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Avatar universal

concerned about headache

For about six weeks, I have been feeling intermittent pain on the left top side of my head and sometimes down towards my left temple.  The pain is moderate, not severe, but uncomfortable.  Some days I feel the pain just a few times off and on through the day, others days more regularly throughout the day.  I saw my family doctor a few weeks ago.  He said he thought I was having nerve pain (neuralgia) and put me on amitriptyline.  I have still been experiencing the pain since being on the medicine and over the past couple of days it seems worse; this morning I woke up about 5:00 a.m. feeling the pain and have been feeling it off and on all morning.  I am scheduled to see my doctor for a follow up this Wed.  I am concerned because I have never had headaches before and have read that new headaches or one-sided headaches can signal underlying diseases (e.g. brain tumor) and should be evaluated with neuroimaging.  Should I ask for a CT or MRI?  Could these headaches be a sign of something seriously wrong?  I am a 38 year old female.
28 Responses
Avatar universal
New onset headaches usually in people over 45 can signal an underlying neurological structural lesion

Under 45 it is less clear, and ordering a scan is based on lcinical suspicion by the examining doctor. A number of 'red flags' make a scan essential, such as a focal neurological abnormality on examination, worst headache of your life, loss of consciousness, fever with neck stiffness etc. Amitryptaline when used for facial pain is usually for 'trigeminal neuralgia' - pain from the nerve supplying the facial skin - but this pain is usually very severe in paroxysms, so it does not sound like your pain. One sided headaches are also typical of migraine but I do not have enough information to diagnose this.
If you have NEVER had headaches before it may be necessary to obtain a scan even if you examination is normal. If normal, your pain is likely a tension or muscle contraction headache


Good luck
Avatar universal
Also wanted to add that the pain feels like a pulse or jolt of pain, not like constant pressure.  Also, I don't always wake up with it, but sometimes do; other times I don't feel it at all in the morning but then may feel it in the evening.  It really just comes and goes, some days moreso than others.
Avatar universal
Hi. I'm very gald I read your post on this site. I am going through the exact same thing you are. Its been 6 weeks and the same pain in the same spot, the left side and down in my temple. I recently saw a doctor on the 22 and he thought it was a cluster headache and gave me tylenol 3 to try until this wednesday(today). Nothing has changed and the pain is still there. Have you received any more information from your doctor yet? I am going today for a follow up with mine, but I'm curious to see what yours would have to say as well. Its bizarre that we're experiencing the exact same symptoms for the same amount of time,the only difference is I am 23 years old, stay at home mom with a 2 and a half year old. Please get back to me and let me know any more information if you dont mind!
Avatar universal
I also wanted to add that sometimes I feel a burning sensation on the top of my head in one spot. It feels hot and as if it were on fire underneath, its very strange. Have you felt anything like that?
Avatar universal
This is really interesting.  I am a 28 yr old female from Iowa.  I have a generation of aneurysm in my family.  For about 6 weeks now I have been experiencing strong headaches.  Also on my left side, temple area going around the back of my head.  On the 24nd I woke up because I work nights and had a headache like I have never had before.  I decided to go to the ER.  They did a Cat Scan found an abnormal bulge in one of the arteries in my head.  On the 26th I was scheduled for an MRI.  I went in and had the MRI done.  They would not tell me anything there but let me look at the pictures.  There is definetely something there.  I see my family doctor today, on the 27th and he will tell me where to go from there.  I also experience other problems such as upset stomach, numbness on my head, fatigue.  To name a few.  I will know more today!
Avatar universal
In reading your comment again Jamie, I do have the same problem sometimes.  A burning sensation.  Tingling, Numbness!
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