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Old 01-17-2005, 08:01 PM   #1
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Headache / Eyeache

I'm a first-time poster here. I looked back through the older threads, but didn't see anyone whose symptoms sounded just like mine. I'll apologize in advance for the length here.

I have been having a headache or possibly eyeache very frequently for over 5 years. The pain is always right behind my right eye. Sometimes it almost feels like the eye socket itself is radiating the pain. However, it is not eyeball pain. It varies from a dull ache to a sharper, stabbing pain. The pain can last as little as a minute or two to as long as 4 or so hours.

When this first started 5+ years ago, I had one of those feelings like "something is really wrong". I went to an internist who recommended something like Excedrin Migraine. After a couple of months with no relief, I went back to the internist who referred me to a neurologist. The neurologist had an MRI and MRI taken of my head. Both of the scans turned out negative.

So, the neurologist diagnosed it as a migraine or some related type of vascular headache. I found this surprising because I have had no other symptoms (no auras, no nausea, no light sensitivity, etc) that you typically hear about in association with migraine. At the time, the Dr tried me on several months of Nortryptoline (sp?). It seemed like it helped a bit for a while, but not for long. So, I eventually gave up on it.

So, over the past 4 years, I mostly learned to live with the pain. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, so since I was convinced that it wasn't something that was going to kill me, I just decided to do nothing about it. Sometimes I would go for days in a row with the head/eye aching for 2-4 hours a day, then I would sometimes go for a week with no pain. T

hen, over the past year, I started having the pain every day for at least 2 hours. The pain was bad enough that it was hard to focus on work at times. I was taking a lot of Ibuprofen. So, after about 3 months of that, I went back to the neurologist. He did a standard neuro exam on me and decided that he still believes it is a migraine. He felt that I was into the rebound headache cycle because of all of the Ibuprofen. So, this time, he had me try Effexor as a preventitive. I stepped up to 225mg/day of Effexor over about 5 weeks. For a month or so, I was beginning to think that it was really helping and it still may be. But, I am still having the head/eye pain at least 2-3 times a week for a couple of hours at a time. My followup appointment with the neurologist is in about a month.

I have done the headache calendars, etc, but there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason about what triggers the pain. It happens at all times of day, I wake up in the morning sometimes with the pain, and it doesn't seem to relate to what I eat. I have my eyes checked once a year by an Opthalmologist and I wear contacts daily.

So, after the absurdly long story, my question is whether anyone else has heard of anything similar? Does the diagnosis of migraine sound believable in absence of any other symtoms? Any advice on different approaches to treatment?

Thanks in advance.

 
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Old 01-17-2005, 09:51 PM   #2
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Re: Headache / Eyeache

Your headaches sound much like my husbands. His are classed as migraines and he to doesn't have the aura or nausea although in the past he had worse migraines that did have all the classic symptoms you mentioned. Nortiptyline worked for a while for preventative but then quite working with even higher doses so several other meds were tried and he now takes norvasc as seems to do well with that. Rebound headaches are common for people who take to much pain medication. Your neurologist seems to be doing a good job with treating your migraines so continue to see him and work with him to get them under control. It is only to bad you didn't see the neurologist again sooner instead of suffering all these years when your original medicine quite working. Good Luck.

 
Old 01-18-2005, 05:39 PM   #3
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Re: Headache / Eyeache

mlgable, thanks for the reply. It's good to hear that someone has had at least a similar experience to mine. Unlike your husband, to my recollection, I have never in my life had a headache with the symptoms typically associated with a migraine. As I said, my only symptom is the pain right behind the eye.

I'll hang in there with the neurologist and see if we can come up with something to resolve it. I'm not a big fan of taking meds for extended periods, but it would be nice to not have to live with this every day.

 
Old 01-20-2005, 05:35 PM   #4
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Re: Headache / Eyeache

Have you ever hurt your right eye in the past . To much Estrogen-Testosterone can cause old injuries to flare up. That's what was the case for my momma. Had her migrains only in one eye over 15 years. After the estrogen and hormones were fixed no more pain. That was 26 years ago.

Jenteal

Jenteal

 
Old 01-20-2005, 05:55 PM   #5
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Re: Headache / Eyeache

Nope, no past eye injury. I should have also mentioned that I am a 40 yr old male with no other health problems that I know of. I run 4-5 days a week and have for about 15 years. The behind-the-eye pain seems to be independent of how much or how little I exercise, etc.

I do tend to be a worrier and went through a very stressful period with a family illness over the past 4 or 5 years, so it surely could be stress related. However, it seems odd that it would be a stress thing if I wake up with it hurting first thing in the morning at times.

 
Old 01-23-2005, 05:06 PM   #6
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Re: Headache / Eyeache

My son has cluster headaches that sound like your symptoms. He was prescribed a calcium channel blocker to prevent his. The meds helped some but I would ask the neurologist if they could possibly be cluster headaches. Oh, by the way I do think that cluster headaches are in the same class as migraines. Sorry I couldn't be any more help. I personally have migraines and they have disrupted my life. It is horrible. Good luck and hopefully you will find what works for you.

Sam

 
Old 01-25-2005, 04:59 PM   #7
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Re: Headache / Eyeache

i have bad eye pain with my migraines. it feel like someone is pulling and yanking on my eyes and its hard to move my eyes around at all.. definately sounds like a migraine variant. xo jenn

 
Old 02-23-2005, 06:03 PM   #8
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Re: Headache / Eyeache

Well, I have an update on my headache-that-feels-like-an-eyeache saga. I went back to the neurologist last week with my headache calendar for the past couple of months. He concluded that the 225mg daily Effexor that he had prescribed as a preventitve was not helping as much as he hoped. I feel like my headaches/eyeaches have become less intense over the past few months, but the frequency is still very high (3-4 days a week for a couple of hours at a time).

So, the Dr added 150mg of Wellbutrin to the Effexor for 2 weeks at which point I am to lower the Effexor to 150mg/day and increase the Wellbutrin to 300mg/day. I go back to the Dr in 6 weeks to assess how that combo is doing.

I am not enthused about taking even yet another antidepressant given that I am not really depressed anyway. However, I am trying it at least for a while.

Has anyone else out there heard of this combo being used as a migraine preventitive?

 
Old 02-24-2005, 11:40 PM   #9
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Re: Headache / Eyeache

Quote:
Originally Posted by opt-out
Well, I have an update on my headache-that-feels-like-an-eyeache saga. I went back to the neurologist last week with my headache calendar for the past couple of months. He concluded that the 225mg daily Effexor that he had prescribed as a preventitve was not helping as much as he hoped. I feel like my headaches/eyeaches have become less intense over the past few months, but the frequency is still very high (3-4 days a week for a couple of hours at a time).

So, the Dr added 150mg of Wellbutrin to the Effexor for 2 weeks at which point I am to lower the Effexor to 150mg/day and increase the Wellbutrin to 300mg/day. I go back to the Dr in 6 weeks to assess how that combo is doing.

I am not enthused about taking even yet another antidepressant given that I am not really depressed anyway. However, I am trying it at least for a while.

Has anyone else out there heard of this combo being used as a migraine preventitive?
I am not a doctor or an expert but I do take Effexor for depression. I am not sure why your neurologist would prescribe an antidepressant for headaches. I would question the use of both of these antidepressants. Did your doctor tell you why they were being prescribed? I know in my case the Effexor has caused my headaches to be worse. I am not saying that it happens with every person, because each person reacts to medications in different ways.
In my opinion I would be questioning the use of these two particular medications together. What the benefits are? What the side effects are? What side effects are there when trying to come off of the antidepressants?

Good luck,
Sam

 
Old 02-25-2005, 05:45 AM   #10
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Re: Headache / Eyeache

The two common classes of drugs that Drs give as preventitves for migraines are beta blockers (e.g., Inderal) and antidepressants. Because I am a runner, the Dr did not think that I would like the side-effects of Inderal. So, he went the antidepressant route with me. When he first prescribed the Effexor, I did lots of web searching and found a number of references to it being used to prevent migraines.

As far as the combination of the two drugs, the Dr said that he has had success in other patients in using this combo. I searched the web for references to the combination, but didn't find much.

I think that I understand the side effects pretty well. I am not thrilled with them, but of course I've never taken any drug for more than a week or two, so I don't like any side effects. Stopping either drug requires tapering down the dosage over some number of weeks.

At this point, I guess I am going to try the six weeks of the combo. If I don't notice any clear improvement in the headache, I am going to tell him that I would like to taper off both drugs.

 
Old 02-25-2005, 12:35 PM   #11
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Re: Headache / Eyeache

[QUOTE=opt-out]The two common classes of drugs that Drs give as preventitves for migraines are beta blockers (e.g., Inderal) and antidepressants. Because I am a runner, the Dr did not think that I would like the side-effects of Inderal. So, he went the antidepressant route with me. When he first prescribed the Effexor, I did lots of web searching and found a number of references to it being used to prevent migraines.

As far as the combination of the two drugs, the Dr said that he has had success in other patients in using this combo. I searched the web for references to the combination, but didn't find much.

I think that I understand the side effects pretty well. I am not thrilled with them, but of course I've never taken any drug for more than a week or two, so I don't like any side effects. Stopping either drug requires tapering down the dosage over some number of weeks.

Hi opt-out

I am relieved to hear that you did the research and have expressed your concerns to your doctor. I hope this is the combination that you need to be migraine free. Best wishes!

Sam

Last edited by Samantha317; 02-25-2005 at 12:37 PM.

 
Old 12-16-2007, 11:58 PM   #12
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Re: Headache / Eyeache

we have quite different symptoms you and me.. i have this pain in my eye(always right eye) behind feels like someone or something is poking my eyeball from behind the socket. i am having that pain since i was 14 or something the only thing it is different is i have those pains once a week and not daily sometimes once in two week and sometimes just once in a month. i don't know whats the factor that differs it. i went thru ****** for cluster headache and migraine... some of the symptoms matches migraine and some with cluster headaches. when my eye aches i feel nausea but usually i don't throw up i hold on to it. i haven't tried other medication just normal headache pills and i haven't checked how long it goes.. i usually kill it with a sleep(but i am pretty sure its not due to lack of sleeplessness) when i am awake after the sleep its usually gone not 100% successful but 8 out of 10 cases are gone by waking up. before i feel the pain i can feel that its going to happen i don't know, premature or just ticking symptom i just feel it that its going to happen.. and then i plug earphones and try to sleep taking headache pills. so whats my story? migraine or cluster headache or something else.

p.s. I wear spectacles but then its not due to the power mix match of the glass i have been to ophthalmologist and checked up my eyes they are fine the glass is prescribed nothing is wrong with it.

 
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