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590279 tn?1286339622

Facial Pain, Dizziness, going on 15 months - not sinus infection - PLEASE help

So allergies might not be the correct section for this but I am at a loss for the cause so putting it here among related posts.

I am SO desperate for help on this issue it is making me depressed so have turned to this. Please do not skip since a long post, as I feel it may be necessary to give all the details and not have people suggest things that are ruled out.

The main symptoms of my problem are a combination of facial pain in my cheeks, dizziness or feeling ‘off’, vision difficulties, and a rapid heart beat. I have read some posts online of similar problems, but all seem to revolve around sinus infections which apparently isn’t a problem for me. Given that I am a university student entering my final courses and this problem has persisted over 15 months so far, it has me incredibly concerned and doctors are either at a loss for my problem or just not willing to help.

Allow me to explain the past 15 months in more detail, perhaps someone has had some similar history.

So one day the end of May 2007 I was sitting on my couch studying as usual. I noticed pain in my cheeks and the bridge of my nose and some tightness in my forehead. This is turn seemed to affect my eyes as it seemed when I was studying that words seemed either over focused or doubled, at the same time. My concentration was affected and I would sit there rubbing my face. At this point I found decongestants seemed to help and I could go along as usual. I brought this up to my doctor and I tried various types of sinus medications as she was sure it was an infection. These didn’t help and one day I actually felt dizzy and unsteady. We assumed it was a side affect of the meds and I stopped talking them. I had short periods of panic and my heart would race when I didn’t feel right. At the end of June I went on a holiday to Miami taking a load of medications but alas I was 100% fine there and upon returning felt fine more or less (despite a crazy cold due to a moldy hotel room). Throughout the summer I would have the odd day of facial pressure, but nothing a decongestant couldn’t seem to relieve.
Starting in September symptoms started coming up more frequently and the beginning of October 2007 I had this dizziness feeling, not like I was going to fall down or things were spinning, but like I was doped up on medications and not 100% in control of my body. It was extremely difficult to get through school for the next 2 months. I went to two different ENT doctors, both saying my sinuses were actually fine. One said it was maybe stress but there was no real trigger point around any of this and I felt these symptoms were actually what brought on the stress. I tried a variety of nasal sprays with no real results. The doctor put me on prednisone for a week the end of Oct and I felt drastically better for part of that, only to slip right back into it again afterwards. When it all got extremely bad in November I went to emergency and they tried the prednisone again for 10 days but this time it didn’t work.

I have had problems with headaches/neck & back problems my entire life due to car accidents as a child but that I had actually felt I had gotten more under control with acupuncture for my back and dry needling to my neck and scalp to relieve the headaches, rather than traditional chiropractic which never had much results.

Throughout December 2007 my symptoms seemed to gradually subside a little bit. I did go for sinus acupuncture at the beginning of Dec, but given I have tried that recently too with no results, I’m not sure if that contributed in Dec after all. First the dizziness drifted away, and then the facial pressure and occasional swollen/stuffed up nose. From the beginning of January until later in March EVERY symptom drifted away. I still had extremely stressful periods in that time with school but nothing seemed to bring back the problems so I do not think stress is the cause. I was definitely not convinced it wouldn’t return, but hoped it was some virus I had finally kicked. Then one day later in March I got quite congested for a couple days, and some facial pressure, then suddenly the dizziness came back a week later and I was under my constant fog again.

It is very difficult to explain the dizziness.. it’s like an unsteadiness and my eyes seem to over focus. If I were to look at one thing, it seems like it takes longer and more energy to focus, and then when I switch to look at something else, it unfocuses, slowly moves and then longer to refocuses again (not minutes or anything that dramatic). I did have my eyes checked and they said there was a small area I could have reading glasses, but due to the nature of my symptoms this did not seem to be the cure. I also find that sometimes when I stare at something it suddenly pops out at me and overfocuses then becomes blurry. This is especially noticeable and troublesome if I am at any kind of store. All of this causes much eye strain, which on 'normal days' is not there at all.

Since the spring I have gone for a CT scan – no problem there. Allergy tests – very very slight allergy to mold but she definitely didn’t think it could contribute to all of this. The topic of seasonal allergies had come up, but have since been ruled out, especially since when I went to Israel for a month May-June (humid in some areas, dry in others) this was not an issue at all. However, upon my return mid June it came back, almost the same day. I had a few scattered days in July where I was fine, but I have been horrible the last few weeks again and terrified for the start up of school again. I am trying a mouth guard for possible TMJ but don't believe that is helping.

Nothing in my life changed during Jan-March so I have no idea why this went away and why it is still haunting me. When all of this acts up I have no energy and get depressed because I feel like I can’t function normally. It’s impacting all aspects of my life and makes me stressed and cry almost every day. I so desperately want a cure and have no idea what to do and doctors aren’t giving me any help. I had hoped upon graduation in the spring to get a job in the United States, but if this problem is still around I cannot even think of moving somewhere with no free health care.

If anyone, ANYONE can relate or help, please please please help me!
61 Responses
563773 tn?1374250139

First and foremost, regular estimation of blood sugar is important as hypoglycemia can lead to dizziness.

Secondly, you have mentioned of a car accident long back. Sometimes, patients of brain trauma present with neurological manifestations many years after the accident. This depends on the area of brain involved and the extent of damage to that area.

Patients with cerebrovascular disease have partial or complete blockages in the arteries that supply the brain with blood.  These blockages can cause a temporary loss of blood flow (called transient ischemic attack, or TIA for short), or permanent loss of blood flow (called stroke; also called cerebrovascular accident).This can lead to impaired blood flow through these arteries and so dizziness.

Ear infections and other causes like Meniere’s disease or inner ear diseases can lead to dizziness. If there is any ear pain or tinnitus along with then it may be the possibility.Pls get yourself evaluated for that.

Get the blood sugar evaluated and an ECG done.CT brain is also useful if a brain injury is suspected to be the cause of vertigo. The choice of treatment will depend on the diagnosis.

Pls consult a physician to find the causative factor as treatment will depend on the same.

Do keep us posted on how you are doing.

590279 tn?1286339622
The car accident wasn't anything reeeeally severe.. just whip lash. But that on a young child apparently can lead to a lifetime of neck and back pains.

I went for an ENG for my ears but waiting on those results. That particular Ears/Nose/Throat doc and his office are very difficult and stressing - he claims i just have to live with it and he doesn't know what it is, while his staff never returns phone calls and claims they sent my results to my general doctor when they actually didn't. I don't really get any pains in my ears though. The side of my head along my ears gets ridiculously tight sometimes, this part I can sometimes relieve a little bit with advil.

They actually did a CT brain scan too, first by mistake, which came back clear, so then I went for the CT sinus check... and with my luck it was during that period of feeling fine.

I just don't understand why various symptoms come and go so frequently and unexpected sometimes when nothing has changed.

I'm not sure what good an MRI or seeing neurologist may do.. but it is on my list of maybes.
I am going to try a Neti pot, and have also read today about something called sternocleidomastoid syndrome though I don't know much about it or how you resolve it.

Thanks for the post though!
Avatar universal
I thought I was the only who had ever had this problem, until I found your blog.  I too started a little over one year ago having severe facial pain.  It fells like the worst possible sinus headach that you could possibly have.  My Neurologist has done a CT Scan, MRI/MRV, Hormone test, etc.  All test come back normal.  I have laid on the bed, with my face wraped in a heating pad, crying because the pain was so severe.  I couple of times, it has hurt so badly, that I have been given a shot to just put me to sleep for the day.  Nothing would stop the pain, until couple of months ago when my doctor prescribed Carbutrol.  It is the only thing, that has ever, stopped the pain.  It does have several not-so-good side effects, but at this point, if it gives me relief, I will take it.  I have no idea what test will be run next.

Just want you to know that you are not the only one out there with this pain.  Please let me know if you are ever diagnosed
590279 tn?1286339622
My problem is more the dizziness, spaced out feeling which affects my vision and my heart racing. The facial pain more comes and goes so isn't a huge concern to me as I can still get by with that. Its all the rest of the side effects that are really bothering me. They are finally sending me to a neurologist (only a year and a half after the problems started), but only to find out the day is a month and a half from now, and the day before my huge exam.
I tried the Neti Pot and that really didn't seem to do anything for me as my problem doesn't seem in my sinuses,
Some days lorezapam (sp?) anti-anxiety meds help things a bit, but not completely. I'm not sure what to do anymore.. but scared for everything ahead :(
Avatar universal
Mine also started out with the dizziness, but progressed to mostly facial pain.  My neurologist and pain management doctors have both mentioned that there is the possiblity that an infection settled in the arteries in my face and have become inflamed.  This condition is treated with Carbatrol.  I have been on this medication for 2 month, twice daily, and still hurt if I forget to take one pill.  I do understand not being able to think clearly.  I was only working two days per week, but have had to cut back on even that, simply because I can't trust my own thinking.  I even scare myself driving.

Please keep me posted has to your doctors findings, as I will do you.  Maybe we can help each other out.
590279 tn?1286339622
No, mine didn't start with the dizziness. It started with pressure in my cheeks, then sinuses, vision, and dizziness.

All these problems have been giving me so much anxiety I decided to try a lorazepam pill I had from occasional past anxiety. It actually gave me a slight bit of relief/relaxation from the dizziness/anxiety but as soon as I started to read again, the facial pain came. My doctor has now prescribed a trial period of citalopram (supposed to be anxiety/anti-depressant).. I am not a fan of having to take this and it made me wired and uneasy all day.

*sigh* I just want an answer already.. or even the slighted direction about what the main problem is. I feel way too young to deal with so much and visit so many specialists
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