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Neck Pressure with Visual Disturbances
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Neck Pressure with Visual Disturbances

I am a 37 year old male.  For the last 7 months I have been expeirencing multiple problems.  I have been getting an intense
pressure in the back of my neck where the head and neck meet.  The pressure is so intesne at times that I feel as if I am going to pass out.  The pressures comes and goes throughout the day with varying degrees of intensity and usually last for about a week and then lightens up.  The extreamly intense ones happen about 1 week a month, however I have many many lighter ones in between.  During these I feel tingling sensations in my hands and feet with weakness in my arms/legs and neck.  I have all sorts of visual disurbances, flashing lights, grey spots, light sensativity and it feels as if something is clamping down on the back of my eyes.  My eyes are permatly light sensitive, extreamly dry,  my eyelids flicker, distorted side vision and I have developed many floaters.  I have had my eyes examined by a opthomologist several times and they say it's from normal aging (vitreous is liguifying)???  For the neck pressure I have had a normal MRI/CT scan and blood work that was normal.  My neuro does not have a good explnation of what is going, she has diagnosed me with possible cluster migraines.  Can migraines cause permanate vision changes?  Could there be a systamic disease associated with these symptoms?  
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Mike:

I am sorry to hear about your problems of vision, neck and head pressure.  The good is that your MRI of the brain and cervical spine are normal and you have normal lab work.  I will also assume that your visual acuity and field of vision hasn't changed (opthalmologist exam), and normal neurological exam.  That really excludes most of the really worrisome etiologies of your problems. Now, what could be happening.  Things that are episodic fall into several categories-epilepsy, migraine headaches, movement disorders and behavioral events.  Your symptoms have a flavor of migraine (typical) but not cluster.  You did not tell me that the pain was unbearable, with tearing, running nose, flushed face etc that would indicate cluster.  Seizure activity is always possible but usually one does not find pain as the main symptoms or parasthesias in only the extremities bilaterally.  Migraines usually do not give bilateral symptoms in the extremities as a rule.  Tension headaches might induce some of the symptoms you describe but I would need more history.  Seizure activity might be a possibility but not all the symptoms fit.  I am not sure what to tell you, as I am stumped.  I am sorry.

Sincerely,

CCF Neuro MD
3 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Mike,
I just finished reading your letter 'Neck Pressure with Visual Disturbances.'  I am amazed that it sounds like I wrote it myself.  I have suffered from this (migraines?) for years now.  The eye, neck, head and vision problems sounds identical.  I would like to get in touch with you somehow.  Hopefully you will get this reply, and I am assuming the reply is supposed to be directed at you.
Fingers crossed.  My sincere apologies if I have submitted this letter incorrectly.
***@****
sincerely
Sharron
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Avatar_n_tn
The exact symptoms you are describing are what I have been going through.  The pain in the back of my neck where my head & neck connect is quite unbearable at times.  I also get headaches in the front of my head.  I too have the vision loss, floaters, spots & darker vision.  This time around I was also having dizziness which I didn't have during a prior flare-up.  I went to the neurologist who ran all the tests and then did a spinal tap or lumbar puncture.  What I have is benign intercranial hypertension.  Which is increased spinal pressure.  During the spinal they drained off some of the excess then had me start taking Lasix.  Headaches and neckaches are still there but not as severe.  I almost forgot to mention the light sensitivity and the fact that being on the computer at work all day really intensified the headache.  By the end of a work day I would have to hold my head in my hands.  Also I had/have the feeling like my head is too heavy for my neck.  Check with your neurologist about this condition and find out it if is a possibility.  I guess it isn't all that common so it may be overlooked by many doctors especially since all the other tests will show up with everything being normal.  

  Cause of this I have been told is commonly weight.  I'm sure that has some to do with it in my case but mine also has to do with being on a birth control pill.  If you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to email me at ***@****.  I look forward to hearing from anyone else that has experienced this condition.  I have read and I do believe it that you can lose your vision if this is left untreated so it is very important to be tested.  I almost lost the vision in my left eye because of it.  But once the pressure is reduced alot of the sympotoms subside.

Corrie
***@****
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