Thank you so much for this wonderful service! About two months ago I could
not hear out of my right ear. I went to my doctor and she flushed my
right ear with a water pick. The relief was indescribable! The next day I
had a headache unlike any ever experienced. It is located between the
right ear and temple. I went back to my doctor and they performed
somthing called a "sed" test and scheduled a CAT scan-both proved negative.
The pain has persisted and gotten worse. I've been prescribed pain
relievers, muscle relaxers, anti-biotics, etc... all of which have done
nothing but make me feel uncomfortable and dis-oriented. Lately, I've
noticed a tingling in my left arm and fingers. Additionally, an
occasional feeling that I'm not "all there" with very slight dizzy sen-
sation. Also once or twice I've experienced "sparks" in my outer peri-
pheral vision. I've experienced nausea only to the extent that I'm afraid
that I may die from whatever it is inside me. I finally got my doctor to
refer me to a neurologist who feels that there is nothing wrong, but has
scheduled an EEG for the 31st of October. The only relief I ever feel is
when I sleep...as soon as I awake however, the pain is returns and remains
all day. I know very little about medicine. I'm 39 and have only been to
a doctor for stitches, broken bones, and the usual childhood ailments. I
consider myself to be in generally good health with no abnormal family
medical history. I've been told that I do not manage stress well, but
who does these days? How do I know if I'm having migrains, meningitis,
a tumor, lyme disease, or whatever? Thanks so much for your kind
1. What you described above can be a migraine attack.
Migraine is characterized by intermittent attack of headache/head pain
usually on one side of the head, pulsating/pounding in quality (usually but not always) associated with nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to bright light, loud noises, and physical activity (even walking) makes it worse. In some patients migraine attack is preceded by an aura, usually visual, described as flashing lights, flickers, zigzag lines, etc in their visual fields. THis attack usually last for 3-4 hours up to 3 days (untreated). Sleep makes it go away, as well as some medications specifically for migraine (exedrin migraine, imitrex, ergotamine, etc.). It tends to run in the family and it is more common in females. If the attack is frequent enough (more than 2-4 times a month then, your doctor may want to put you on a prophylaxix medicine) to prevent further attacks.
2. Meningitis is inflammation or infection of the lining surrounding the brain. It can be caused be virus, bacteria, fungi, or tumor cells. Fever, stiff neck, and headache is the main feature along with nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light. Spinal tap is perform to remove some spinal fluid for further examination and laboratory cultures.
3. A negative head CT is reassuring but doesnot rule out tumor.
However if your neurologic examination is normal, it is very unlikely that you have a brain tumor in light of negaitive CT. Brain tumor can cause headache, classically worse in the morning upon awakening.
4. Lyme disease can masquearade as just about anything. The key factor is whether you live in an endemic region (northeast states being most common) or not, and history of tick bites or travel to an endemic area.
Simple blood test and antibiotic should do it. It can cause meningitis also.
Rash and joint pain are common.
Good luck and Ihope the above information helps.
Please do not hesistate to post follow up questions or information.
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