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The jagged colored lines are around both eyes. My optometrist said they were optical migraines; no pain in my head when I get them.
The numbness/tingling in my face has been that way for a month or more. It started with face and forearm and was intermittent for a week or so. Then it was constantly there. Now, it is still constantly there, but the arm portion seems to have gone away. Sometimes it feels like my left eye is watering, but if I go to wipe it, it is dry.
The distribution of your symptoms on the left correspond to the opthalmic branch of the 5th cranial nerve (i.e. the trigeminal nerve). This nerve supplies sensation to the face, including the eye, and the top of the head. We have one on each side.
This nerve is commonly irritated and can fire inappropriately causing pain or abnormal sensations known as paresthesias. When pain fibers are involved, it can cause a very uncomfortable condition known as trigeminal neruralgia. When non-pain fibers are involved (including the temperature fibers) the sensations are not necessarily painful but very annoying, and sometimes downright distressing. They include numbness, tingling, cold or heat sensations, even a sensation of "insects crawling" across the skin.
Problems with this nerve are more common in migraine sufferers, so the condition is probably related to your optical migraines. At any rate, a normal MRI essentially rules out a mechanical cause (e.g. tumor, stroke). This is true for the vast majority of such cases. While the exact cause is usually not found, most cases resolve over the course of several weeks to months, once the nerve calms down.
In the meantime, you could ask your doctor about using a nerve-stabilizing medication such as gabapentin, pregabalin, or carbamazepine to calm the nerve and expedite its return to a more normal state.
Thank you. A nurse friend of mine suggested that may be the problem, also, but I wanted to hear it from a neurologist that I did not have to go get another opinion, since my GP kind of just left everything hanging once the tests came back normal.
I do have one question. I had the numbness and tingling in my left arm for most of the time it originally appeared. Would this still be related to the trigeminal nerve?