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What is the cause of 'tightness' in the face?

Wednesday, Feb 06, 2013
Mind Your Body, The Straits Times

Q: I am a retired 65-year-old woman.

For the past few weeks, I have been having this condition - a feeling of tightness in my face which gradually moves to other parts of my body, such as my head and upper arms.

My forehead, eyes and nose are the areas under "attack" most of the time.

It feels like my nose is being squeezed when it happens.

The tightness is especially bad when I am stressed, anxious or when I physically exert myself doing activities such as mopping the floor or brisk walking.

Relief from this feeling often comes when I am relaxed or lying flat on my bed.

I have been through a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of my head and a computed tomography (CT) scan of my face. I have also had a scope of my nose.

No abnormality has been detected from these scans and the scope.

What am I suffering from?

Who should I go to for consultation or treatment?

A: It is important to look for any physical causes to your symptoms which could be neurological in origin although you did not actually describe the discomfort as pain.

You did, however, mention that the discomfort was aggravated by stress, anxiety and physical exertion and was relieved by relaxation and rest.

In the absence of a physical disorder, your problems could be a result of excessive physical exertion and/or inadequate rest.

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