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Unusual Dull Head Pain
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by Herb33, Aug 04, 2007
57-year-old white male in generally good health.  Lifelong NON-smoker with family history of cancer.  Taking Hyzaar, Toprol-XL and Zocor.

Past 6 weeks experiencing dull pain across front left quadrant of head, from upper cheek to top of head.  

Pain intermittent.  Most often notice it when I touch my face around left eye or touch forehead and scalp above left eye.  If I press down in these areas, pain NOT worse.  First noticed pain while washing hair in shower.  

Sometimes pain occurs without touching head; then it's dull throbbing pain, lasts a few seconds and goes away.  

Condition constant for six weeks: no better, no worse.  No definite pattern to occurrence.  Seems to occur more often in evening and when sitting.  Bothers me least when on my feet and active.  Does not disturb sleep.

No other symptoms.

As a physical problem, condition mildly annoying, no worse than arthritis in left wrist. No negative impact on normal routine.  

I'm very anxious about cause. My doctor examined me in his office six weeks ago, told me it's not uncommon for someone my age.  He thinks trigeminal nerve source of pain; caused by herpes virus.  Prescribed no treatment or medications.  Told me come back if pain gets worse.

I'd like to know if what I'm describing could be associated with a brain tumor.  Doctor did not mention this possibility.
Answer:
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by Cleveland ClinicBlank, Sep 19, 2007
Thanks for the email Herb. New onset of "headache" in someone who is 57 always raises some concern. It is possible that it is nothing serious and it does not sound like the symptoms have progresed which is good. The suggestion of trigenimal neuralgia has been raised. The trigeminal or 5th cranial nerve has 3 division. Patients can have pain related to a blood vessel lying over the nerve or related to herpes infection (shingles) although it does not sound like you had a skin outbreak. The pain is usually very short duration and stabbing or burning. Often worsened by brushing the teeth or wind. Pain in the temporal area in those over 60 (rare below that) can also be caused by inflammation of the temporal arteries and we usually will check a sed rate and C reacative protein. Lastly of course tumors can casue headaches. Usually the pain is not worsened by touching of the scalp. Since your symptoms have been going on for 6 weeks already it would seem reasonable to seen by a neurologhist to determine if additional testing or imaging should be completed. GS
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Member Comments (5)
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by vega1318, Aug 04, 2007
Sounds pretty typical for trigeminal neuralgia but your doctor should, just in case, get an MRI of the brain.  It is unlikely to be a tumor but any new headache should be checked out.  Trigeminal neuralgia can be treated with medications such as neurontin or tegretol.
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by taura33, Aug 17, 2007
I am a 48 yr old female in fairly good health. I have some spinal degeneration, spurs, etc and a few yrs back had a disc rupture. Surgery cleaned me up and I deal with back pain by being very careful about how I move. If I keep my spine aligned, mostly I am ok. Arthritis is also a big issue for me and I also have neck pain but I take no meds for any of these ailments at this time. I get around and do just fine as long as I keep moving and move with care. A few mths ago I developed neuropathy in my feet from being on them with 12hr work days. Neuropathy runs in my family, big time. Diabetes and other reasons. Mine seems to be compression neuropathy for I am not a diabetic. I now take 1200mg daily of the neurotin to help with the pain and burning. Now, my real reason for writing..
I have a new unusual symptom: Several mths back (way before I even started on the neurotin) I was standing up vaccuming and had a stinging pain hit the top left side of my head. It seemed to "run" about an inch down toward my ear spreading a warmth then dulled and felt wet. I actually felt to ck for bleeding. Nothing there. I just rubbed the spot and felt a warmth and pressure like a throb that lasted only a few minutes. It was not a headache so it DID concern me because I had never felt that kind of pain before. I had no more until the last few weeks and now I have them sporadicly. Seems they are increasing in their frequency but they are not as severe as the first one and they vary in location on my head yet they have no other symptom that comes with them. They are more dull now and they have NO wet feeling accompanying them. They almost feel scalplike yet they have a throbbing or pulsating feeling with them that feels a bit deeper than my scalp. I have no job or insurance now so I have not informed my doctor of this pain. I feel absolutely fine except the fear that it could be ischemic or pressure from something that should not be there. I do not want to stoke out but I cannot afford to have test at this time. Sounds stupid saying this I know but I suppose I am waiting for some other symptom to accompany it for me to feel there is a bigger cause for concern in order to go to the doctor and deal with all the medical bills from test. While I am "waiting" on some other sign that this could indeed be serious, I am asking anyone if they have had pains like this with no other symptoms present.
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by checktab, Aug 20, 2007
Intermittent, painful throbbing.
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by Armisis, Sep 25, 2007
I am unsure if my pain is the same.  It is in the right side of my head, above the temple kinda forward of it too.  It only hurts once in awhile and is totally random.  It causes a sharp pain to shoot through the area when it is touched.  But i can not sit here and recreate the pain.  It happens like "out of nowhere".  If i put a hat on it can spur the pain. I notice in the place of the pain my skin feels dented in.. this goes on for about 2 inches that starts near the top of the side of my head and goes down to my temple area.  Does anyone have any idea??? I am only 25, i did smoke for 10 years or so i just recently quit. But the pain occured before i quit.  
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by kstudent, Jan 17, 2009
A related discussion, Dull head sore spot was started.
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by rosesh, Sep 02, 2009
A related discussion, Migraine was started.