For the past five years, I've had a cluster of symptoms which kind of match up with some other threads here, but not exactly. They always come together:
1. Severe pressure in my temples, as if I was wearing a hat three times too small. Doesn't actually hurt, though.
2. Pressure in my ears, as if I were in an airplane. I need to hold my nose and blow out through my ears to relieve the pressure about 20 times a day.
3. Very dry, bloodshot eyes.
4. Severe fatigue and inability to concentrate.
This doesn't always happen - sometimes once a month, sometimes three times a week.
It seems to be correlated with an inability to sleep properly, so for years I went to sleep doctors for a cure, to no avail. However, sometimes I will get 4 hours of sleep without the above symptoms, and sometimes I will sleep like a baby for 12 hours and still get them.
A doctor recently diagnosed me with a migraine and I have been taking 100mg of Topiramate, which I think is making it worse. I suspect it's not the type of classic migraine that responds to Topiramate. My only other health issues are a bit of scoliosis and mild psoriatic arthritis - nothing I can't deal with. No psychiatric issues, and I exercise regularly.
Does anyone out there have any advice on how to handle this?
The following user gives a hug of support to frankyr: kathy jenkins (10-26-2010)
Hi, to me it does sound like a migraine too. The meds you are on may not be the right ones for you. It can take some trial and error to get the right one. I have gotten worse headaches with some medications that are supposed to stop the pain. Actually this has happened a lot to me. But you just have to go back and let your Dr. know you need to try something else, and keep trying until you get some relief.
Yes it does sound like migraine. Migraines are ornery & personal - they can have so many different symptoms! I've experienced a variety of headache/pain, dizziness, nausea, vertigo, blurred vision, voice tightening, ears ringing (louder than usual), ear 'fullness', severe balance issues, brain fog ... all pretty well related to my diagnosis of vestibular migraine. I've tried all (I think) the migraine treatments/prescriptions & none really helped me - or only helped a little with too many unpleasant side effects.
I'm on a handful of supplements, hoping something in the mix will help me. Complicating my own situation is arthritis in my neck.
It would be my suggestion to look for what triggers your symptoms. Food triggers are big - MSG, artificial sweeteners, oranges/citrus, caffeine to name a few of the more popular ones. A 'food elimination' diet is tiresome but helpful in figuring out what bothers you.
Yes there are triggers for migranes like stress and not eating well etc. Scoliosis could be causing them too. Your spine is our of place so that throws it all out of whack. Is your scolisis thruout the whole spine or just upper or lower? I have bone spurs in my neck that come very close to my spinal cord. I take vitamins like potassium and magnesium etc for the health of the muscles. Pain meds are a must and as of lately it takes two days to fully recover. It is like I got knocked over the head. Of course resting in a dark room is a must. There are so many triggers to migranes. But don't forget about the spine itcan cause a bunch of problems. I have it too along with other spinal problems.
Frankyr, I started having symptoms similar to yours for the past year or so. I've struggled with "typical" migraines where a pounding pain on one side of my head is the worst symptom, but only recently I also started having these other days, where I feel like a band is around my head, disoriented, ears feel clogged and ring, fatigue. I don't necessarily have the dry eyes, but pretty much the other symptoms do match mine. I am seeing a neurologist in just under two weeks for the painful migraines and these other symptoms to see if they think they are related and a new treatment to get started on.
Right now I have caffeine regularly to prevent migraines (although I know this is bad in the long run - I just need to get through the days right now) and I take a lot of over the counter medicines. In fact, I think I am slightly addicted to medicines like Advil, because I have to take them often or I get rebound headaches.
I'd be glad to let you know what the doctor tells me after my appointment. There are so many different things that migraines can cause, so I won't be surprised if it's all related. I also have allergy issues, so I think some of it might be combined with that too. The allergens have been very high in my area right now (specifically, mountain cedar has been ridiculously high), and I am alternating Zyrtec D and Claritin D, which both have unfortunately not been working for me anymore. Might be time to consider something stronger or shots.
Would you say that when you feel your symptoms with the fatigue and inability to concentrate, do you feel almost drunk and disoriented? Sometimes I wonder if I should be driving, and I often fall when I first wake up since my balance is the worst in the morning. Most days I feel like this... only 1-2 times a month, I feel "normal" and even then, I hope that it will actually last a full day. The closest I can feel to normal on a day when the symptoms are there is when I have a lot of caffeine, which helps more be somewhat more alert. I don't know about you... but I feel like a lot of my days, my brain is in a cloud and I just don't feel like I'm living life as I should. I don't feel as happy since I feel so weird all the time. I try my best to ignore it and not think about it, but that's easier said than done.
I really hope you are able to find relief as well! Even if you aren't in extreme pain like some migraines (those are the worst for me!), it still greatly affects your life and just makes you feel like you aren't yourself. It isn't something one should have to live with!