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Headache, dizziness and visual flashes due to migraine - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 13-Jan-2012
User rating for this question
Excellent Posted in: Headache and Migraines
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 631 Questions
Doctor :   hi
User :   hello
Doctor :  
how can i help you
User :   i have a question about headaches and dizziness i've been having
Doctor :  
okay proceed
User :   well i started having headaches the beginnning of last october
Doctor :  
okay
User :   i have had headaches since then
User :   they sort of come and go in cycles
Doctor :  
okay
User :   they are here for awhile, then they gradually go away
User :   i have had visual symptoms as well that haven't gone away
User :   flashes of light
User :   they don't seem to follow the same pattern however has the headaches
User :   i have had visual flashes constantly since last october
Doctor :  
Is the pain severe and how long you
Doctor :  
have these visual symptoms
User :   no it's like an acheing on both sides and in the back of the neck
Doctor :   the headache is it more in front or back or to the sides of the head
User :   sometimes on the top, front rarely, and mainly on the sides and back of neck
Doctor :  
your age and gender please
User :   male, 22 years old
Doctor :  
do you get cold often
User :   no
User :   i have had tests done to check my thyroid
User :   they came back good
Doctor :  
okay
Doctor :   did you meet any doctor for the same
User :   the dizziness just started recently, it is very short in duration, it is like a pulse of dizziness
Doctor :   okay
User :   i don't think he knew what caused it though
User :   he didn't really let me finish telling him all of my symptoms
Doctor :  
are you able to concentrate on any work when you get the pain
User :   yes it's mild, but it is really annoying
Doctor :  
okay
User :   i'm worried that's it's a brain tumor or something serious that should be checked out
User :   checked
User :   this dizziness started the morning i woke up and felt dizzy, almost like mild vertigo
Doctor :  
and do you feel anything like a pulsating feeling in the head while you get pain or dizziness
User :   no, it's like a pulse of dizziness that i feel
User :   it's short in duration
Doctor :  
okay
User :   like the pulse of your heartbeat
User :   it happens once
Doctor :  
okay
Doctor :  
how frequent do you get this
User :   well, the past 4 days have been like this
User :   it seems that the pulse of dizziness happens when i'm about to sleep or wake up from sleeping
Doctor :   okay
Doctor :  
other than thyroid have you done any other investigation
User :   blood work in addition to the thyroid test
Doctor :  
any findings
User :   i have also had constant tinnitus since october as well
User :   all blood work was normal
Doctor :  
tinnitus that is the ringing in ear right
User :   no, both ears
Doctor :  
okay
User :   i should mention that i had an eye exam with dilation, and the eye doctor said my eyes looked really healthy
User :   december i went to visit for the light flashes, she didn't find anything out of the ordinary
Doctor :  
okay
User :   i also went earlier this year in may, and she still didn't find anything
Doctor :  
did you visit an ENT specialist
Doctor :  
any time since this started
User :   he didn't really tell me where to go, he said i could either go to a headache specialest or and audiologist
Doctor :  
okay so you met them
User :   no
Doctor :  
okay
User :   what do these symptoms sound like?
Doctor :   these symptoms you say sounds more like an migraine
User :   but that would mean that i have a migrane all of the time?
Doctor :  
as it will headache
Doctor :  
on and off
Doctor :  
sometimes mild
User :   but the intensity varies, it is always there
User :   it is interesting to note, that these constant headaches started a couple days after having a really bad migraine with AAAAAAA
Doctor :   yes in migraine the headache and symptoms intensities keep varying
User :   what about the "pulse" of dizzieness
User :   when it happens, the ringing in my ears change, for a half of second, at the same time i have a half of dizzienss, then it stops
Doctor :  
migraine's effect is altered blood flow to the brain which cause these symptoms
Doctor :  
and migraine also as the AAAAAAA which prcedes headache and dizziness
Doctor :  
sometimes the AAAAAAA is just a fear or anxiety
Doctor :  
and sometimes flashes of light or tinnitus
User :   but i don't have the migraine most of the time; most of time it is an dull achey feeling in my head, and lately neck ache
User :   the flashes that i see the majority of the time are differrent than the AAAAAAA that precedes migraines
Doctor :  
okay as such headache and dizziness have multiple causes and migraine is one of the cause
User :   the dizziness just started a couple of days ago; however, i do remember having the "pulse" of dizziness years ago when i was younger, but it was less intense then
Doctor :   okay
Doctor :  
they another possiblity is vestbular calculus
Doctor :  
which can present with these symptoms
Doctor :  
but the headache is always present in that case
User :   vestibular calculus?
Doctor :  
but in migraine it is on and off
Doctor :  
and the symptoms vary from time to time
Doctor :  
including intensity
User :   is neck stiffness a symptom?
User :   should i see my doctor again?
Doctor :  
yes
User :   is vestibular calculus serious?
Doctor :  
yes
Doctor :  
it disturbs normal activity
User :   could you describe it?
Doctor :  
whenever it moves in the vestibule
Doctor :  
yes
Doctor :  
vestibule is a sac like organ associated with balancing of the body
Doctor :  
it is situated in the skull along with auditory cochlea
Doctor :  
and it is filled with fluids
Doctor :  
sometimes there are stones formed in this which when dislodged and misplaced in the sensitive part of the vestibule
Doctor :  
or blocking the path of the fluid
Doctor :  
it creates symptoms
User :   so is it possible that the headache flashes of light, dizziness, and ear ringing being caused by this?
Doctor :  
it is possible
User :   that would cause a neck ache as well?
Doctor :  
but dizziness will be the first to appear
User :   what are the chances that something really serious is causeing these symptoms
Doctor :  
the chances are likely to be less
User :   these don't sound like brain tumor signs??
Doctor :  
because as you say the symptoms are from october
User :   yes from the beginning of october
Doctor :  
brain tumors can have similar symptoms but once the symptoms are established it doesnt give much gap
User :   what do you mean by gap?
Doctor :  
symptoms are continues even if vague
User :   if i had a tumor causing eye symptoms, would the eye doctor have been able to see?
Doctor :  
he will be able to make out the signs
User :   are my symptoms all related to each other? sporadic dizziness, headaches, neck ache, ear ringing?
User :   flashes of light in vision
Doctor :  
symptoms are related but even the signs should be related
Doctor :  
because both go hand in hand
Doctor :  
it is very rare that it is not so
Doctor :  
and of course
User :   so all that i am experienceing could be caused by the same thing
Doctor :  
it can be
User :   i got the impression my doctor didn't think so, of course i didn't have the dizzy feeling back then
Doctor :  
he would have thought it might be sinusitis
Doctor :  
at that time
User :   he did tap on my forehead and asked if that hurt, which it didn't
Doctor :  
okay
Doctor :  
thats why i too didnt think of it when you said you dont get cold often
User :   sinusitus you mean?
Doctor :  
yes
User :   but if my symptoms were caused by a brain tumor would i have known by now?
User :   sorry for sounding obsessive
Doctor :  
that actually depends on the site and growth of the tumor
User :   my doctor gave me Diclofonec (NSAID) for my headaches which seems to help
User :   wouldn't it have spread by now though?
Doctor :   thats sounds good
Doctor :  
it wouldnt
Doctor :  
the tablet will not help much if you have an tumor
User :   why? because of increased ICP
Doctor :   no because of compression
User :   one thing i just remembered...the headaches were worse when going up and down mountains in a bus, the pressure really bothered me
Doctor :  
ICP will take lot of time to increase in tumors
User :   but this was back in november
User :   so compression is different than Increased ICP
Doctor :  
unless the tumor is very much fast growing
Doctor :  
compression can be caused by any pressure or growth or collection
Doctor :  
but ICP is caused by any obstruction to the outflow or increased fluid production
User :   and my symptoms don't appear to be caused by a growth?
Doctor :   yes it doesnt seem to be like that
User :   may i ask why?
Doctor :  
as you are getting relived by diclofenac
Doctor :  
it doesnt enter the brain so much to relieve the pain for a longer time
Doctor :  
and almost 1 year and still it is effective
User :   most of the time it helps
User :   yes, i don't really take it a lot
Doctor :  
in brain tumor by now the pain would have become severe
Doctor :  
and you cant even imagine the pain
User :   i remember i took asprin back in november and it didn't seem to help
User :   so my symptoms would have been a lot worse?
Doctor :  
yes
Doctor :  
if the pain and tinnitus is started then it would have become more
Doctor :  
by now
Doctor :  
and will be more continuous and frequent as the days increases
User :   i can say that when i run, i don't get headaches, seems to relieve them somewhat
Doctor :  
even in migraine
Doctor :  
okay that will not be the case in brain tumor
Doctor :  
if youare running then slowly pain should increase
User :   could you describe what it would feel like when a person who has a brain tumor trying to exercise
User :   so it would increase until the person would have to stop
Doctor :  
or your body posture you will find difficult to control
User :   now so, like would you trip or stumble?
Doctor :  
yes
User :   so from what i told you that calculus thing is probably the highest possiblity
Doctor :   no migraine will be the highest probablity

User :   is it possible that that could make me feel unbalanced?
User :   when i'm walking?
User :   not like stumbling, but just a little unbalanced?
Doctor :  
migraine can do that
Doctor :  
but migraine if controlled with painkiller during staring stage it can be controlled very well
User :   even though these symptoms occur when i'm not having one?
User :   like i usually have maybe 3 migraines per year
User :   started back when i was a young teenager
Doctor :   thats really good
Doctor :  
only 3 and mild
User :   so i know when my head hurts a lot from a migraine attack
Doctor :  
curb it at this stage only
User :   yes, but these symptoms are occuring in between those episodes
Doctor :  
that is when you know take a tablet
Doctor :  
okay
Doctor :  
that is in between the migraine
User :   ok, i see what your saying, but my fear is that something else is causeing the headaches that i have in between my migraines
Doctor :  
okay
Doctor :  
but migraine can also cause inefficient episodes
Doctor :  
which will present with these symptoms
User :   almost like cycles?
User :   the symptoms seem to go away for a while then come back, with the exception of seeing flashes which occur all the time
Doctor :  
sometimes it doesnt follow the cycle but mostly it does
Doctor :  
okay
User :   but i should still see my doctor again?
Doctor :  
yes
Doctor :   fro follow up
User :   should i tell him what you told me about the calculus thing?
Doctor :   you can ask him
Doctor :  
so that he will do one simple examination to rule out
Doctor :  
and say if you have this or not
Doctor :  
within five minutes
User :   if it isn't that, could it be anything else besides the migraines?
Doctor :  
most probably no
Doctor :  
as migraine can mimic any brain disease
User :   what are the chances he will order a CT scan to rule out any organic cause?
Doctor :  
if you insist on it there is chance otherwise no
User :   but these headaches have been going on for so long
Doctor :  
but for your satisfaction if you insist he might order
Doctor :  
order for MRI or CT scan
Doctor :  
to rule out your doubt
User :   would you as a doctor order one to make sure it wasn't anything serious?
Doctor :  
of course if you have an insurance
User :   yes i do
Doctor :  
then i will order for an MRI irectly
Doctor :  
directly
Doctor :  
when yu are so much concerned
User :   i can't help it, i get anxious over things like this
User :   anxiety issues i guess
User :   i can't stop worrying and thinking about it
Doctor :  
i can understand
User :   i am going to be a senior in college this fall
User :   when i was junior in highschool
User :   i had all of these tests done for heart problems
User :   because i had palpatations, chest pain, and tachycardia
User :   a stress test echocardiogram, regular echo, 24 hour urine collection
User :   at the time i had high blood pressure, and was suspected to have a pheochromcytoma
User :   to shorten it up, all of those tests came back normal, and my "heart problems" went away gradually
User :   is it possible that all of these headaches and such could be caused by anxiety?
Doctor :  
it is possible
User :   well, thank you for your time, for since i October i have been living with this anxiety that i have this tumor growing inside my head, and that that was the only thing that was causing my probems
Doctor :  
okay i hope now you are cleared with your doubts
User :   i hope i can convince my doctor to order a CT however, then i can be sure and comptelty stop worrying
Doctor :  
yes of course
Doctor :   feel free come in to our paid service if you have any doubt we are available 24hrs/7 days a weak
User :   thank you again for time; you have answered my questions and didn't rush me like my other doctor did
User :   thank you!
Doctor :   please fill the feed back form before leaving
User :   i think i already did
Doctor :   thank you
User :   it popped up
Doctor :   okay
User :   do i just close the window?
Doctor :   yes

User :   okay thanks again!
Doctor :  
okay
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