Carpal tunnel syndrome typically begins with numbness or tingling in the thumb, index and middle fingers that comes and goes, according to Mayo Clinic. This numbness is often accompanied by discomfort in the hand and wrist.
The numbness associated with the beginnings of carpal tunnel often occurs while holding a steering wheel, phone or newspaper, as well as while sleeping, claims Mayo Clinic. As carpal tunnel worsens, the occasional numbness can become constant. Another symptom of progressing carpal tunnel is a weakness in the hand that leads to dropping objects. Untreated carpal tunnel can lead to permanent nerve and muscle damage.