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sharp pain right side of my head
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sharp pain right side of my head

I have this sharp pain going on the right side of my head it feeling like stabbing. I was seen by urgent care doctor last friday yet his diagnose was tension headache but today I having this sharp pain it really concern me. can you tell what's going on please?
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.

Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.

Primary headache disorders are much more common than secondary ones. There are several primary headache disorders, over 50 different types.  For example  migraines, which usually a pulsating throbbing one-sided pain with nausea and discomfort in bright lights that lasts several hours. Another type is cluster headaches, which are sharp pains that occur around and behind the eye often at night and are associated with tearing of the eye and running of the nose. In primary stabbing headache, sharp or jabbing pain in the head occur, either as a single stab or a series of brief repeated volleys of pain. Primary stabbing headache often occurs in people with migraine. The pain itself generally lasts a fraction of a second but can last for up to one minute in some people. Another type of stabbing headache is called paroxysmal hemicrania. This is marked by episodes of stabbing or sharp pains that occur on one side of the head and may be associated with eye tearing or runny nose. Episodes may occur several times and last 30 seconds to a minute. Yet another type of stabbing headache is abbreviated SUNCT; 100s of stabbing pains lasting seconds occur and are associated with red eye and tearing.

If you are older than the age of 55, one potential cause of facial pain is called giant cell arteritis or temporal arteritis. This is due to an inflammation in the temporal artery and other arteries in the body. Symptoms include one sided headache pain in the temple and jaw that may be triggered by chewing. This condition can be diagnosed by a blood test called an ESR and a biopsy of the artery. It is very important to rule this diagnosis out as it is highly treatable and if left untreated it can lead to vision loss. It is exceedingly rare in people younger than 55, and is more common in even older age groups.

Another potential cause of temple pain is inflammation or arthritis of the temporo-mandiublar joint, commonly called the TMJ. This can sometimes occur due to bruxism, biting down at night or during the day, and other stresses to the joint. This is best diagnosed/managed by an orthodontist or an ENT, and treatment includes braces and other dental fixtures and sometimes muscle relaxants, depending on the exact cause.

Without further information about your headache, it is difficult to provide you with adequate information. However, it is important for you to understand that if you have not experienced headaches in the past and you are now having new head pains, seeing a neurologist is a good idea, just to make sure there is nothing serious causing this pain. Imaging of the brain and sometimes then neck may be indicated depending on your exact symptoms, your physical examination, and other factors.

I would recommend that you follow up with a neurologist who specializes in headache. As you can tell, there are many headache types (I just mentioned a few). Each has its own treatment plan.

Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
4 Comments
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534785_tn?1329595808
It sounds like it's a migraine. Have you been feeling stressed or recently exposed to anything that may have triggered the headache (bright lights, strong smells, loud noises, etc.)?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,

I'm having somewhat the same symptoms.  Mine kind of feel like a burning sensation at times also.  It's not BAD but annoying and it's mainly on the right side of my head but sometimes it be all over.  My neck,shoulders,and lower back be sore too...but light,noise, and smell doesn't bother me so I know it isn't migraine instead I'm thinking it's tension headache or cluster headache.  
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Avatar_m_tn
A related discussion, Right Temple Pain at night was started.
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