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Air pressure in sinuses

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When I puff up my cheeks with air, and force the air to the back coner of my left cheek, it feels like the air is going into an extra pocket kind of under my ear and where my jaw and ear meet, and all around that area. If I apply a lot of pressure and do it many times, it starts to feel sore. I've been able to do this foreve, I think. A lot of people have told me it's impossible it's air, but I am fairly certain it is, because it feels just like air. I'm worried that if I apply too much pressure it will cause damages, or that if I do it with water or juice then that will also cause damages. I've already pushed liquids back there, and it starts to really hurt and sting. I know that the simplist solution would be to stop, but I'm the kind of person that when something like this is worrying me, I can't stop and I just do it more and with more pressure.
Should I be worried, is this a bad thing? Can I damage something by putting too much pressure/forcing a liquid in there?


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replied May 31st, 2010
Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders Answer A12719
Hi, welcome to the ehealth forum and I am glad to help you.
You seem concerned by the thought that when you puff your cheeks, the air forces into an extra pocket under your left ear where the jaw and ear meet and you keep on doing this act of forcing air and liquids into that pocket time and again making you feel sore over that area due to cheek muscle fatigue.
Most likely the physical examination in your case is going to be normal. The 7th (facial nerve) is a very long nerve and it supplies the muscles for facial expression – furrowing your brow, closing your eye, smiling, puffing out your cheeks. If any part of this nerve is affected, you won’t be able to puff your cheeks properly. And in your case probably this is one possibility and might also turn out to be normal.
If all is normal on examination, there is a likelihood of obsessive-compulsive disorder in your case with intrusive thoughts of extra pocket in your mouth disturbing you and you puffing out your cheeks as a compulsive act. You probably know that your thoughts are irrational but you cannot stop yourself from the compulsive act. If the diagnosis is established you might benefit from medications as well as behavioural therapy.
You must consult a psychiatrist for further evaluation as the definitive diagnosis cannot be made online.
Hope this helps. Take care.
Note: This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.



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