What Is Weird Feeling In Head That Comes And Goes?

man-feeling-pain-in-the-head
Medically reviewed by Dr. Mehvish Khan

Overview

Tingling in the head is an uncomfortable sensation, and primarily people associate that with a headache. Typically, resting may help resolve it, mainly if it is triggered by migraines or anxiety and is not a cause of serious concern. However, if conditions such as scalp irritation, dental issues, or nerve conditions cause a tingling sensation in the head, you will require treatment accordingly.

Many patients report tingling in the head as a weird feeling that comes and goes. If you are experiencing tingling along with dizziness or blurred vision, you should read the article to determine the cause of the weird sensation in the head.

What is Tingling Sensation in My Head?

Tingling in the head or paresthesia in the head can be caused by multiple conditions or factors. It may result from something as simple as strain on your eyes, vitamin deficiency, or something as serious as a stroke. The severity of the pain and the associated symptoms often help differentiates or narrow down the cause. For instance, in the case of a migraine, you can feel heaviness along with tingling on the left side or the top of your head. Most of the causes of weird sensations in the head may not cause lasting damage, but it is crucial to run that by your doctor or notify him.

A persistent tingling feeling can be due to anxiety or stress. Get profesisonal advice.

Why there’s a weird feeling in my head that comes and goes?

There are several causes of tingling in the head or a tingling wave sensation in the head. We have narrowed down some of the reasons that may be causing the weird feeling in your head.

Skin irritation or a sensitive scalp

Scalp sensitivity or scalp irritation can lead to a burning sensation on top of the head. A chemical in hair dyes, bleach, shampoo other cosmetic products is the usual culprit. So if your head feels weird but is not a headache, you should try rinsing your hair more thoroughly the next time you shampoo to get rid of the itchy and tingling scalp. 

Sinus infections

Sinus infections or colds can lead to head tingling if your sinuses are irritated and inflamed. So, if your head feels tingly, this is mainly due to the pressure exerted on surrounding nerves as the sinuses fill up due to an infection. This form of head paresthesia can be relieved by warm compresses, steam inhalation, or over-the-counter cold medications that reduce inflammation and relieve pressure on the nerves. 

Anxiety or stress

A tingling sensation or your head falling asleep can occur due to anxiety or stress. Panic attacks can cause paresthesia as well. This phenomenon is explained by changes to the blood flow that occur in response to psychological stress that is closely linked with stress hormones. Also, other associated symptoms include palpitations, dizziness, nausea, chest discomfort, and shortness of breath.

Migraine episodes

A sensory experience usually precedes a migraine episode termed an aura. These sensations can be visual, auditory, or tactile. Visual auras are the most common type, followed by head paresthesias, also known as paresthesia aura, which involves a pins-and-needles sensation that may affect one side of the face or body. This can also result in a numb scalp.

Shingles

Shingles are caused by the chickenpox virus known as the varicella-zoster virus. After you’ve had chickenpox, the virus lies dormant in the body but can reactivate years later, causing shingles. A blistering rash characterizes shingles but may accompany a fever, headache, chills, or stomach issues. The rash typically can appear on one side of the face or body, resulting in pain or a tingling or blood clot tingling sensation in the head and scalp. 

Diabetes

A tingling sensation is a result of pressure on the nerves. For instance, when you sit in a specific position for an extended period, your legs may ‘fall asleep.’ This is called paresthesia, but it goes away once the pressure is relieved. However, nerve injury or compression can lead to paresthesia that lasts longer or recurs.

Medical conditions affecting the nerves can also cause tingling and numbness in various body regions. One such condition is diabetes, in which some people experience tingling and numbness. Diabetes can lead to nerve damage resulting in diabetic peripheral neuropathy. This condition frequently affects the feet, arms, or legs but may affect other body parts.

Injuries to the head

A head injury may lead to damage to the nerves inside the brain. Resultantly, you can feel a tingling sensation in the head or face region or specific areas, such as tingling right side of the head or numbness on the left side of the head above the ear. Facial paralysis may occur if case muscles in the face do not work. However, some forms of head injuries that damage some superficial nerves of the head can cause transient tingling or numbness in the affected areas.

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune condition, affects countless people worldwide. In this condition, the body’s immune system attacks the central nervous system resulting in nerve damage. Moreover, if there is nerve damage, MS can cause a weird feeling in the head that comes and goes or tingling in the face or head. 

If you have persistent head tingling, quickly consult a doctor online to avoid risks.

Simple partial seizures

People with epilepsy experience Simple partial seizures in which a person does not lose consciousness. This is because the seizure is localized and affects only one part of the brain. A simple partial seizure can cause numbness or tingling that lasts for a few minutes. So, if you have epilepsy, tingling or numbness on the right side of your head may be something you have experienced. 

Autoimmune conditions

Autoimmune conditions attack a person’s tissues or body. In some conditions, the nerves and the surrounding tissues are the targets; therefore, a person with such a condition may experience tingling in the head.

Certain autoimmune conditions that may cause tingling in the head include:

  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • fibromyalgia
  • Sjogren syndrome
  • Guillain–Barré syndrome
  • Lupus

Occipital neuralgia

Occipital nerves supply both sides of the head and are responsible for sensations on the top and back of the head. If something irritates these nerves, it can result in a tingling in the back of the head or shooting pain.  

Trigeminal neuralgia

The trigeminal nerves supply the sides of the face and provide sensation to the forehead, teeth, jaw, and cheeks. Additionally, if this nerve is irritated or compressed, it may cause numbness or tingling in the face.

Stroke

If the blood supply to the brain cuts off for a short period, this can lead to a stroke. Resultantly, there is a lack of oxygen in that brain, which can damage the brain.

Some symptoms of a stroke include:

  • vision problems
  • loss of function/muscle weakness
  • tingling or numbness 
  • drooping on one side of the face
  • confusion

Dental problems

If your head feels weird after a dental procedure such as tooth extraction or implants, that is due to the anesthesia used or damage to facial nerves. Additionally, tooth abscesses can cause inflammation of tissues and nerves, leading to a tingling sensation. Usually, this form of tingling or weird feeling in the head is temporary. 

Substance abuse or side effects of medications

A weird feeling in your head that comes and goes and is with no associated pain can be due to the use of recreational drugs, excessive consumption of alcohol, using chemotherapy medications, or due to anticonvulsant drugs. See a doctor for a proper diagnosis and get a prescription online upon consultation for this tingling sensation in the head.

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR)

If the causes mentioned above do not address the question, ‘why my head feels weird?’ you may have brain tingles. This phenomenon, also called ASMR, is a tingling in the brain that occurs after hearing a particular sound. Some forms of sounds that may trigger ASMR include finger tapping or whispering. A variety of different sounds may trigger the response.

Head lice or mites

A tingling sensation on the scalp or feeling something moving under the hair is one of the first signs of head lice. Itching and painful red areas of skin are other symptoms. Furthermore, you may notice their eggs near the base of hair shafts. Moreover, lice are most common among children and can easily pass from person to person.

Most of these conditions may need professional help.

How can I stop the tingling in my head?

Monitoring is essential for tingling in different body parts, as this information can help the doctor reach an accurate diagnosis. A doctor can provide the best treatment when paresthesia results from conditions of the nerves or skin, migraines, an infection, or an autoimmune condition. No evaluation is required if the tingling in the head occurs occasionally and is associated with a cold. However, further testing, like an MRI of the head and blood tests, may be required in other cases to rule out other conditions. Treatment depends on the underlying condition. For instance, treatment for scalp tingling includes discontinuing products that contain harsh chemicals. 

When should I go to the doctor for tingling in my head?

In most scenarios, tingling in the head is not concerning. However, to rule out any severe underlying conditions, you need to notify your doctor if the tingling is:

  • More intense or severe
  • It is accompanied by pain
  • Has shifted to a different place
  • It lasts longer than normal
  • It occurs alongside a severe headache.

When to Consult a Doctor

If the tingling persists or disrupts your life, see a doctor online immediately. Anyone experiencing the symptoms of a possible stroke or seizure should seek immediate emergency medical attention. 

FAQs About Tingling in Head Answered by Your Doctors Online

Is tingling in the head serious?

A tingling sensation, called paresthesia, can be caused by nerve issues, anxiety, migraines, infections, or autoimmune conditions. Moreover, depending on the situation, medical help should be sought.

What is paresthesia anxiety?

Anxiety can trigger a sensation of tingling or pins and needles sensation due to activation of the stress response in the body.

What does brain tumor tingling feel like?

Tingling due to a brain tumor is associated with weakness in the face, arms, and legs and other symptoms such as dizziness and vision changes.

Your Doctors Online uses high-quality and trustworthy sources to ensure content accuracy and reliability. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and medical associations to provide up-to-date and evidence-based information to the users.

  • Hopkins Medicine. Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke. Occipital Neuralgia
  • Peres MFP, Mercante JPP, Tobo PR, Kamei H, Bigal ME. Anxiety and depression symptoms and migraine: a symptom-based approach research. J Headache Pain. 2017 Dec;18(1):37. doi: 10.1186/s10194-017-0742-1. Epub 2017 Mar 21. PMID: 28324317; PMCID: PMC5360747.
  • Cojocaru IM, Cojocaru M, Silosi I, Vrabie CD. Peripheral nervous system manifestations in systemic autoimmune diseases. Maedica (Bucur). 2014 Sep;9(3):289-94. PMID: 25705295; PMCID: PMC4306001.
  • Fredborg B, Clark J, Smith SD. An Examination of Personality Traits Associated with Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR). Front Psychol. 2017 Feb 23;8:247. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00247. PMID: 28280478; PMCID: PMC5322228.
  • University of Rochester Medical Center. Understanding the “Pins and Needles” Feeling
  • Cleveland Clinic. Migraine Headaches

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