Suggest treatment for severe headaches

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Posted on Fri, 12 Jun 2015 in Headache and Migraines
Question: Hi, I'm visiting Woodland Park, XXXXXXX at 8,500ft and have been having a bad headache for the past 4 days. I went to urgent care on monday and the hospital on tuesday and all of my vitals and blood tests and urine tests came back perfectly healthy. I've been taking aspirin to try to mitigate the pain and it seems to help occassionally. The headache is generally at my temples and I noticed today that there was a large engorged vein (I think possibly the superficial temporal vein?) right at the source of the pain. It's enlarged for about 1.5 inches in length. I'm also slightly dizzy. I've been drinking lots of water and resting and avoiding caffeine and alcohol. I did have a headache aspirin yesterday which had caffeine in it, and that seemed to make everything much worse. I'm wondering if I should be very worried about this vein and headache, and what I can do about it. Thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
you may need to see doctor again

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
I have reviewed your labs and your photo of the enlarged vein. If that is really a vein then it is probably not a problem but if it is an artery (I can't tell from the photo) then you probably need to see a doctor again. There is a condition called temporal arteritis that is caused by inflammation of the temporal artery. If the vessel feels that it is pulsing and it is tender to touch then you should see a doctor again right away. One of the tests that would be abnormal in temporal arteritis is a sedimentation rate and they did not check that on your blood tests. This can be serious so if you think it could be an artery then see a doctor again soon.
If you are sure it is a vein then keep doing what you are doing and it is probably just an adjustment to altitude and some dehydration
Regards,
Dr. Robinson
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kathy Robinson 33 minutes later
I'm not sure if it's a vein. I feel my heart pounding through it and it's definitely throbbing. When I go up in altitude from XXXXXXX XXXXXXX (2500ft in 30 min) I feel like my head is going to explode. I'm at the doctor now. Is there anything else I should have them look at (beside sedimentation rate)?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson 7 minutes later
Brief Answer:
No just have them look at the enlarged vessel

Detailed Answer:
Have the look at the vessel. hey may need to send you to a specialist if they think it is temporal arteritis
Good luck and I hope you feel better soon
Dr. Robinson
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Kathy Robinson

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1989

Answered : 3478 Questions

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