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Avatar universal

life altering headache and more

I have experienced for 3 strait years an agonizing tense feeling in my forehead and eyes (like it's hard to raise my eyebrows) along with dull headache 24-7.  It feels like the inside of my head is "asleep" like if you hand falls asleep.  Also feels like I have a constantly blocked nose.  

Another symptom that comes and goes is severe vertigo in any horizontal position even if I lay perfectly still for hours on end... and eye movements (not head movements) accelerate the dizziness... and blurred mental perception of visual details, the finer and more complex details of objects even when not dizzy (brain fog, as they say).

With no answers from various doctors, I have recently noticed that if my head is put in traction the tension feeling in my forehead is immediately relieved of tension but I still have a bit of a more throbbing-quality headache.  I have never been put in a medical traction device but I discovered this by accident and had someone pull my head up and hold it for 30 seconds and I felt so much better than I have in a long time but when they let go the symptoms immediately returned. (elavil and topamax useless).

I had a normal CT (w+w/o) and MRI (w+w/o), MRA (w/o), and MRV (w/o) of head plus MRI of cervical spine (w/o contrast).  Also had Videonystagmogram and EEG.

One doctor (a skull base surgeon/dizziness doc) looked at my MRI with me on the computer once, I observed him looking closely at the cerebellum cross sections and it was remarked that the brain is at the level of the foramen magnum but no herniation is noted.

My travel history in the last 5 yrs include Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Bahamas, Western europe and Turkey.  The only frequent chemical exposure I am aware of has been leaded fuel, both fumes and accidental skin contact,  however it was not recent to the onset. I have also in the past lived in a 10 story building built in 1905.
7 Responses
Avatar universal
First of all, keep in mind that I am unable to diagnose you because I am unable to examine you, this forum is for educational purposes.
   The symptoms that you describe not uncommon, however it is impossible to get to the bottom of a complex headache isseue in this type forum.  It is encouraging to here that you have had good testing (MRI/MRA/MRV of the brain/cervical spine) to rule out a structural lesion (such as a tumor, vascular malformation, etc).  I also agree with the ENG and the EEG given your symptoms, but the tests cannot rule out a peripheral vestibular lesion or a seizure respectively, but are good tests to help evaluate for these conditions.  I do not think your symptoms are related your travel or building exposures, but I would encourage you to take your case to a neurologist at a major academic center.
I hope this has been helpful.
Avatar universal
If it were me and your not living in the 1905 bldg anymore I would rule out anything with mold or mildew from the building unless I read wrong and youre still there.  I to suffer for quite a few years have been suffering with headaches that are constant 24-7 never relieved by anything and with this I have a distinct pain on the right side of my head where I actually (doctors dont believe me) have fluid draining from.  Its this pressure that builds up and then the pressure releases and I actually feel the fluid draining into my ears which than cause them to ring and ache on top of increasing my headaches.  I have gone to doctor after doctor with no help and I can understand how you feel.  I wish I could give you advice other than someone else knows how you feel
Avatar universal
If it were me and your not living in the 1905 bldg anymore I would rule out anything with mold or mildew from the building unless I read wrong and youre still there.  I to suffer for quite a few years have been suffering with headaches that are constant 24-7 never relieved by anything and with this I have a distinct pain on the right side of my head where I actually (doctors dont believe me) have fluid draining from.  Its this pressure that builds up and then the pressure releases and I actually feel the fluid draining into my ears which than cause them to ring and ache on top of increasing my headaches.  I have gone to doctor after doctor with no help and I can understand how you feel.  I wish I could give you advice other than someone else knows how you feel
Avatar universal
SORRY my post for some reason posted twice
Avatar universal
SORRY my post for some reason posted twice
Avatar universal
well, yeah i know how you feel.  My problem seems to be the same but located on one side of my head and face.  When my right nostril feels clogged is when its the worst.  I feel like my right eye brow above my eye is not moving and my eye is lazy alot.  It also feels like its not moving with the other eye.  My right side of my face seems dead.  people look at me funny when i try to look them in the eyes because one side is not moving.  I dont know man, this is ******.  I dont really get headaches, but its more like tension or stiffness which causes my irritation.  Ive been to a million doctors( seriously probably 20) or more,  and they dont have a clue.  Ive had a CT scan which was normal.  If i consiously try to hold the right side of my face up to where i can see straight (yes i dont even see straight because of the eye movements not aligned) then i can maintain a normal feeling and see somewhat straight.  My ear is like it's clogged as well as my nose.  If you figure anything out, write back because im going NUTS.
Avatar universal
Although there is no herniation or Arnold Chiari Malformation evident in your MRI films, could you still be experiencing restricted CSF flow because of the lower brain's proximity to the foramen magnum? Has this ever been investigatec? It could easily explain your vertigo and improvement in traction.

Just a thought -
Jeff
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