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Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Numbness and blurred vision


 steph313 - Sun Feb 12, 2006 3:49 pm

I'm a 23 year old female who's been relatively healthy during the course of my entire life. I'm currently not on medication, but I am currently on birth control (ortho tri cylen low). However, for the past view years I have been experiencing the strangest feeling. I was about 19 the first time it occurred. My vision would become slightly blurred and I couldn't quite focus on things. That would last about 20 minutes. After that, about 20 minutes later, my right hand would get a pins and needles/numbness feeling in it and sometimes (but not always) my lips would go numb. This has been occurring since before I went on birth control.

When I was 19, this would happen a few times (about 4 times) a year. In the last two years, it's only happened once a year, including today. Today however, it was numbness in my right hand as usual, numbness in my lips, but only blurred vision my right eye.

I finally consulted a doctor last year, and he didn't seem too concerned because of the fact that it's been happening for several years and that it happens only so sporadically.

Does anyone know what this might be? Should I consult another doctor and perhaps get an MRI? My father suffers from diabetes and it runs on his side of the family, otherwise my family's medical history is pretty clear. The numbness and blurred vision concern me because they are neurologically linked. Any answers would be helpful. Thanks.
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sat May 20, 2006 7:36 am

User avatar Hello,

I think its a good idea to get a second opinion from a neurologist.

Paresthesiae of the mouth, hands and feet are common, transient symptoms of the related conditions of hyperventilation syndrome and panic attacks.

Symmetric peri-oral numbness is common in cases of hypocalcaemia and is an accompanying symptom in migraine suffering people that may precede the headache itself.

Symmetrical or unilateral affection of the face is common with cervical disc lesion. In disc disease or spinal arthritis the nerve roots are compresses (radiculopathy) leading to paresthesia that is felt according to the level of affection.

While in a condition named trigeminal nerve neuralgia (fifth cranial nerve) there is unilateral sensory paresthesia of the face followed later on by sensory loss and trophic changes.

Other causes include disorders affecting the central nervous system. These include stroke, transient ischemic attacks (TIAs or mini-strokes), multiple sclerosis, transverse myelitis, and infections (encephalitis). A space occupying lesion (tumor or vascular) that causes compression on the brain or spinal cord can also cause paresthesia.

So while it might psychogenic, many other things need to be excluded.

The fact that it has been going on for a long time and is sporadic is in favor of a more benign cause.

Best regards.

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