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Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Chronic Left Eye Ache/Headache connected to Pituitary Cyst?

 chernandez619 - Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:01 pm

I am a 24 year old female currently suffering from chronic headaches and aches behind my left eye for the past few months. These aches occur almost daily and usually cause extreme eye strain and sensitivity to light. I have also been feeling extremely lethargic.
When I was 21 years old I had surgery to remove a pituitary cyst which was growing vertically causing strain for my optic nerve. The surgery went well but my 6 month MRI follow up showed the cyst tissue reconnected and needed to be monitored.
Currently I do not have medical insurance therefore I have not had my yearly MRI to check on the cyst status. I did manage to go to an eye doctor about a month and a half ago to get a visual field test (this was one of the test my neurologist had me do when evaluating my need for my previous surgery). The test showed there is some visual impairment in my left eye therefore affecting my periphial vision.
Before my medical insurance expired last August I had my hormone levels checked and the results showed my prolactin levels were almost as high as they were before I had my surgery (I do not have the numbers unfortunately but I do remember it was about 3-4 times the normal amount for someone not breastfeeding).
My question is... are my headaches caused by my cyst or can they be unrelated? Also... if they are related is there anything I can do to manage them until I get health insurance again?
Thank you for your time!
 John Kenyon, CNA - Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:49 pm

User avatar Hi there --

While it is possible your headaches could be unrelated to the cyst problem, logic suggests they probably are, especially since your vison is being affected. These cysts will often cause swelling of one optic nerve and, since whatever happens to one eye is often duplicated in the other (due to the sympatheic phenomenon), it's important that you find out if this is what's going on. While lack of insurance is currently a widespread problem and is putting a damper on a lot of important medical care, this is one area where it would be better to do whatever is necessary to prevent eye damage or vision loss. If this isn't related to new cyst growth (and I strongly suspect it is), then the cost can be mitigated over time. if it is, as I strongly suspect, related, then cost really becomes much less important than potential vision loss or other serious problems.

I hope this helps. Things are difficult all over right now, so we have to weigh what's really important and this is one of those things. Please follow up with us here as needed, and good luck to you with this.

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