What Causes Head Tingling?

Head injuries may cause head tingling.
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  • Written By: Sarah Sullins
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 06 April 2014
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Head tingling, or head paresthesia, can be caused by a variety of conditions, the most common being diabetes, migraines, or a cold and sinus infection. Injuries to the head and any type of nerve damage in the head may also result in tingling. Certain medications that are prescribed or illegal drugs may result in this sensation as well.

Paresthesia is generally described as a pins and needles sensation, creeping sensation, burning sensation, or as a partial numbness in a certain area of the body. Nerve damage is most often the cause of this type of sensation. Nerve entrapment or pressure can cause these feelings to occur. Sensations that reoccur or are hard to deal with may indicate conditions that need immediate medical attention.

Diabetes has been proven to cause several different types of nerve disorders. These disorders generally occur in patients who have lived with diabetes for many years and have not controlled their blood sugar levels very well. Some autoimmune factors may also contribute to the development of nerve disorders. The damaged nerves caused by these disorders may result in a tingling, aching, or burning sensation in certain areas of the body, including the head.


Head tingling also may be caused by congestion related to a cold or a sinus infection, or it can present as a symptom of a migraine. The pressure resulting from a sinus infection or the congestion from a cold or flu can put pressure on cranial nerves and result in head tingling. The changes in blood flow that occur during a migraine attack also can result in this type of paresthesia.

Any kind of trauma or injury can result in damage to a person’s nerves. If these nerves are close to the head, such as those in the neck, head tingling may result. Nerves can also be damaged because of an infection in the body. A doctor will generally take a thorough history and run several tests to determine the exact cause of the tingling sensation.

Head tingling also may present as a side effect of prescription medication. If a patient experiences this side effect and it is troublesome, he should seek medical assistance immediately, as the tingling may be a sign of a dangerous reaction to his medication. His doctor may decide to change the medication or reduce the amount that is taken.

The tingling sensation may also result as a side effect of an illegal drug. Elimination of these drugs will generally stop the head tingling. Drug rehab centers may be helpful for those who are unable to quit using the illegal drug on their own.


Discuss this Article

Post 3

@ankara-- Do you have anxiety?

I suffer from anxiety and head tingles is something I experience frequently too. Sometimes the tingling is also in my feet and hands. It's very weird but my doctor said that it's normal.

I know that some medications can cause this as a side effect as well. So you might want to check the side effects of any medications or supplements you're on.

Post 2

I have tingling in my head that comes and goes. I feel it on my forehead, face and the top of my head. There are times when I don't get it for a few days, and there times when I have it multiple times in the same day. I'm not sick so I don't know what's going on.

Post 1

I had never heard of head tingling being caused by diabetes before.

I have diabetes and I'm aware that untreated diabetes can cause nerve damage. But I always thought that the nerve damage causes tingling and numbness in the feet and legs. I didn't know that these symptoms could affect the head as well. I'm going to ask my doctor about this because I've been experiencing an odd tingling sensation in my head for a few weeks. It's about time for my routine blood test to check sugar levels anyway.

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