I am Not sure how much more of this I can take!! I am suffering from what I and my Dr. thinks is chronic tension headaches, but it doesn't end there I am dizzy, floaty, lightheaded ALL THE TIME.
My headaches are chronic they are pressure, tight band, like my head is being squeezed, or there is a ton of bricks sitting on it. I can feel the tension behind my eyes, there is so much pressure, I can feel the tension down my neck into my shoulders. I have some strange vision as well when my headaches are intense, Not double, but if I look at something it's as if my eyes jump. I am told these headaches can very well be stress and TMJ related which I do have both, but the dizziness is not such a common symptom for tension type headaches. My Dr. thinks I should try an SSRI to see if it helps break the cycle of headaches, I am not sure if this is going to be the correct treatment. And I have never been on SSRI's because they increased my already existing anxiety. I am starting to feel depressed feeling like this for months on end and years are passing and I still feel dizzy and have a headache!!! DOES ANYONE ELES SUFFER from chronic tension headaches that also SUFFERS from balance problems? And if so Did an SSRI or any medication help you? I am desperate to get my life back and NOT SUFFER anymore!!!!! Thanks for listening and thanks for any advice in advance!
I have had periods of vertigo and double vision with my chronic tension headaches. The episodes of vertigo are very random and range from mild to severe. I was told during one of the episodes that I had BPPV (Benign Proximal Positional Vertigo) but disagreed with the treatment and it went away ont it's own.
I am trying to wean myself off of Elavil now as I am still having headaches and have all of the side effects - sleepiness, weight gain.
So, I have not found a magic cure.
In the past I have tried Frova, Imitrex and Fiorocet.
I have had doctors recommend Topamax but I am too scared of the side effects. Today I was told to try Cymbalta, but also too afraid of the side effects.
About 6 years ago, I suffered chronic tension headaches everyday for 3 years. I was also off balance like I was leaning to one side. My left arm was heavy and weak, and I was dizzy. My doctor said it was probably a chemical imbalance in my brain, and put me on Celexa for 18 months. The symptoms went away for 6 years. The symptoms recently started again, and I am on Celexa again and feeling better. Talk to your doctor if you haven't already.
It sounds like you might be experiencing alot of what I am going through right now. Let me briefly tell you my symptoms.
I have constant head pressure that most of the time makes me feel lightheaded, and when the pressure is really bad, I feel extremely lightheaded. I cant even workout anymore because they minute I try and workout the pressure and lightheadedness gets worse and I have to stop. Running, Weight lifting, even mowing the lawn or picking up something heavy will make me lightheaded.
When this first started in September, I remember watching TV and all of the sudden out of nowhere I had this split second blackout feeling. Then the constant head pressure began. Periodically I would get that split second blackout feeling, but I dont experience that at all anymore. However the constant pressure and lightheadedness has progressively gotten worse.
I have been recently been diagnosed with "new daily persistent headache" by a headache specialist and he has me on Zanaflex (muscle relaxant). Hasnt helped yet, but I am only on day 6.
Very interested to find people suffering the same symptoms as me, for over 8 years now but still looking for an answer to end all this. I'd be interested to know, boxerlover, if you've had MRI scans of the brain/head to rule out that part of the body as cause. I have constantly without relief, a brain fog that has made me forget what being normal was like.
This along with:
*Vision disturbances, like you said, very jumpy vision, eye's struggle to see things if too much is happening at once, noticable if driving for any period
*Sensivity to light, slurred speech
*Difficult to concentrate
*Dull headache all the time, worsens with exercise, driving, any sort of physical activity
*Neck clicks, feeling of relieving pressure by clicking the neck
*Feeling tired, even after a good night's sleep
This even confused my nerologist, as my MRI scans were normal, so this has me thinking the problem must lie either in the spine or another part of the body that would produce these symptoms. I'm not convinced that the cause is stress, for eight years without relief I'd be stressed!!
Getting doctors to believe you can be your worst hurdle, luckily my nerologist did everything he could to find a solution, I've been left with the possibilty of ME or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as its better known. However I'm still not convinced, and I'm certainly not going to wait for it to wear off, could be years I'm told.. if your lucky.
I'd be interested to know what other tests you've had, going back to the headache that gets worse with exercise, has anyone tried measuring blood pressure over a period of time? Do your visual disturbances become worse if you undertake any activity that increases heart rate? Are you aware of any joints popping, usually nearer the end of the day?
Have any of you had your neck scanned?? I have a prolapsed disc with severe arthritis in my neck at C5/6 and at some time over the last 12 years I have had or have ongoing most of the symptoms you are describing.
Along with the head pressure, I always feel lighteaded. And when I workout, both symptoms seem to increase.
I have had CT scans, MRI's (with and without contrast), blood work, balance tests, and the only thing that any doctor could tell me was that my inner ear pressure readings were off and that I had a perilymph fistula, so I went ahead with surgery, and like everyone else on here, it was just another thing that proved to be ineffective.
I can see how my symptoms could be an inner ear problem, but I would have thought if that was the case, there would be a clear cut problem, not one doctor saying yes and another saying no.
Inchvbeam, the headaches gradually started getting better after 2-3 weeks of being on Celexa. Yes, Celexa is an SSRI. My doctor said that chemical imbalances in the brain can cause headaches and off-balance/dizzy sensations.
You are experiencing what is known as "vestibular migraine" or "migraine associated vertigo". It's a very common problem. The diagnosis of tension headache was made because your doc stuck with the now antiquated IHS guidelines for migraine. Grab a copy of "Heal Your Headache" by David Buchholz MD (from John Hopkins University School of Medicine). He is a cutting edge researcher in the field of headache and classifies all headaches as a form of migraine.
The first step is to eliminate migraine triggers which will in turn drop your headache threshold. If this doesn't control the problem then you should move onto a migraine preventitive such as verapamil, propranolol or topamax to name but a few.
I am in the exact same boat as yourself - neck pain, dull headache of the tension sort but which causes vertigo and more recently benign positional vertigo (BPV). Migraine and BPV are highly co-morbid (ie, existing simultaneously with and usually independently of another medical condition).
The person to see about this if you want to confirm what I am saying is a neuro-otologist or inner ear specialist. You can also see more info from the following website (pre-approved by mod1 at the inner ear forum):
I tried various things before Celexa, such as Amitriptyline and Ultram. It worked for a while, but then the headaches started again. My doctor left me on Celexa for 18 months. I started seeing gradual relief after 2-3 weeks. After I was taken off the Celexa, my daily headaches did not come back for about 6 years. I started Celexa again about 6 weeks ago. This time, it is coupled with Inderal (different doctor, different therapies). My headaches and dizzy sensations have been reduced from 100% of the time to 5-10% of the time.
It's interesting to see that you guys had relief from Celexa. I was given Cipramil 3 years ago for the anxiety created by the vertigo I was getting (before I knew it was migraine associated vertigo). On 15 mg of Cipramil (same as Celexa) my symptoms were virtually gone. This is the first time I've seen others say they had their chronic headache removed from an SSRI. There is some info in the literature showing that Zoloft kills migraine for some but not Celexa.
These posts confirm even more for me that the root cause of my vertigo has always been migraine. There's a guy on the inner ear forum who added Verapamil to the mix on top of Zoloft and he is headache free - 100%.
Wow, Now im hoping my Prozac can bring some relief to my tension headaches..
but Im already on it for around 7 weeks and it brought some light relief, but the frequency of the headache is still everyday..