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What doe sharp pains on one side of head and swelling behind the ears indicate?

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Diabetologist
Practicing since : 2004
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Hello. I have had sharp pains in one side of my head for 3-4 years now. They are sporadic with no warning but very sharp and disorientating. I have had painful ears for over a year now which feel swollen behind the ears and down either side of my neck some days feeling more swollen than others. I have numbness from this and there is also a lump under my skin on my neck left side under my jaw that I can physically hold between to fingers. What is the cause of all these issues?
Posted Sat, 8 Feb 2014 in Headache and Migraines
 
 
Answered by Dr. Saumya Mittal 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Need more details Detailed Answer: Hi XXXX, welcome to our site. I am Dr Saumya Mittal. Read your query. That is a very significant question and i appreciate your problem. I will try my best to answer your query I would like to ask you further questions- Do you have any photophobia? Do you have any phonophobia? Do you have any nausea/vomitting? Do you have any one sided headache? Do you have any pulsatile pain? How long does the pain last? Do you have any pain around menses? Do you have any other problems like hypertension? (Noted thyroid problem, and neck swelling) Do you have any reports or investigations, like MRI of the brain? Do you have any vision trouble? Have you had an ENT and Eye and Neurological opinion before? And if yes, what did they say? Do you have any pain in the neck? Do you have any pus discharge from the ear? Do you have any tinnitus? I would like to know the answers of these questions. Would also suggest an MRI brain if not already done, and report if already done. Exact report of thyroid would also be appreciated. As for the swelling in the neck, How big is it? Is it growing? Is it hard or soft? Does it move with swallowing? Could you add a picture of the swelling? Do you feel it beating like a pulse? Any other swelling, like maybe in breasts? I know this doesn't help you much yet. But I need to know more details before I can come to a conclusion. Inform the reports mentioned above so i can be of help further. Best of luck. I have given you the answer to the maximum considering the information provided. The results of the tests could further enhance my answer to you. Please do understand that some details could be extracted from a detailed history and examination. Looking forward to your return query with the details asked so that I can help you further.
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Follow-up: What doe sharp pains on one side of head and swelling behind the ears indicate? 28 hours later
Hello thank you for your response. I have copied and pasted your questions so that I can answer them as best as possible. I would like to ask you further questions- Do you have any photophobia? Yes sometimes I find it difficult to have the tv and lights on when I have a very bad headache. But not all the time. Do you have any phonophobia? Again, yes with the tv and sudden noises make me feel queezy. Do you have any nausea/vomitting? nausea when I feel dizzy which can come on at any time. Do you have any one sided headache? Yes. The pains I get in my head seem to have always been on my right side between the top of my right side and above my ear like a sharp object being inserted into my head. This can happen at any time with no warning. I can stand up and walk out of a room and get pains or my ears go full and slightly numb with a ringing in either one (but usually the left one!) Do you have any pulsatile pain? I have had pain in my left leg behind my calf for years which varies from my leg to my upper arm again this is much more noticable when I am due on my period (usually about 2-4 days before) How long does the pain last? varies from seconds to minutes on my head and hours and days on my leg/arm pains. Do you have any pain around menses? always. Do you have any other problems like hypertension? (Noted thyroid problem, and neck swelling) Do you have any reports or investigations, like MRI of the brain? no. I was sent to a neurologist when they first started and he just said I will put you on Beta Blockers to block the signals therefore you should not feel any more pains. Do you have any vision trouble? Yes, I have just been tested and they have perscribed varifocals. I have had three different perscriptions in as many years. Have you had an ENT and Eye and Neurological opinion before? And if yes, what did they say? See above for Neurological. ENT- I have an appointment with them on the 6th February in Portsmouth Do you have any pain in the neck? none more than anyone else. Think this is just work position. Do you have any pus discharge from the ear? no Do you have any tinnitus? I have sporadic high pitched sounds usually in my left ear but sometimes in my right. This usually happens when my ears seem to go full and hurt/ache and I am left with under my ears feeling slightly numb and this spreads down to my neck which can last for days. As for the swelling in the neck, How big is it? it is about an inch by half an inch maybe at seems to be longer across my neck that rounded. Is it growing? Im not sure but it has been there for a couple of years and im noticing it more and more if I put my chin down to read. Is it hard or soft? I think its soft but when you put pressure on it it is a solid lump. Does it move with swallowing? No Could you add a picture of the swelling? I will try Do you feel it beating like a pulse? No Any other swelling, like maybe in breasts? I do have a spot near my middle chest bone that if I lean or press on that area of my left breast it feels like I have a sharp bruise in that area. kind regards XXXX
 
 
Answered by Dr. Saumya Mittal 9 hours later
Brief Answer: Looks like migraine Detailed Answer: Hi First and foremost sorry for the delay I read your response. Your corroborative features i asked seem to suggest a syndrome of migraine. It is a feature of spontaneous treatment. Migraine has no real treatment. But if some has very frequent migraines, I treat them with prophylactic medicines such as beta blockers. It reduces the frequency of headaches and helps you live a headache free life. Your local doctor will know about this medicines. As for the swelling, it seems to be a benign condition. However without an opportunity to examine the swelling, I am unable to predict what that could be. I would suggest you to an ENT/surgery doctor. The only way I can find out what this is online is by suggesting an MRI of the neck; so before attempting MRI scan it would be worthwhile to consult a surgeon. MRI brain can be helpful. I am interested to learn about your thyroid tests. Looking forward to know your reports, and further query in this matter. Dr Saumya Mittal
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