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Losing vision, short-term memory loss, headache, stomach pain. Stroke or pinched nerve?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1997
Answered : 267 Questions
I recently have had two "episodes"
It started by almost losing all vision. Seeing like a pulsing light. In that state i could see on papers at my desk what i knew were letters and words, but i could not read them. I was very confused. Eventually i could not remember who was in my house.(girlfriend and Daughter) I knew they were suppose to be there, but I could not recall who they were or what their names were for about 30 mins. Shortly after i could recall them I began to feel very sick to my stomach and developed a very painful headache. I was sick for two days with a very bad headache. I slept as much as I could.

about a month later (Yesterday) at work I lost vision again in the same manner I did not become confused very long, for about 5 mins. But the headache came and i had to lay down for about an hour. I was very tired all of the sudden too. The headache remained in a "minor" (still very painful, I could function but it hurt very bad) state for the remainder of the day yesterday and today.

Do you think this is a stroke? or could it be a pinched nerve? I have had several whiplashes over the years and recently my neck has been hurting often.
Posted Wed, 21 Aug 2013 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Aparna Amritsagar 32 minutes later
Thanks for writing your query to us.

Since you had two episodes, this complaint can not be ignored. Also you had complaints of neck pain along with whiplashes injury in past, so you need to be more cautious. These episodes can be due to Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA) called as XXXXXXX stroke. A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a transient episode of neurologic dysfunction caused by loss of blood flow either to brain, spinal cord or retina – without acute tissue death. A TIA may cause sudden dimming or loss of vision, slurred speech and mental confusion. But unlike a stroke, the symptoms of a TIA can resolve within a few minutes or 24 hours. Brain injury may still occur in a TIA lasting only a few minutes. Having a TIA is a risk factor for eventually having a stroke or a silent stroke in future.

I would suggest you to consult a neurologist. Based on your clinical examination finding he will advise you some basic blood test. An Imaging of brain can also help to reach at a diagnosis. Dont worry. All this problems can be treated.

I hope I have answered your query. In case you have any further query, I will be happy to help you. Take care.

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