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Forum Name: Brain Tumors

Question: Headaches for 11 weeks


 Chazza92 - Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:13 am

I am 16 years old and I have been suffering from headaches for 12 weeks. They come every day. They started of on the top left side of my head and i didnt even take pain killers. It has now moved to the top right side and my right temple and the pain has got worse and is occouring more often. Sometimes its throbbing sometimes it aches. I have been to the doctors about 7 times and they have put it down to stress, or migranes. Thing is migranes last for hours and cause sickness, i have felt no nausea and the headaches go away after half an hour or so. Somtimes they only last for 5 mins. These ones are worse. I have also experinced right eye pain and ear pain in both ears, and little flashing lights I also have neck pain and it cracks alot. I am terrified its a brain tumor which isnt helping the whole thing. Im on propanolol
What shall i do?
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:39 pm

User avatar Hello,

This sounds like a migraine headache.
Your description of the headache as well as your positive family history makes it the most likely diagnosis. Migraine is very common, and is one of the most debilitating headaches.

Migraine is a chronic condition of recurrent attacks of headache. Most (but not all) migraine attacks are associated with headaches. Migraine headaches usually are described as an intense, throbbing or pounding pain that involves one temple.
Sometimes the pain can be located in the forehead, around the eye, or the back of the head. The pain usually is unilateral (on one side of the head), although about a third of the time the pain is bilateral. The unilateral headaches typically change sides from one attack to the next.

Migraine headache may be preceded by an Aura of migraine, in which people may have numbness in one side of the face, flashes of light, nausea etc

Tension headaches to the contrary often begin in the back of the head and upper neck as a band-like tightness or pressure. Tension headaches also are described as a band of pressure encircling the head with the most intense pain over the eyebrows.
The pain of tension headaches usually is mild (not disabling) and bilateral (affecting both sides of the head). Tension headaches are not associated with an aura and are seldom associated with nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light and sound.
Tension headaches usually occur sporadically (infrequently and without a pattern) but can occur frequently and even daily in some people. Most people are able to function despite their tension headaches.

B blockers like (propranolol) is usually prescribed to treat migraine, however, it is more functioning when used before the onset of the headache. It also causes other neurologic symptoms like light-headedness, mental depression manifested by insomnia, and weakness.

Other causes to be excluded are chronic sinusitis, ear problems, and epilepsy. There is unexplained variable association between migraine and epilepsy, in some reports migraine proceeds seizures development, or coexist together. They both are induced by the same factors like hormones, anxiety, stress and alcohol. EEG is helpful.

ENT examination would be useful to exclude sinus and ear problems.
If these are excluded then neurologic consultation for exclusion of epilepsy would be helpful.

I would advise you to follow up with your doctor and to discuss with him your concerns.
Hope you find this information useful.
Please keep us updated.

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