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What causes sudden onset of tight face and sore jaw area in a person with anxiety?

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Posted on Wed, 27 May 2015
Question: Yesterday at work, which was extremely stressful and anxiety ridden, I developed a tight face, sore jaws, a tightened mouth which was distorted a bit, my left eye was smaller than my right, I had trouble talking and moving my mouth with ease and correctly. My hands only were tingling. My blood pressure was good. I have panic disorder for which I take 150 mg of effexor. I'm very fatigued every day and on an off day can sleep until 2:30 in the afternoon. Anyway, the main reason for this contact is to ask what you think happened yesterday? I'm 51. Eat healthily, but the incident frightened my family. I often work uninterrupted for 7 hours at a time. No break and a working lunch. I love my job. But, I'm moving and talking every second of those 7 hours, and I work 9 hours a day! Enlightenment would be appreciated.

XXXX
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Answered by Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Most likely these symptoms occurred due to panic but need evaluation

Detailed Answer:
Hello thanks for asking from HCM for your health related queries

I can understand your concern. You are 51 years old male and have stressful life in terms of work. You have been diagnosed with panic disorder and are taking Effexor, Xanax for that. The episode of sudden onset tightening of face, sore jaws, distorted mouth, difficulty in talking, tingling hands can occur in certain situations like panic but also include some seizure episode. So this needs proper evaluation.

If you were fully conscious during episode, there are no involuntary coarse shaking of body, no evidence of frothing from mouth, no abnormal movements of eyes then we can rule out seizures. Still if such episode occur again then visit a doctor for evaluation and treatment. EEG can prove helpful to rule out any seizure focus in brain.

As you also have history of panic disorder so we have to keep panic disorder in provisional diagnosis. In severe panic individuals may develop intense symptoms like feeling of tightening of face, palpitations, tingling, numbness of hands, difficulty in talking and sense of impending doom in clear consciousness. In most cases such symptoms last for about 10-30 minutes. Xanax or some other benzodiazepine on SOS basis can help to reduce these symptoms.

One rare possibility for such symptoms is some ischaemic attack in brain. In TIA or transient ischaemic attack some time this presentation can be seen. But the possibility is rare because in most cases weakness of extremities is seen commonly.

In my opinion there is no need to worry. If such symptoms occur again and don't respond to Xanax then visit your doctor for proper evaluation.

Thanks, I hope this helps you. Please ask again for more doubts.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi

Psychiatrist

Practicing since :2007

Answered : 5187 Questions

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What causes sudden onset of tight face and sore jaw area in a person with anxiety?

Brief Answer: Most likely these symptoms occurred due to panic but need evaluation Detailed Answer: Hello thanks for asking from HCM for your health related queries I can understand your concern. You are 51 years old male and have stressful life in terms of work. You have been diagnosed with panic disorder and are taking Effexor, Xanax for that. The episode of sudden onset tightening of face, sore jaws, distorted mouth, difficulty in talking, tingling hands can occur in certain situations like panic but also include some seizure episode. So this needs proper evaluation. If you were fully conscious during episode, there are no involuntary coarse shaking of body, no evidence of frothing from mouth, no abnormal movements of eyes then we can rule out seizures. Still if such episode occur again then visit a doctor for evaluation and treatment. EEG can prove helpful to rule out any seizure focus in brain. As you also have history of panic disorder so we have to keep panic disorder in provisional diagnosis. In severe panic individuals may develop intense symptoms like feeling of tightening of face, palpitations, tingling, numbness of hands, difficulty in talking and sense of impending doom in clear consciousness. In most cases such symptoms last for about 10-30 minutes. Xanax or some other benzodiazepine on SOS basis can help to reduce these symptoms. One rare possibility for such symptoms is some ischaemic attack in brain. In TIA or transient ischaemic attack some time this presentation can be seen. But the possibility is rare because in most cases weakness of extremities is seen commonly. In my opinion there is no need to worry. If such symptoms occur again and don't respond to Xanax then visit your doctor for proper evaluation. Thanks, I hope this helps you. Please ask again for more doubts.