Read below about numb nose, including causes, treatment options and remedies. Or get a personalized analysis of your numb nose from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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Numb Nose Symptoms

You've experienced an itch or tickle in your nose before, but this is different. True numbness of the nose can be an unsettling experience, whether it comes on suddenly or over time. Some may notice obvious triggers, such as cold weather, while for others, the cause may not be so clear.

Regardless of where your nose numbness fits, it may be accompanied by the following nose numbness symptoms:

Numb Nose Causes Overview

Nerves transmit sensations like temperature and pain from organs like your skin or nose back to the brain. Many problems with sensation in the body are related to nerve injury. The main nerve that supplies sensation to the nose is the trigeminal nerve. It is large and has many branches that reach the entire face, so numbness may be limited to the nose or may spread to other areas depending on which branches are affected. In other cases, numbness may be related to problems with blood circulation or other underlying medical conditions.

Nerve-related causes:

  • Infection: Viruses that cause mild symptoms at first may lead to nerve inflammation and numbness, even as the infection resolves.
  • Autoimmune: In certain conditions like multiple sclerosis, the body attacks its own nerves.
  • Compression: A tumor or other mass can press on nerve branches and lead to nose numbness or tingling.
  • Injury: Trauma to the affected area can damage nerves, leading to altered sensation such as numbness.

Weather-related causes:

  • Cold weather: In low temperatures, the body slows circulation to peripheral areas like the nose, fingers, and toes to conserve warm blood for essential organs.
  • Frostbite: This painful condition occurs after prolonged exposure to cold temperatures when skin and underlying tissue freeze. Peripheral areas like the nose are particularly vulnerable to frostbite.
  • Vasospasm: In some people, the blood vessels may constrict excessively in response to triggers like cold temperatures. This can lead to painful areas that turn pale and numb for some time before the vessels reopen.

Other causes:

  • Anxiety: Excessive nervousness, especially when hyperventilating, can cause numbness and tingling in certain parts of the body, including the nose.
  • Medical procedures: Certain surgeries on the face, nose or sinuses may lead to injury and numbness.
  • Electrolyte imbalance: The body depends on certain elements in the blood, such as potassium or calcium, to be maintained in normal amounts. Abnormal amounts can lead to a variety of symptoms, including numbness.

A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Numb Nose

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced numb nose. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.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.

    Prognosis depends on the size of tumor and whether or not is has spread to other structures like lymph nodes.

    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
  2. 2.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.

    Depending on type of complication

    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
  3. 3.Multiple Sclerosis (Ms)

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disease in which the immune system attacks the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath is involved in carrying nerve signals so this damage causes interruptions in nerve signaling.

    This is a lifelong condition; however, treatment may be beneficial.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    severe fatigue, constipation, numbness, decreased sex drive, signs of optic neuritis
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.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.

    It takes 1-3 months to assess the damage, at which time, surgery might be needed.

    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 Checker

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  5. 5.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.

    As long as you are able to get to a place to re-warm, the damage should be reversible.

    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
  6. 6.Hypoparathyroidism

    Hypoparathyroidism is disorder in which the parathyroid glands in the neck do not produce enough parathyroid hormone (PTH). The majority of cases are following surgery.

    4-8 weeks if it's not permanent

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    patchy hair loss, skin thickening, fingernail changes, patchy body hair loss
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  7. 7.Diabetic Neuropathy

    Diabetic neuropathy is a condition where pain, numbness, weakness, and motor loss occur in the limbs due to the effects of diabetes on the nerves.

    Symptoms can last a lifetime.

    Rarity:
    Ultra rare
    Top Symptoms:
    anxiety, depressed mood, trouble sleeping, diarrhea, fatigue
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Chronic Idiopathic Peripheral Neuropathy

    Nerve damage in the limbs can be caused by diabetes, toxic substances, immune system issues and low vitamin levels. However, in about one of every four cases no cause can be found and then the condition is called 'idiopathic'. Symptoms of nerve damage can be (burning) pain sensations, numbness, tingling and weakness in hands, feet or lower legs.

    This is a chronic condition.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    distal numbness, muscle aches, joint stiffness, numbness on both sides of body, loss of muscle mass
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.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.

    Problem should go away with home care within weeks.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, shortness of breath, irritability, general numbness, tingling foot
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Numb Nose Treatments and Relief

Problems with sensation mean that you'll have to pay much closer attention to your nose than you have in the past. Simply trying to protect it from trauma and extreme temperatures can go a long way, though the more detailed information you can remember about your nose numbness symptoms, the more likely you'll be able to find to an underlying cause.

At-home nose numbness remedies:

  • Cover up: A scarf or mask can go a long way in protecting your nose's sensation, especially in extreme weather conditions.
  • Warm up: Numbness can strike in cold temperatures even if you're dressed properly, so don't hesitate to duck inside for a few minutes on especially bad winter days.
  • Symptom diary: Pay attention to triggers of the nose numbness, how often it occurs, and whether you experience any other symptoms at the same time. This information can help your doctor determine the underlying cause of your nose numbness.

Professional nose numbness remedies:

  • Steroids: If your doctor feels that your nose numbness symptoms are due to nerve inflammation, a course of steroids may be prescribed.
  • Calcium-channel blockers: These medications are vasodilators that can prevent your blood vessels from constricting too strongly after a stimulus like cold weather.
  • Neurological examination: A neurologist can perform a detailed examination of your sensation to determine which and how many nerves might be affected.
  • Imaging: In some cases, a CT scan or MRI may be ordered to get a close look at your nose and its nerves. Doctors may also be interested in getting a picture of your brain.
  • Nasopharyngolaryngoscopy: In this procedure, an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor inserts a small camera (scope) in the nose to look for problems like masses or tumors that may be causing your symptoms.

See help without delay if you have:

  • Sudden onset weakness
  • Facial droop
  • Difficulty speaking

FAQs About Numb Nose

Here are some frequently asked questions about numb nose.

Why is my nose numb after a root canal?

A root canal, especially on the teeth of the upper jaw, may include intentional anesthesia (or numbing medication) to the maxillary portion of the trigeminal nerve. This nerve provides sensation to the tip of the nose. When it is numbed as a medical professional numbs your teeth, it may also numb the tip of your nose.

Why does my nose become numb when I'm drinking?

Drinking, over time, can cause an alcoholic neuropathy. Drinking can diminish stores of vital nutrients including thiamine, folate, niacin, B6, B12, and vitamin E. It may also cause blood to run to the face, warming the face and making a cold environment feel even colder in comparison.

Why is my nose numb when it's cold?

When it is cold, the body works to shunt blood away from the extremities toward the heart. The circulatory system does this by constricting small blood vessels in the hands, feet, and on the face. Without an adequate supply of blood, numbness can set in. At the same time, nerve conduction generally runs slower in colder conditions. Impulses carrying information on touch literally move slower in cold weather.

Could multiple sclerosis be the reason my nose is numb?

Yes, though it is likely from another benign cause. An early and common sign of multiple sclerosis (MS) is intermittent numbness of the face. Often, this cause is not caught early, and recurrent or persistent loss of motor function, numbness, or changes in vision eventually lead an individual to seek the aid of a neurologist and explore the possibility of multiple sclerosis.

Does anxiety cause nose numbness?

Anxiety can cause hyperventilation and severely reduce the body's level of carbon dioxide, which can cause tingling in the fingertips and along the tip of the nose. By itself, it does not cause numbness in the nose. If you believe you are hyperventilating, sit down in a safe place and breathe deeply and slowly, possibly into an object like a bag to decrease the feeling of numbness and tingling.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Numb Nose

  • Q.Have you ever had any surgeries?
  • Q.Do you have any body piercings?
  • Q.Do any of your body parts (e.g., toes, hands, ears) feel cold?
  • Q.Did you recently get your nose pierced?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our numb nose symptom checker to find out more.

Numb Nose Quiz

Numb Nose Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced numb nose have also experienced:

    • 8% Facial Numbness
    • 6% Headache
    • 4% Scalp Numbness
  • People who have experienced numb nose had symptoms persist for:

    • 49% Less Than a Day
    • 29% Less Than a Week
    • 9% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced numb nose were most often matched with:

    • 40% Nose or Sinus Tumor
    • 40% Multiple Sclerosis (Ms)
    • 20% Iatrogenic Nose Condition
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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