question-icon

What causes pounding headache, blurry vision and speech impairment in a teenager?

default
Posted on Wed, 20 Jul 2016
Question: Hello,
My 14 year old daughter is having again symptoms like: pounding headache, blurry vision and speech impairment. It's now 3:17pm and it started around 11 or 12pm. It happened about 4 times in the last two years and it's been accompanied before with numbness in the right arm and the right side of her face. I just did the check up for the stroke (Face-Speech-Time) and all is fine. However, she took an advil at 2pm. What to do? What could it be?
My email address is YYYY@YYYY
XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (40 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Read below.

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

Based on the fact that previous episodes have been transitory and even this time the limb deficit has returned I believe the most probable diagnosis is migraine with aura. Migraine is a throbbing, pulsating headache most commonly involving half of the head but can be on both sides. Auras can be neurological deficits like motor weakness or speech issues which precede headache and typically last up to 1 hour.

Now there is one feature which doesn't fit which is that speech issue is lasting more than one hour. There are cases when it can last more, but however being unusual it requires evaluation. So I suggest that if the speech issue is still present she should be evaluated in the ER.

I do not want you to be alarmed, the fact this is not the first episode is reassuring, should be no acute life threatening issue, but it calls for evaluation. If speech issue has regressed trip to ER can be skipped (unless if pain is not dominated and needs intravenous analgesics). However even if that is not necessary and she gets better a neurological consult sooner or later is necessary and possibly head imaging should be scheduled.

Let me know if I can further assist you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Olsi Taka (20 minutes later)
Thank you. I don't think the speech impairment lasted over an hour. The headaches: yes!
The info confirmed what I had found on the Internet. Thank you very much!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (11 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Read below.

Detailed Answer:
The headaches usually last much more unfortunately. Actually by definition migraine headaches last from 4 to 72 hours. Hope she's already better by now.
For next time to abort them try to get Ibuprofen (Advil) as soon as the symptoms begin, it is more effective when taken early rather then when the pain has established. If it is seen that that is not enough as well, then it could be discussed for more specific medication like triptans.
There is also the possibility of preventive medication, but it is a question of daily treatment and since the episodes are relatively rare I wouldn't suggest it, only if the attacks become frequent, say twice a month.

Wishing you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Olsi Taka

Neurologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3674 Questions

premium_optimized

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
What causes pounding headache, blurry vision and speech impairment in a teenager?

Brief Answer: Read below. Detailed Answer: I read your question carefully and I understand your concern. Based on the fact that previous episodes have been transitory and even this time the limb deficit has returned I believe the most probable diagnosis is migraine with aura. Migraine is a throbbing, pulsating headache most commonly involving half of the head but can be on both sides. Auras can be neurological deficits like motor weakness or speech issues which precede headache and typically last up to 1 hour. Now there is one feature which doesn't fit which is that speech issue is lasting more than one hour. There are cases when it can last more, but however being unusual it requires evaluation. So I suggest that if the speech issue is still present she should be evaluated in the ER. I do not want you to be alarmed, the fact this is not the first episode is reassuring, should be no acute life threatening issue, but it calls for evaluation. If speech issue has regressed trip to ER can be skipped (unless if pain is not dominated and needs intravenous analgesics). However even if that is not necessary and she gets better a neurological consult sooner or later is necessary and possibly head imaging should be scheduled. Let me know if I can further assist you.