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Reason for repeated headache with blurred vision.

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I am a 38 year old female that is experiencing headaches everyday on the left side of my head. They build like a labor contraction and then they subside, (just like a labor pain) and then it happens again. I will take some Advil and it will go away, but sometimes it comes back again the same day, like now. I have some blurred vision on and off in my left eye also. I am scared there is something seriously wrong in my head? Am I ok?


Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STD)Specialist
Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian is online now

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 4 Days.

Hello.
Thank you for your query at DoctorSpring.com.
I understand your concern. It is unlikely that you have anything serious.
However, I would like some additional information in order to provide a definitive opinion.
-How long have you had these headaches?
-How long does each episode of headache last?
-Do you experience any loss of vision in a part of your visual field, appearance of bright spots or zigzag lines before or during the headache?
-Does it build up to its maximum intensity within minutes or over a few hours?
-What is the character of the pain? Throbbing/ pulsating/ deep and continuous?
-How would you rate its severity on a scale of 10, with 10 being the maximum pain you have ever experienced?
-Any aggravating factors such as bright lights or noise?
-Any recent changes in sleep, exercise, weight, or diet?
-Any medical illnesses?
-Do you practice birth control? If yes, any recent changes in the method?
-Any history of migraine in the family?
Please reply to each of the above questions in the follow-up.
Awaiting your response,
Kind regards.


Patient replied :

Please note my answers below:
-How long have you had these headaches? It has been happening everyday now for a week. Sometimes twice in a day -How long does each episode of headache last? They last till I take some Advil and about 30 minutes after I take it -Do you experience any loss of vision in a part of your visual field, appearance of bright spots or zigzag lines before or during the headache? I have been seeing some like black things moving in my vision of my left eye for about a month but not when i have the headache -Does it build up to its maximum intensity within minutes or over a few hours? It builds and acts just like a contraction with labor, it builds over minutes and then peaks and releases then starts building again and again.....it is a continuous cycle. (I feel like it in my left eye some) -What is the character of the pain? Throbbing/ pulsating/ deep and continuous? it is hard to discribe the pain, it is throbbing but stabbing at the same time -How would you rate its severity on a scale of 10, with 10 being the maximum pain you have ever experienced? it starts at like a 3 and the builds to like a 8 and then subsides -Any aggravating factors such as bright lights or noise? I am not sure, have not noiced -Any recent changes in sleep, exercise, weight, or diet? I have been under a lot of stress, crying, fear..... Going through a lot of emotional things -Any medical illnesses? None -Do you practice birth control? If yes, any recent changes in the method? No -Any history of migraine in the family? No

Thank you so much for your help, I am scared it is like a brain tumor or something


Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 3 Days.

Hello.
Thank you for your detailed reply.

You do not seem to have a brain tumor. Brain tumors usually present with severe headaches not responding to medication, seizures, vertigo, vomiting, weakness of limbs etc. Your symptoms do not match any of these. So please do not worry about it.

You seem to have a migraine. The black spots in your vision are due to visual aura that usually precedes migraines. The fact that the headache responds well to Advil is also in favor of it.
Migraine is the most common cause of headaches, and usually people in their thirties are often affected. Stress is a major factor known to precipitate migraines. The good thing is, it is a benign (harmless) condition and with removal of the precipitating factors, it can be prevented.

I have the following suggestions.
1. Please continue the Advil for another week. Make sure you take it on a full stomach. If your headache usually starts off in the morning, you can take one Advil, right after breakfast in order to prevent the headache from developing.
2. You need to take measures to cut down your stress levels like meditation, engaging in your favorite sport/activity, talking to someone who can help, or whatever else that works for you.
You should carry out these steps for a week. If the headache is still persisting after a week, you can see your doctor for prescription medications for anxiety.

I hope this was helpful. Let me know if you have further queries.
Thank you.


Patient replied :

Thank you for your response. I did in fact wake up with the headache this morning and I feel it in the top of my eye, like the corner by my nose and on the top of my head.
I am really scared. Should I be?


Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 2 Days.

Hello. Thank you for writing to us again.
No please don't be scared. This symptoms are common in migraine. In fact the more you stress, the more headache you develop. So you need to cut down on the stress immediately.
Just continue Advil as i mentioned before for a week and let me know if your symptoms are improving.
Regards


Patient replied :

I am sorry to bother you but it seemed to change some. I wake up in the morning and about 10 to 15 minutes later the headache starts to build. I feel it in my eye and the top of my head and it is still scareing me very much. It is also making my left eye blurry and this morning it is like the Advil doesnt want to work as well.


Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 1 Day.

Hello,
I understand you are very anxious. However, your headache is nothing but benign (harmless).
I would suggest that you go to your doctor for an evaluation. When it is mentioned to you that its nothing apart from a benign headache, you will be reassured.
Take care.


Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian
Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STD)Specialist
Experience: 
MD, Internal Medicine - Stanley Medical School
Medical School - MBBS - Govt. Medical College, Kottyaam

Diagnostic Prediction - Stanford School of Medicine
Received Specialty training in Critical Care, Cardiology, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Nephrology from Stanley Medical College and in Endocrinology, Rheumatology.

Hematology and Geriatrics from Madras Medical College.
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