad’s these blood vessels narrow dramatically, causing troubling symptoms.

There are two types of Raynaud’s Disease – it can develop as a complication of an underlying disorder (Secondary Raynaud’s) or it can develop independently in the absence of any other underlying health conditions (Primary Raynauds).

Primary Raynaud’s Disease

This is the most common form of the disorder and typically it tends to affect the digits of both hands and both feet. Researchers are now exploring the possibility that there may be a genetic link to the development of Primary Raynaud’s Disease.

Certain other factors may also increase an individual’s risk of developing Primary Raynaud’s. Women are generally more commonly affected as are people who live in cold places and those who suffer from chronic stress.

Secondary Raynaud’s Disease

In less common cases, Raynaud’s is caused by another underlying problem. Although secondary Raynaud’s is less common, it is often more serious than Primary Raynaud’s and extra care should be taken. Conditions that may cause Secondary Raynaud’s include:

    • Smoking
    • Eating Disorders (e.g. Bulimia and Anorexia)
    • Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
    • Scleroderma, a condition that causes hardening of connective tissue
    • Lupus
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    • Other diseases that affect the arteries including atherosclerosis
    • The use of beta blockers
    • Certain Chemotherapy agents and some over the counter cold and flu medications can also predispose an individual to Raynaud’s.

Raynaud’s Disease in Children and Infants

Raynaud’s disease in children is extremely rare and is more likely to develop due to an underlying problem such as scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosus, CREST syndrome, takayasu arteritis and giant cell arteritis among other conditions.
In some cases, a child has Raynaud’s for many years before the diagnosis of an underlying disease is made. Althougn symptoms such as cold hands and feet are generally attributed to Raynaud’s it is important to remember that Raynaud’s presents a three phase color change. First, fingers blanch white, then turn red as they warm up. Finally they turn a bluish color as circulation is compromised. Generally speaking, if the infant/ child’s fingers don’t turn white first it is not Raynaud’s Disease.

Help for Raynaud’s Disease

Treatment of Raynaud’s often includes treatment of the underlying condition (in Secondary Raynaud’s) and treatment to reduce the frequency of attacks and prevent tissue damage. There are a number of treatment methods including conventional medical methods, biofeedback and more.

Medical Treatment

A number of allopathic medications on the market work on the principle of dilating the blood vessels in order to prevent the symptoms of Raynaud’s. Examples are Calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine (Norvasc), Alpha blockers such as prazosin (Minipress) and Vasodilators.

In some cases a chemical injection is recommended which works by blocking the sympathetic nerves in affected areas. In severe cases surgery on the nerves in the hands and feet may be performed.



Studies have shown that biofeedback is capable of helping people with Raynaud’s Disease to control their hand temperatures and to increase blood flow to affected areas. Biofeedback requires training the body to reduce sympathetic responses to stress and reduce vasoconstriction, thereby allowing greater blood flow to the extremities. Biofeedback can result in significantly reduced symptoms, although it must be understood that this is not a quick fix and requires up to 20 sessions of training.


More Information on Raynaud’s Disease

Are there Other Complications that May be Related to Raynaud’s Disease?

Severe Raynaud’s is rare, but when it does occur there are a few potentially serious complications. In some cases, blood flow to the fingers or toes is permanently damaged resulting in deformities. If an artery is affected and an area becomes completely blocked from blood flow skin ulcers or gangrene can occur, which can be difficult to treat. In the most severe cases where the tissue dies as a result of Raynaud’s, amputation of the affected area is usually necessary.


What Should you do During an Attack?

At the first signs of an attack, the most important plan of action is to warm the area affected. Do the following to help gently warm your fingers and toes:

  • Perhaps the most obvious step – get out of the cold and move to a warmer area!
  • Place your hands under your armpits or between your thighs to warm them up.
  • Keep things moving. Numbness in toes and fingers is a common symptome so wiggle your fingers and toes and if this fails try doing windmill motions with your arms, and jogging on the spot. Movement will help to keep the blood flowing properly.
  • Run your fingers and toes under some warm water.
  • Get the blood flowing by massaging your hands and feet.
  • If a stressful situation has triggered the attack then remove yourself from the situation and practice some deep breathing or other relaxation techniques.

Tips for Coping with Raynaud’s Disease

Raynaud’s Disease is a condition that you have to learn to manage and adapt to. While this may be difficult at times, there are a number of ways to prevent and cope with attacks.

  • Dress warmly outdoors and avoid getting cold. Winter is often a difficult time for those with Raynaud’s so it is essential to cover up with hats, gloves, thick socks and ear muffs in cold weather.
  • Consider moving to a milder climate. While relocation may seem like a huge preventative measure, it is definitely something worth considering if you live in an area with extremely cold winters.
  • Exercise regularly! Keeping fit with a regular exercise routine will encourage circulation and reduce the chances of Raynaud’s attacks.
  • Don’t smoke and avoid secondary smoke. The nicotine in cigarettes causes the blood vessels to constrict resulting in a drop in body temperature in the extremities. This can induce an attack – so if you are a smoker, try to stop smoking naturally.
  • Manage your stress levels. Stress is a common trigger of Raynaud’s so find ways to recognize and better manage your stress. Avoid those situations that tend to stress you and adopt stress relieving techniques such as yoga, meditation or deep breathing exercises.
  • Look after your hands and feet. Avoid wearing things that may constrict blood flow to these extremities such as tight rings, tight socks or wrist bands.

Numbness or Tingling

Numbness or tingling is an unpleasant sensation in which there is reduced or absent feeling in the skin or a “pins and needles” sensation. The most common reason for numbness or tingling is a problem with nerve function, either because the nerve itself is injured, something is pressing on the nerve, or an imbalance in the body’s chemistry interferes with nerve function. Most causes are not dangerous, but when muscle weakness or paralysis is also present, numbness and tingling should be treated as an emergency.

There are rare causes of symptoms that will not be included here and would require more detailed evaluation than this guide can provide.

Please keep in mind that this guide is not intended to replace a face-to-face evaluation with your doctor. The goal of this guide is to provide information while awaiting evaluation with your doctor or additional information after you have seen him or her.

Certain symptoms suggest a serious cause of tingling and numbness that requires prompt attention. It’s important to ask questions about these symptoms first.

Did your numbness or tingling begin after a significant injury, such as a fall or car accident?

Yes, the numbness or tingling began after a significant injury.

No, the numbness or tingling did not begin after an injury.

Ear Numbness

1. Sensory nerve damage

Sensory nerves carry sensory information from parts of your body to your central nervous system. For example, when your ears feel cold while you’re outside in the winter, that feeling is courtesy of sensory nerves.

If the sensory nerves in your ear get damaged, your ear may have trouble feeling sensation. This could result in a tingling feeling known as paresthesia, which could eventually become numbness.

Sensory nerve damage is a common cause of ear numbness that can result from injury to the ear, such as a direct blow or even an ear piercing.

2. Middle ear infection

If your middle ear is infected, you might have symptoms besides ear numbness that include:

  • hearing loss
  • ear pain
  • persistent pressure inside the ear
  • pus-like discharge

3. Earwax blockage

Earwax that has hardened and is blocking the external ear canal, can cause ear numbness. You might also have symptoms such as:

  • hearing loss
  • ringing in the ear
  • ear pain
  • ear itching

4. Swimmer’s ear

When water gets trapped in your ear, it can create an environment for bacteria or even fungal organisms to grow. An external ear canal infection, also commonly called swimmer’s ear, can include ear numbness and other symptoms like:

  • hearing loss
  • ear pain
  • ear redness
  • ear tingling

5. Foreign object

If you have a foreign object in your ear — like a cotton swab, jewelry or an insect — you might experience ear numbness in addition to these other symptoms:

  • hearing loss
  • ear pain
  • infection

6. Stroke

If you’ve experienced a stroke, your ear could feel numb. Other stroke symptoms include:

  • difficulty speaking
  • lower facial drooping
  • arm weakness

Strokes are a medical emergency: They can cause severe brain damage and even be fatal. If your numb ear occurs in conjunction with these other symptoms, call 911 immediately.

7. Diabetes mellitus

People with diabetes who don’t carefully manage the condition can experience peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is the result of injury to the peripheral nervous system, which relays information in the body to or from the central nervous system. Peripheral neuropathy can cause tingling and numbness in your extremities and on your face, including the ears.

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