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Pressure in Head
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Pressure in Head

I have an ongoing problem (years). After I've been sitting for a while and stand up, I get a few steps and it feels like blood is going up to my head like it's s'posed to but it can't get out as fast as it goes in. It's like being underwater for minute or so, vision is like looking through water and hearing is dull. Then it passes. I can also trigger it lifting, carrying, or having to reach 'up' for something.

Lately developed another version of the same problem, more chronic but not as extreme. I get the pressure feeling and headache by afternoon from sitting at work or in the car. Or from exertion like a brisk walk, housework, groceries.

Possibly related, uncomfortably swollen, puffy, face and it gets red easily. Discomfort/pain along breastbone and up neck on right side. (It sorta feels like the 'bottleneck' in the blood flow happens here. But maybe it's not related.)

I have had a chest xray, chest ct, carotid doppler, brain mri. I've been for physical therapy & chiropractic. Just went to a neurologist. So far no relief and no clues.

Are there any tests I could try that would take my body position into consideration while looking at the blood movement? Any other type of specialist who might be able to help me?

Thanks very much!
Laura
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Avatar_n_tn
Some of the symptoms you describe may be related to near passing out (also called pre-syncope). This may be triggered either by inadequate blood supply to the brain, or if another part of your body is stealing the blood for its use. For instance if you have a blockage to an artery in your arm, the blood may be shunted from the brain to supply the arm.

To evaluate this problem you should consider having the vessels supplying you brian and upper extremity evaluated. This can be accomplished via a MRI angiography or a conventional angiogram (placing a catheter in the artery and taking pictures).  Another test which may be performed include a TILT table test. During this test you are lying flat on a table and then over time the table tilts up. During this time your blood pressure and heart are monitored to look for changes.

Some of these tests may not be performed at all hospitals, and therefore you may need to have a second opinion with an academic neurologist at an academic center. I hope this helps.
11 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there,
Has the neurologist suggested an MRA of your brain? that would show any problems with the major blood vessels.
Your symptoms are similar to what i've been going through. I've had transient episodes of double vision, brought on by straining, bending, and exercise. (I have been diagnosed with a sixth nerve dysfunction and possibly a problem with one of my eye muscles.) I can induce my symptoms through hyperventilating. But I had an MRA along the way to rule out the possibility of an aneurysm, which can be life threatening (not to alarm you....).
good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
So glad your question got in. After yrs. of suffering w/ varied
degrees of `pressure in head'& no answers, you have revived this
problem. Old posts I've searched has even referred this to a
mental-health professional! I'm still not Dx. Had several types
of MRI-hd/nck/brain. N/A on MRA, EEG, NCV, EMG, Ultrasound, CT's,
Chest, ENG, ABR, +. I tell Dr's it feels like `Helium Head' that
may explode unless I lay dwn. They laugh & give me sedatives. I
also say it feels like I'm standing on my head too long w/ no
relief. I got BP meds for 120/80! This attack hits laying dwn or
sitting up but mostly w/ weather changes. I tried to convince a
sleep-neuro to hook me up to record me for postural-change. No
one gets it. The long term stress of this problem has triggered
noticeable Essential Tremors. Neuro confirmed. I've mentioned
inflammation, vascular edema, skull can't accomadate insides. I
think I explain it. My theory, is it's partly orthostatic & due
to inflammation of vascular pressure. Lo dose Xanax helps. It
sedates vascular system. A vessel `tremors' if flow is altered.
Inflammation can happen from a pinched nerve or body shift. I
tried Neurontin (don't get me started)! I jump up to get pressure
out or I feel a crisis-mode coming on. I'm home, can't work. It
feels like brain-fog till it subsides. It's always gone by the
time we get to the hospital. Now what helps me is being cut off for fear that 5 .5 xanax a mo. might addict me. Guess they want me to suffer. Please let us know if you find a magic answer. We
could have different things but maybe your Dr. will try some of
my tests. A tilt-table test may help. Hypertension is thrown out
alot. Don't mention puffy-red face. You'll get a battery of PMS
& Hormone stuff mentioned. This is awful to live with. Stay in
touch & let's hope for alittle magic.
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Avatar_n_tn
I wish that it would be that simple for me, MRI showed atrophy to the brain at age of 46. The pressure feels like someone is trying to hold the head still, but brain waves go to 50 million addresses where no one is home.
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Avatar_n_tn
Sometimes `pressure in head' is do to lack of `Thank You' to
people that have tried to help. I'm glad you are now well.
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Avatar_n_tn
I HAVE TMJ AND I GET SIMILAR FEELINGS IN THE HEAD.

PERSONAL OPINION: YOUR CRANIUM IS INJURED. YOUR CRANIUM IS SHIFTING POSITIONS AND THE BONES IN THE CRANIUM ARE MOVING.

LOOK UP: NUERO-CRANIAL RECONSTRUCTION

VISIT:

<a href="http://www.drdeanhowell.com">http://www.drdeanhowell.com</a>
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Avatar_n_tn
Glad to hear I'm not the only one experiencing these symptoms.  I have to admit that anything that involves blood flow and/or my heart is pretty scary.  The same thing happens to me a few minutes after I stand up from sitting at my desk at work.  It feels like "reverse gravity" and my head is going to explode... not especially painful, but definitely a rush of blood to he head.  Also, my hearing is diminished until the rush subsides.  Usually, the rush goes away in less than a minute if I rest.  I'm an amateur bodybuilder and have put on about 40lbs in just under two months since my last show.  I attribute the symptoms to my increase in body mass.  Any suggestions?
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Avatar_n_tn
I wanted to follow up on Laura's comments because what she describes sounds similar to my problem. I have had pressure in my head for almost 5 years. The doctor says it is stress but I don't have a particularly stressful job and, why would I feel the pressure when simply sitting down? It seems to be worse now because there is so much pressure built up, that I want to cry, get something out of me but I can't. At night when I wake up, I feel and can actually hear, the blood rushing into my head. It is very weird and very discomforting. At other times when I get up from my desk, I have to stand for a minute until the pressure subsides a bit. I have seen two neurologists who say I am perfectly normal because I have no dizziness and I can touch my toes, walk a straight line, etc. etc. The last neurologist I saw said it was not vascular but I have to disagree. I had an MRI and it was clear. Blood pressure is normal. I am otherwise healthy and active and not overweight. But this is interfering with my life and I am quite concerned. If you can suggest anything, I would appreciate it. Thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
I noted this site & read your comments.  My symptoms are somewhat similar.  For the last year I have been suffering "episodes" of dizziness, rapid heartbeat, pressure in the area of my sinuses, cold sweats, tingling of teeth and palate, and anxiety (obviously with all that).
I have to date seen my family practice physician, an ENT, a dentist, and a neurologist.  My CAT & MRI came back normal (sinsuses are clear), as did subsequent bloodwork.  My next appointment is with the cardiologist.  
All symptoms occur about 1-2 times a week, with the exception of the pressure @ the front of my head which is almost constant.
I am getting extremely frustrated and so far haven't found a doctor who can help to diagnose these symptoms or even provide some relief.  I have tired Neurontin, Verapamil, and Afrin (nasal spray), but to date none of these med's have helped.
I am going on a year of feeling this way and it has begun to affect my quality of life.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Good luck everyone!!!!!

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Avatar_n_tn
I noted this site & read your comments.  My symptoms are somewhat similar.  For the last year I have been suffering "episodes" of dizziness, rapid heartbeat, pressure in the area of my sinuses, cold sweats, tingling of teeth and palate, and anxiety (obviously with all that).
I have to date seen my family practice physician, an ENT, a dentist, and a neurologist.  My CAT & MRI came back normal (sinsuses are clear), as did subsequent bloodwork.  My next appointment is with the cardiologist.  
All symptoms occur about 1-2 times a week, with the exception of the pressure @ the front of my head which is almost constant.
I am getting extremely frustrated and so far haven't found a doctor who can help to diagnose these symptoms or even provide some relief.  I have tired Neurontin, Verapamil, and Afrin (nasal spray), but to date none of these med's have helped.
I am going on a year of feeling this way and it has begun to affect my quality of life.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Good luck everyone!!!!!

Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I noted this site & read your comments.  My symptoms are somewhat similar.  For the last year I have been suffering "episodes" of dizziness, rapid heartbeat, pressure in the area of my sinuses, cold sweats, tingling of teeth and palate, and anxiety (obviously with all that).
I have to date seen my family practice physician, an ENT, a dentist, and a neurologist.  My CAT & MRI came back normal (sinsuses are clear), as did subsequent bloodwork.  My next appointment is with the cardiologist.  
All symptoms occur about 1-2 times a week, with the exception of the pressure @ the front of my head which is almost constant.
I am getting extremely frustrated and so far haven't found a doctor who can help to diagnose these symptoms or even provide some relief.  I have tired Neurontin, Verapamil, and Afrin (nasal spray), but to date none of these med's have helped.
I am going on a year of feeling this way and it has begun to affect my quality of life.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Good luck everyone!!!!!

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