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Pressure in head
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by Alexandre, Jul 18, 2005
About two and a half months ago all of a sudden I started experiencing high pressure in the front lobe part of the head, the feeling is best described as if the insides are trying to expand, but are contained by the scull (does not feel like a headache, quite different, more emphasis on innards wanting to expand, rather than pain/ache). The area affected by this high pressure feeling is front lobe part of the head, on the same level as eyebrows, from sideburn to sideburn, but mostly it is localized in the two spots, on the left and right side of the head, a funny comparison some place where cow has horns.
This is not necessarily painful, but has a distinct feeling of the insides wanting to expand out. The first month this was VERY apparent, I was distracted from everything happening around me, only being able to concentrate on the feeling of pressure/expansion. During the most severe episodes, the feeling from the two localized parts expanded towards each other, and joined right above the nose. If I was driving in a car, and looked in the rear view mirror, momentarily I would loose my orientation.
As implied above, the pressure sensation was not constant, it was start slow when I woke up, and increase throughout the day, taking a form waves, comes on strong, then lets go a bit, then returns again, sometimes disappearing completely from a few minutes, sometimes disappearing for a few hours even.
Throughout the first month for about 6 days (day here, day there, but not 6 in a row), I experienced loss of visual focus for the entire day. It was as if I was surrounded by light fog. Also throughout the first month, whenever I clutched my jaws together, it felt as if I had some liquid in my ears, but upon doctors check-up, no liquid was found in the ears.
After the initial 6 weeks there were some changes, the pressure decreased on average, the pressure attacks were not as severe, and at times the pressure disappeared for hours. I have noticed that it is often triggered by loud environments, or a busy/stressful workday, but not exclusively, sometimes it could happen right when I woke up in the morning.
After the initial week of this I have contacted my family doctor, thinking that this may be sinus related, since the week before my wife and son have just recovered from a sinus with help of antibiotics. Family doctor suggested to wait 10 days with no treatment to see if the body will recover by itself. After 10 days with no improvements, doctor suggested to take 1 tablet of Apo-Iboprofen 600 twice a day for 2 weeks, this did not help at all. I had CT scan.As I understand nothing abnormal was found. There does appear to be some atherosclerotic calcification within the intracranial portion of the left carotid artery but there is no evidence of previous CVA. The internal audiory canals are unremarkable. OPINION: Negative Study. Please help.


Answer:
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by Kevin Pho, MDBlank, Jul 18, 2005
A referral to a neurologist can be considered.  I would assume that the CT scan that you mentioned was a head CT.  

You can consider further imaging with an MRI - which can be more sensitive than a CT scan in diagnosing some neurological disorders.  

If negative, you can consider optimizing treatment for migraine headaches - which can sometimes present atypically.  Some of the symptoms you describe can be attributed by a migraine.

If the neurological workup is non-revealing, you mentioned the sinuses.  Various types of sinus pressure can sometimes mimic migraine headaches and other neurological conditions.  A sinus CT scan can be helpful in evaluating this possibility.  

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

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.

Kevin, M.D.
http://www.straightfromthedoc.com
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Member Comments (43)
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by Alexandre, Jul 21, 2005
Thank you doctor Kevin for your prompt reply. I will follow your instraction. Thanks again.
Kind Regards,
Alexandre
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by Theisy, Jul 25, 2005
I had something very simular a few years ago.
It lasted for months.Besides other testings, I also had a CT scan which showed normal results.
Then we went in vacation and the symptoms went away.
My first thinking was , that I had to much stress before
which caused the problems( Stress can cause a lot ).
When we came back, the problems started again after a few days.
Then I tried something else.During the vacation I didn't
use my moisturizing face cream which I started using before
my symptoms appeared , because I simply forgot it at home.
After vacation when the symptoms showed up again, I remembered
that I used a other cream during the vacation.So I tried to
avoid the other moisturizing cream and I was successful.
Cosmetics and Shampoos can make reactions also , when a person
is sensitiv to certain contents in it.At least thats my
experience.I'm free of symptoms since then and it was a simple
thing to try.
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by Alison Rae, Aug 14, 2005
For the last 7 weeks I have experienced serious pressure and occasional 15-30 minute headaches in my head, often not allowing me to drive or maintain my active lifestyle. After trying Meclizine, Prednisone, Birth control pill and now amoxicillon I still hahve no relief. MRI showed no abnormalities although an X-ray done my base spine down through my C5, also in my T10 & T12. What would be causing such inflammation? I am scheduled to see a nuerologist after my doctor felt he was of no help. His diagnosis is vertibulous nueronitis. Although from what I have read that only lasts about 2-3 weeks and I am now going on 8. I feel frustrated for myself and my family. What would suggest I do or who would you suggest I talk to?
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by Alison Rae, Aug 14, 2005
For the last 7 weeks I have experienced serious pressure and occasional 15-30 minute headaches in my head, often not allowing me to drive or maintain my active lifestyle. After trying Meclizine, Prednisone, Birth control pill and now amoxicillon I still hahve no relief. MRI showed no abnormalities although an X-ray done by my chiropractor showed severe inflammation from my base spine down through my C5, also in my T10 & T12. What would be causing such inflammation? I am scheduled to see a nuerologist after my doctor felt he was of no help. His diagnosis is vertibulous nueronitis. Although from what I have read that only lasts about 2-3 weeks and I am now going on 8. I feel frustrated for myself and my family. What would suggest I do or who would you suggest I talk to?
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by TJRSwitzerland, Aug 27, 2005
It is strangely comforting to see that quite a number of people across the globe are suffering from a stubborn pressure sensation in the head, with occasional dizziness, nausea and the general feeling of expansion within the head. My doc went through numerous standard tests, even including a tick infection (negative), and has likewise found nothing significant. My feeling is that it has collected over time of constant stress and, exceeding a kind of threshold, has now taken grip and become perceptible all day. Upon my suggestion, my doc has prescribed physiotherapy, no medication. A friend of mine with similar symptoms has made quite some progress along this path. Problem would be stiffening of the neck muscles up to constant cramp with burning, and left untreated for too long, as one gets used to it. I hope it's successful and urge all suffering out there to at least consider this train of thought.

Trevor
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by jenece, Aug 28, 2005
I have had the exact same symptoms.  I went to my Doc and he did all kinds of blood tests.. All is normal.  Let me know if anyone comes up with anything.
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by Alison Rae, Aug 30, 2005
Now after my fifth appt with the doctor, he has me on 25MG of Nortriptyline. One capsule orally every night at bedtime for headache prevention. I have taken it five night so far and no change.I have now had this head pressure for 10 weeks, almost daily and hope that my future neurology appt will shed some light on this annoying "headache".
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by Alison Rae, Aug 30, 2005
I'm sorry I forgot to mention above the reason my doctor prescribed the Nortriptyline, for tension headaches. I looked that up on www.womenshealthchannel.com and the description they gave was very close to my symptoms.