I'm an 18 year old female, and before about a week ago, I hardly ever had headaches. Maybe one every few months and those were nothing memorably painful and nothing a couple aspirin wouldn't get rid of. The other day while swimming, I went under the water and held myself under just to see how long I could hold my breath; it had probably been a little less than thirty seconds before I came am up and INSTANTLY there was an increasing, EXCRUCIATING throbbing pain like nothing I've ever felt before. I can only describe it as pressure, as if my brain was too big for my skull and was pulsing painfully beneath it. The pain was mainly was on the back of my head in the lower left part. It made me cry out in pain repeatedly and believe me when I say that's something uncharacteristic for me, I'm not one to make vocalizations like that while in pain/fear/pleasure/whatever. I couldn't bring myself to climb the ladder out of the pool with the pain like it was and so I ended up waiting maybe 15 minutes before forcing myself to do so. The pain had faded a bit but it was still very bad; it was like it throbbed with every beat of my heart. I was really alarmed and didn't think it was just an ordinary headache sort of headache, especially since it had obviously been brought on by the going under water, and so (might sound foolish, I have no idea) I didn't want to take any medicine because I seriously thought something was seriously wrong. After thirty minutes, the pain seemed to be decreasing but very slowly. I took three ibuprofen, sat in a quiet dark room and after maybe 30 minutes the pain was nearly all gone.
Since then, this has happened three more times; the same unbearable, throbbing, pulsating sort of pain in the lower left side, on back of my head. I think it might be ONLY on the left side actually, but I'm not quite sure, I'll be sure to take special notice should it occur again... Each time, it seemed to be triggered by me doing some amount of physical activity. I don't have any idea why this is suddenly happening to me. Should I be worried? Any possible suggestions as to why this is happening to me?
This could be severe migraine type of headaches which is usually related to stressful situations and lack of rest. What happened during swimming may be due to difference in pressure in the ears, sinuses and other air spaces that are pain sensitive. I suggest that you have this evaluated by your doctor so that appropriate tests can be done if necessary. From the physical exam and neurologic exam alone, your doctor may already have a clue on what is wrong. Until then, make sure you have adequate rest.
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