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Having headache, stiff neck, low fever, blurry vision and pain at base of skull. Relief with heating pad. Suggest?

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I've had a headache for two weeks now. There is a stiff neck, a low fever, distance vision is not as clear as usual, but no dizziness. The headache was radiating from the back of the head/neck area around both sides and into the forehead for the first ten days; then I awoke relatively pain free. There was still stiffness in the neck. Then the pain returned with the pain radiating from the neck area up the back of the head to the top of the head and there is a pulsating effect at times but not constantly. Most of the pain is at the base of the skull consistently.

I had two canker sores at the beginning of the headache episode, both of which have healed. I also noticed some stiffness in my jaw and swallowing solid food seemed more restricted, although not painful. Drinking fluids was not an issue. I tried ice packs with not visible change. Yesterday, I tried a heating pad and had momentary relief from pain. Since that time I've not had any further relief using heat.
Posted Sat, 25 May 2013 in Headache and Migraines
 
 
Answered by Dr. Gopal Krishna Dash 41 minutes later


Hello,

Thanks for the query,

I understand your concern

You need a detailed neurological evaluation to establish the cause of the illness. Secondary causes like infections in the brain need exclusion. A neurological assessment will guide us regarding the need of a brain and spine scan followed later by lumbar puncture test if needed. These tests will establish the diagnosis.
Treatment will depend upon the cause.

Let me know if you have any other concern

Best wishes
Wish you good health
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Having headache, stiff neck, low fever, blurry vision and pain at base of skull. Relief with heating pad. Suggest? 5 hours later
That seems like a XXXXXXX answer to me and a bit of a cop out. I would appreciate some possible answers so I can do more research on my own until I can schedule an appointment with the local VA hospital.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Gopal Krishna Dash 9 hours later
Hello,
Thanks for the fed back
The most likely possibilities in this background and age could be
1. Temporal arteritis which can explain most the symptoms that you have listed. This can be diagnosed by blood test called erythrocyte sedimentation rate and it will be very high in this condition. This is treated by steroid
2. The second possibility could be a brain infection which can cause headache. This can be diagnosed by brain scan and analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid which is performed by a lumbar puncture. Please note that there are many types of infection and it can only be known by doing the tests that I have mentioned. The exact medications can be told only after the tests.

Let me know if you need any other information.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Having headache, stiff neck, low fever, blurry vision and pain at base of skull. Relief with heating pad. Suggest? 4 minutes later
Thank you. That was more helpful.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Gopal Krishna Dash 2 minutes later
Hi,
Thanks for the feed back
Let me know if I can help you any way
Best wishes
Wish you good health
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Having headache, stiff neck, low fever, blurry vision and pain at base of skull. Relief with heating pad. Suggest? 6 hours later
I've been taking Propanolol for benign essential tremors; could this have been involved in creating this episode? I've only been taking it for about three weeks, perhaps a month.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Gopal Krishna Dash 5 hours later
Hello,
Thanks for feed back
personally I do not feel that this is related to propranolol
best regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Having headache, stiff neck, low fever, blurry vision and pain at base of skull. Relief with heating pad. Suggest? 31 minutes later
I agree, but I wanted to mention it. I looked at the symptoms for temporal arteritis and it most closely describes my own.

Thanks for your assistance. It will be helpful when I speak with my doctor tomorrow.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Gopal Krishna Dash 3 minutes later
Hello,
Thanks for the feed back
I wish you the very best in your health
Please let me know after your evaluation

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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