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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can tension headaches lead to migraine?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3130 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 7 Aug 2019 in Headache and Migraines
Question: Been getting tension headaches for about two months now but when I’m busy or excercising I don’t notice them and they have been getting better but within the last week things have seem to have gotten brighter could I be getting migraines?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 19 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Questions so that I can advise

Detailed Answer:

Hello,

Tension headaches can get better with decreased stress, so your noting that they don't bother you as much during exercise is understandable.

Can you provide more history/description of things having gotten brighter in the past week?

Do you have head pain during or after the times' things seem brighter?

Do you have any flashing lights in your eyes or other feelings that a headache is coming on?

Do you feel nauseated, or find light or sound intolerable during those times?

Is there a history in your family of migraine headaches?

With this feeling of things seeming brighter (do you mean lights seem brighter?) is one side of your head affected more than the other?

I'll write more after I hear back from you.

Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh, General & Family Physician


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 13 minutes later
I don’t see flashing lights but lights seem brighter then they use to and I get a little dizzy but my moms side of the family has a history of cluster headaches and my right side seems to be affected with tension more than the other but I have a history of anxiety that just started 3 months ago but was with my chest and that went away then started getting tension headaches now those have gotten better but still have them a bit with things being brighter but don’t hurt my head really just seem bright and get a bit dizzy.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 19 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Thoughts on this

Detailed Answer:

Hi,

You wrote

"...tension headaches now those have gotten better but still have them a bit with things being brighter..."

Which I understand you to mean that you think the feeling of lights being brighter and feeling a bit dizzy happens during the tension headaches. If that is what is going on, it may just be part of the headache - your nervous system is more sensitive then.

Migraine headaches do usually happen on one side (but not always) and often have a feeling that happens before them - people often feel like they know it's coming on. Usually there is a feeling of nausea and a lot of discomfort with light or sound (and sometimes with smells). Usually migraine headaches are quite painful.

Most likely what you are experiencing are tension headaches (especially if they follow having more tension at the upper neck which is common). But it is possible that what you are experiencing is a very mild migraine. It doesn't mean that it will evolve into terrible headaches in the future.

If you notice increasing symptoms of what you described or changes in vision or worsening headache, then do go in to be seen in person by a doctor quickly. But most likely this will not get worse.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 5 minutes later
Okay lately my left eye has been getting watery to along with a stuffed nose and slightly clogged ears is that allergies I’m never had them so don’t know
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 7 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Thoughts on this

Detailed Answer:

Hi,

It's possible that it is from allergies, but usually there is a previous history of allergies and often there is some itching (of the nose, eyes) with allergies.

If the air is dry and dusty where you live, the symptoms may be from irritation from that.

It's also possible that you are fighting a mild head cold.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 6 minutes later
Okay thank you I’m just so paranoid about the headaches keep thinking it’s something serious like a tumor and googling it doesn’t help but pretty confident it’s just me thinking about it
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 13 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Here are some guidelines

Detailed Answer:

Hi,

It is a good idea to get your headaches checked in person if any of the following:

- they are new and you never had them before, and they are not associated with stress/muscle tension.

- they don't go away

- they happen more often.

- they are getting worse (more severe or more frequent).

- they are associated with other symptoms (such as weakness, speech problems, visual changes).

- you have a history of high blood pressure.

- they are intense and become most severe within a few minutes of starting.

- a noticeable change in how bad the headache is with a change in position (such as standing to lie down).

- there are also fever and chills.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 9 minutes later
Okay thank you the headaches are getting better not as bad as before just my left eye is watery but since if I’m busy I don’t notice them or excercise their okay I assume it’s just stress related
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Thoughts on this

Detailed Answer:

Hi,

Usually a watering eye is due to irritation of the eye (dust and dirt, allergens) or an infection of the sinuses or a blocked lacrimal duct. It can be due to other things as well but those are the more common reasons.

If you notice it is getting worse, then go in to have that eye checked. As it goes with a stuffed nose and ear congestion, it is more likely due to irritants, allergy, or a mild cold.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 24 minutes later
Okay basically just need to relax thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 15 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Thoughts on this

Detailed Answer:

Hi,

Yes, but if things worsen as I described above, do go in to have someone see in person.

Hope I have answered your query.

Regards,
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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