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Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Head pains, dizziness when sitting or laying, blurred vision


 bellabeez - Sun Dec 21, 2008 12:28 am

for the past week or so, i have been having stabbing (ice pick type) pains on the right side of my head (temple area) that come and go throughout my day and sometimes leave an achy feeling on the side of my head. also for the past few days i have been having dizzy feelings when im sitting or laying down, not so much when standing or walking. And also having fuzzy vision especially in my right eye. But tonight, for the first time, i got a sudden tearing pain feelin on the back of my head (left side) followed by dizziness, like the muscle was being pulled...and i wasnt moving just sitting on the couch. I have seen a neurologist and had an MRI with and w/o contrast and found a small lesion on the right side deep in. he first diagnosed me having a stroke, but after echocardiogram, coratid artery ultrasound, leg ultrasound, and lumbar puncture, nothing was found all normal. so he said i was probably born with the lesion. He now says i just suffer from anxiety and bruxism (sp?) grinding teeth and night..but i sleep usually with my mouth open!?!?!? he kind of just brushes off my symptoms..and im really scared now, especially when you hear stroke (at my age!!) and then like "oh never mind" now i feel like every symptom i am having a stroke...what else could be causing the head pains, dizziness, blurred vision? i had the MRI done in July, and CT scan. could something have developed since July?? im scared? brain tumor..? i have so much anxiety! im a total hypochondriac now.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun Dec 21, 2008 10:58 pm

User avatar Hi there -

The pains you describe sound very much like trigeminal neuralgia, an irritation of the 5th cranial nerve, which can cause excruciating stabbing pain and sometimes residual aching or a burning sensation.

You are now suffering from anxiety, even if you weren't before, because, in large part, of the comments made by the doctor regarding a stroke/no stroke. The first speculation should have been held back til the whole battery of tests had ruled out the likelihood of a stroke. The lesion probably is congenital and may have nothing at all to do with your symptoms.

Now then, that pain in the back of your head (the "tearing" sensation): that sounds different from the rest of the things we've talked about (trigeminal neuralgia is painful but usually goes away for periods of time and is not, in itself, serious, except that the pain can drive a person crazy). The "tearing" sensation at the back of your head could well have been related to trigeminal neuralgia, since the nerve outlet is back there, but it also could have been something else (I don't know what, but since you've had MRIs of the brain x 2, it's unlikely there's anything that's been missed). Bruxism is a good possibility, and while you may think you sleep with your mouth open, this can't really be proven, since either you wake up with your mouth open so assume you sleep that way through the night, which you may not, or even if someone else is present and has seen you sleeping with your mouth open, that person is unlikely to have watched you sleeping for eight hours -- just way too boring a task!). So it's entirely possible the doctor is right about this, and you may have to see a dentist or orthodontist to determine if you have evidence of tooth grinding and/or misalignment of the jaw (temporomandibular joint disease -- TMJ -- which could account for all the other symptoms). Please note there are many things that we believe about our own sleep habits and behaviors which are completely wrong, and the only way to know for sure about these things is to have a sleep study done, which, again, isn't practical for diagnosing the set of symptoms you have (although it would be useful if you were suspected of having sleep apnea).

Trigeminal neuralgia, possibly secondary to nocturnal bruxism, seems most likely.

Best of luck to you. Please follow up with us here if you have any further questions.
 bellabeez - Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:28 pm

Can i ask you one more thing..the symptoms ive been experiencing have been seeming to get worse. i have the stabbing pain on the right temple area, and blurry vision JUST in my right eye and a achy feeling around and behind the eye. I get really dizzy once or twice a day when im sitting or laying down..mostly at night. then it goes away, but i seem to be getting headaches a lot lately that hit me then immediately go away...the numbing feeling on my right side of face (i feel the skin, jsut feels numb) eye problem, head pains, and dizziness scare me....like i said before, i had MRI's (2) and CT scan of head within the last 6 months...what is your opinion? im embarrassed to keep calling my dr. for every symptom i have...i just feel like im going crazy! I 100% know I have anxiety, but the symptoms cause my anxiety!

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