Strange Headache comes and goes - for 35 years
I'm a 59 year old male, in generally good health; no blood pressure, heart, cholesterol or other major diseases. For approximately 35 years I have had occassional and strange headaches. They are ALWAYS above the right ear and slightly toward the rear, and slightly on top. Mostly, on the right side. The headache is fairly dull, occassionaly throbbing, and often with a cold sensation. It feels as if there is something inside my head, about an inch deep and working up and out. On a scale of 1 to 10 in pain, it is never above a 4, so consequently, the pain never inhibits me from doing anything. However, the knowledge that it is there and unusual, is disconcerting to say the least.
When I first got this strange headache (around 35 years ago), obviously not a normal tension or hangover type throbbing headache, I remember going to a hospital (NY Montefiore) headache clinic, and I believe they took conventional x-rays. I don't think they had MRIs or CT scans back then. They could find nothing wrong and suggested it was stress related as I had just ended a relationship.
Here's the most interesting part. The headache, which often lasted as long as a week, with on and off periods, would go away. I might not get the headache again for months or even years. So, when it would come back years later, I would basically ignore it, as it would invariably last a short time, not cause significant discomfort, and then disappear. It just seemed to be my old friend, that weird headache, back for a visit. In fact, I never told a doctor about it, as I was not experiencing headaches at the same time as my office visits, so I simply forgot about it.
Several weeks ago, it came back. This time it has been almost constant, and perhaps a notch above the usual in terms of pain, but still not serious pain. However, now that its back and has seemed to stay, and is a notch up in severity, I've been getting worried. I'll be seeing my family doctor about it this week, and he told me we may have to refer it to a neurologist.
Obviously, I'm quite worried. I've been all over the net and my symptoms don't seem to match any others I read about. The coming and going for years would suggest Cluster Headaches, but the lack of that kind of pain would seem to negate that.
Has anyone heard of this type of headache, and/or have any idea what it might be?
Thanks - Steven