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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Facial Tingling and Blood Pressure

05/29/2007

Question:

What is causing me to have tingling in my face on either side and in the center of the right side of my back. It comes and goes. I realized that when I am stressed or upset that it comes on quick. My doctor said it was my blood pressure but that was when I only had it on the right side and my blood pressure has been good. I think it is a nerve problem.

Answer:

This question has been forwarded by Sports Medicine:

Tingling and other physical symptoms can occur during periods of anxiety and stress. tingling can have known physiological causes, for example hyperventilating, or breathing too fast, for many minutes can lead to tingling because it changes levels of carbon dioxide in the blood. Tingling can also come from pressure on nerves, like in pinched nerves in the low back that lead to tingling in the toes or carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist that leads to tingling in fingers. However, tingling can also come from anxiety and stress, and is usually not due to damage to nerves or to physiological changes. If you haven't had a complete physical exam, I encourage you to do so. It is important to make sure there is no rare physical cause for the tingling. Then I encourage you to see a mental health counselor to learn some stress reduction and relaxation techniques to see if they help with your tingling, and to be assessed for any more serious anxiety disorders. Good luck.

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Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati