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Suffering from headache and blurred vision. What is causing this and required treatment?

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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 15471 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 4 Jan 2013 in Headache and Migraines
Question: my wife has had a headache for a couple months, this week it has become so severe that it makes her sick to her stomach sometimes and keeps waking her up when she moves. No sensitivity to light and her neck is not stiff or hurting. She has had a few short episodes of blurry vision and this morning it felt as though someone was covering her ears regarding her hearing
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 3 hours later
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

There are different types and causes of headaches. The most common reason for headaches are: (1)migraines (2) tension headaches (3) cluster headaches (4) as a result of trauma (5) due to congested sinuses (6)subarachnoid hemorrhage- usually said to be the worse headache experienced with neck stiffness, aneurysm, (7) extremely elevated blood pressure (8) due to a lesion/mass in the brain

Migraines - there are actually up to 9 different types of migraines.They can occur with or without an XXXXXXX
To diagnose a person with a migraine without an XXXXXXX they need to have at least 5 headaches lasting 4 to 72 hrs with at least 2 of the following:located on one side, pulsating or throbbing, moderate or severe, made worse by doing routine activities. In addition the person needs to experience either light/sound sensitivity or nausea.

You stated the she was experiencing nausea and worse on moving.

A migraine can also occur with an XXXXXXX (symptoms that occur with or before the headache, usual visual like loss of vision in one area or zig zig visions) and there are also criteria for this.
There are also migraine variants where a person experiences migraines with slight variation in symptoms.There are 7 variants.

Tension or cluster headaches are not usually associated with nausea.
In sinus headache the person usually has a history of severe sinus problems and there is associated pain in the face.

Headaches due to lesions/masses in the brain can also be associated with nausea.They are also associated with drowsiness, change in mental status,memory loss.

Your wife's headaches may be migraines or a variation of, however diagnosis can best be made if she is evaluated by a doctor who may suggest a CT scan to rule out any abnormalities (it usually is normal but it is best to check to make sure)

Treatment of migraines is divided into two parts: medication to stop the migraine and medication to prevent it from reoccuring (only used if person fits certain criteria)

Hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 38 minutes later
She has had the headache with no relief other than a reduction in pain for the past 2 months. She hasn't experiences any change in personality but has noticed some intermittent short term memory loss and occasional blurred vision that lasts for less than 30 seconds. I checked her blood pressure and it was elevated for her, 145/95, she is usually right at the average of 120/80. She also had it checked by her school nurse and it was still in the mid 140's. Rubbing her neck and head do cause some short term relief but the headache has not gone away. The past few days the pain has significantly increased to the point of causing nausea. We cannot get into the doctor until the 26th so I think I should take her to the hospital to get a CT just to make sure, since it has lasted this long.
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 39 minutes later
Hi, I agree, I think getting a CT would be the best thing to do at this point.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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