I guess I look slightly worse than the Elephant Man....
March 29, 2009 2:03 PM Subscribe
My face is suddenly asymmetrical. Can the medically-inclined members of the Hive Mind give me ideas as to what may be the cause?
posted by Oriole Adams to health & fitness (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A little less than a year ago, it occurred to me when looking in the mirror that the left side of my face seemed to be slightly swollen in one area. Even though I've always had a "chubby" face, the right side of my face has a slight indentation between the "apple" of the cheek and the ear. Not so the left side. Just a few millimeters above the left earlobe and forward toward the left cheek "apple" (closer to the ear than to the cheek, though) there is a very slight (but still perceptible) bulge.
I mentioned this to my rheumatologist (who is also my GP) during my most recent appointment last January. She studied my face from a distance and stated "It is asymmetrical." She pressed along the area that appears to be swollen and commented that she couldn't feel any sort of mass there. She then said if it hadn't gone away on its own by my next appointment (June), she'd order either an X-ray or CT scan (I can't remember which) to see if there was "anything in there."
I've had lifelong sinus problems, along with Sjogren's Syndrome (one of the manifestations of my Lupus). The side of my face that is slightly swollen doesn't hurt, per se, but I am *aware* of it, if that makes any sense. If I happen to sleep on my left side for a long period of time, I'll still feel it after several hours after I've awakened and been out of bed. My left ear also often has a "full" sensation, and makes little popping noises (like Rice Krispies). My rheumy has gazed inside that ear and not found anything significant (not even excess wax). The only other "symptom" I can describe is that, after laying for a long time on my left side, I get a subtle but weird taste in my mouth - the best way I can describe it is a sort of baby food fruity taste, if that makes any sense.
Obviously, I'll most likely be undergoing further testing in a few months, but I wonder if anyone has any thoughts as to what this might be. When I press on the swollen area, I don't feel any pain. But, again, I do often feel a sensation of "fullness" on that side of my face. Any chance this could be some sort of sinus-y thing? But then again, what could make the face swell enough to be visibly obvious and yet the doctor can't feel anything when palpating it?