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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Air sensation around eye socket, nose blown

04/29/2001

Question:

could you please render an opinion on a problem I`m having with my sinus. there appears to have been a rupture between my left sinus and my left eye socket. When I blow my nose, I can feel air coming out around my eye socket..which is a very strange feeling,,like something is not right. Does this make any sense or have you ever heard of anything like this before..thank you.

Answer:

Some people can blow their nose, and force air up into the tear duct system (lacrimal system). The tear duct starts in the inner part of the eye and transports tears into the nasal cavity. Usually, this allows flow only in one direction, however, if the nose is forcefully blown, air can be forced up the duct and exit in the medial canthus (inner part of the eye). When this happens, it feels like air is coming out from around the eye, which it is. This ability is sometimes used as a party gag, etc., when someone can put some type of liquid into the nose, and force it to squirt from the eye area (NOT RECOMMENDED).

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Response by:

Thomas A Tami, MD Thomas A Tami, MD
Professor of Otolaryngology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati