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Old 12-14-2012, 08:28 AM   #1
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Eraphim HB User
Question Head pressure, eye floaters, and light sensitivity. (I need some insight.)

Hello everyone,

I have an undiagnosed condition which started three years ago, in December 2009. My family doctor doesn't take me seriously, so I am switching to another doctor soon. I'm male, 26 years old, non-smoker & non-drinker. Blood pressure on average 130/80, pulse rate around 70. I am 6 foot 1 tall, and weigh around 214 pounds (97 kg).

My symptoms:

- Head pressure (especially around the temples)
- Feeling my heartbeat pounding in my head (i don't hear it, but i definitely feel it)
- Massive eye floaters in both eyes (always present)
- Light sensitivity (always present)
- Slight blurry vision from time to time (depending on the severity of the "head pressure")
- Eye pain (also depending on the severity of the "head pressure")

What makes it worse:

- When I eat something very salty
- When I am very nervous, or very angry

What makes it better:

- When I press on my temples
- When I tie a piece of cloth around my head
- Diazepam 5mg

Worth mentioning:

- No fatigue (i have a lot of strength & energy)
- No appetite loss
- No sleep problems

A detailed history of my condition:

My problem began in December 2009 as just a strange feeling in my head. I started to literally feel my pulse pounding inside my head. This was accompanied by a feeling of pressure in the head, especially around the temples and around the eyes. It felt like extremely high blood pressure, but only in the head. I ignored all of this, thinking it's something that will go away quickly, but I was wrong.

After a couple of months, in the spring of 2010, the head pressure decreased somewhat, but then I began to have eye problems. There was a dull tension-type pain, first in my right eye, then in my left eye. This type of eye pain is very difficult to describe: A strong tension/pressure type of pain, which feels exactly like the pressure in the entire head. This lasted for several days, and then comes the worst part: massive eye floaters in both eyes, accompanied with light sensitivity. The eye pain went away, but the floaters & light sensitivity remained, as well as the head pressure. The floaters & light sensitivity are always present, 24/7, so it's definitely not a migraine.

The problem "stablized" in the summer of 2010, and remained very stable or "tolerable" I should say. Head pressure reduced by more than 50%, no eye pain, and only 5 or 6 floaters. Then in October 2012, for unexplained reasons, the whole thing came back with a punch. The pulse pounding in the head, the head pressure, and the eye pain all increased about threefold. Then a few days later, new eye floaters came along (more than 10 new floaters!). Now the whole thing is somewhat stable, but definitely not as good as it was before.

Why was it "ok" for more than two years, and then came back like this? The only thing I can think of is bodybuilding. In October 2012 I began to lift weights, mostly benchpress, and about a week after that, the problems began to intensify. This is the only thing I can think of that might have played a role.

Here are the exams I have had done in the past few months:

- Extensive blood work, including TSH test (thyroid function): all clear, except for somewhat high cholesterol (255)
- Abdominal ultrasound: completely normal
- Ophthalmoscopy with dilated pupils: no retinal tears, no holes, no damaged blood vessels
- VEP (Visual Evoked Potential) test: completely normal
- Carotid doppler ultrasound: completely normal (I really insisted on the carotid doppler ultrasound, because of the feeling of high blood pressure in the head.)

I didn't have health insurance for a long time, which is why I started to see doctors only a few months ago. Now, I have learned to control this condition by avoiding salty foods, avoiding stress, and avoiding weightlifting. By "controlling" the condition I mean preventing it from getting worse. But nonetheless I want to know, and absolutely have to know, what is causing this problem, and how to treat it.

My family doctor does not want to do an MRI or a CT scan. He thinks this is all stress related without any physiological causes whatsoever, which I think is completely absurd, and this is the reason why I'm switching to another doctor very soon. In any case, my questions are as follows:

1.) Is it possible that these symptoms could be caused by a deformity of the neck and/or the spine? I have had a really terrible posture since I was a little kid, but my family doctor (as well as my neurologist) dismisses this idea, saying there's no chance it could cause these problems.

2.) Is it worth doing a contrast-enhanced thyroid ultrasound?

3.) Should I do an electrocardiogram & treadmill stress test?

4.) What medical exams would you recommend me? MRI? CT? If so, exactly what kind of MRI? Cervical? Head only? Whole body? I really don't know much about this subject.

5.) Is it possible for the eyes to really be healthy, but for a person still to experience floaters & light sensitivity, for example because of something neurological?


If there is anything at all you could say about this topic, I would really appreciate it. To this day I am not able to find on the internet one disease that has all of these symptoms. The whole thing really feels as if the blood pressure in my head is extremely high, but obviously that's not it. I would very much like to know if you were in my shoes, what exams you would like to have done.

Thank you very much!
Eraphim

Last edited by Eraphim; 12-14-2012 at 08:34 AM. Reason: slight changes to the text

 
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:48 AM   #2
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WhatWasIThinkin HB User
Re: Head pressure, eye floaters, and light sensitivity. (I need some insight.)

I have eye floaters and light sensitivity and my eyes are fine. I have to wear glasses to read now that I'm older but other than that, they are ok.

 
Old 12-17-2012, 11:06 AM   #3
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Re: Head pressure, eye floaters, and light sensitivity. (I need some insight.)

WhatWasIThinkin,

Thank you for your reply

Last edited by Administrator; 12-28-2012 at 05:49 PM.

 
Old 12-18-2012, 09:48 AM   #4
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Re: Head pressure, eye floaters, and light sensitivity. (I need some insight.)

Hi Eraphin,

I'm sorry that I don't have your exact symptoms so I can't provide the answers that you're looking for. From my experience, I feel pressure in my head during a migraine or when I have sinus issues (probably from allergies). I also experience eye floaters/light sensitivity at the start of my migraines, or what is considered an aura. I do have problems with light sensitivity outside of migraine episodes, but apparently my doctors aren't concerned with it as this has always been brought up during my rheumatology appointments and nobody has been alarmed by this (at least for me). I often get tension headaches which also have that head pressure/temporal pain which I feel are caused by my high levels of stress. I also have some musculoskeletal problems so I'm sure that headaches are caused by constant muscle tension as well.

I'm not sure which tests you should move forward with, but me personally...I've had two MRIs of my head to make sure that there's nothing really serious like a tumor causing my migraines. And I've also had cervical/spinal x-rays which is much more cost effective when attempting to search for back/neck problems. Perhaps you could try some x-rays to see if something stands out to your physician which would then prompt further diagnostic testing? Also, have you ever considered an ENT specialist to see if the ongoing pressure and eye issues could be due to allergies, sinuses, etc vs your back?

Just a few thoughts. Hope you get some answers soon so you can start feeling better! Take care.

 
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Eraphim (12-18-2012)
Old 12-18-2012, 04:24 PM   #5
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Re: Head pressure, eye floaters, and light sensitivity. (I need some insight.)

Thank you very much for replying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maiyen View Post
Hi Eraphin,

I'm sorry that I don't have your exact symptoms so I can't provide the answers that you're looking for. From my experience, I feel pressure in my head during a migraine or when I have sinus issues (probably from allergies). I also experience eye floaters/light sensitivity at the start of my migraines, or what is considered an aura.
There is a difference between seeing spots/lines, and seeing classic floaters. My questions to you are:

1.) Do these floaters disappear when your migraine goes away?
2.) Can you describe these floaters? Do they move with your vision? For example if you look left, do they move to the left side, and then "float" towards the bottom?

Quote:
I do have problems with light sensitivity outside of migraine episodes,
That's interesting.

Quote:
but apparently my doctors aren't concerned with it as this has always been brought up during my rheumatology appointments and nobody has been alarmed by this (at least for me). I often get tension headaches which also have that head pressure/temporal pain which I feel are caused by my high levels of stress. I also have some musculoskeletal problems so I'm sure that headaches are caused by constant muscle tension as well.
Well, I have had extremely bad posture since I was a little kid. When I was around 10 years old, a doctor saw that my spine was "deformed" due to bad posture. I began doing exercises to set it straight, but eventually stopped doing it. That's why I think my back or "neck area" might have something to do with this.

Quote:
I'm not sure which tests you should move forward with, but me personally...I've had two MRIs of my head to make sure that there's nothing really serious like a tumor causing my migraines.
Is there a difference between an MRI of the head and an MRI of the brain? I really don't know that much about MRIs.

Quote:
And I've also had cervical/spinal x-rays which is much more cost effective when attempting to search for back/neck problems. Perhaps you could try some x-rays to see if something stands out to your physician which would then prompt further diagnostic testing?
That sounds like a good idea.

Quote:
Also, have you ever considered an ENT specialist to see if the ongoing pressure and eye issues could be due to allergies, sinuses, etc vs your back?
Well, I didn't think going to an ENT specialist would be important, because I wasn't able to find one source on the internet which says that sinuses could cause eye floaters. But then again, who knows. What I forgot to bring up, is that a week or two before all of my problems began (in December 2009), I had a terrible cold, and also a sinus infection.

Quote:
Just a few thoughts. Hope you get some answers soon so you can start feeling better! Take care.
I have learned to control it, and it's very stable. I know some of the things that make it worse, so I am avoiding it, and it's pretty good for now. Nonetheless, I have to get to the bottom of this, and finally find a doctor who will actually listen to what I am saying.

Thanks once again for taking the time to reply.

Last edited by Eraphim; 12-18-2012 at 04:26 PM.

 
Old 12-18-2012, 09:25 PM   #6
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maiyen HB Usermaiyen HB User
Re: Head pressure, eye floaters, and light sensitivity. (I need some insight.)

It can be very frustrating trying to find a doctor that is a good fit for you, but they are out there. I've been to several neurologists, and some are definitely better than others.

My eye floaters don't seem to move with my vision, they appear to be more in my peripheral and pretty insignificant. They are only visible when the aura is present...usually not too long because my vision gets so blurred and the light gets so bright that I'm forced to close my eyes to try and get some relief. The aura doesn't last very long and is typically gone after an hour or so. I have had a couple of instances where I only got the aura and no migraine followed. I got the floaters/extreme light sensitivity/blurriness, but never felt any type of headache. Although I specifically remember flashes of light (almost like sparks) when I had this type of aura/no headache. I believe this is called a visual migraine. My dad and brother have had these migraines for years.

No difference between an MRI of the brain and head.

An ENT may not be important, I just thought of it because of the pressure you are feeling and sinus issues can cause feelings of pressure in the face and/or head areas.

 
Old 01-24-2013, 07:00 PM   #7
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Eraphim HB User
Re: Head pressure, eye floaters, and light sensitivity. (I need some insight.)

Thank you for your insight, maiyen. Today I've had a cervical x-ray, and everything was ok, no abnormalities.

I will probably check out my thyroid next.

If anyone else has any advice, please feel free to post.

Last edited by Eraphim; 01-24-2013 at 07:01 PM.

 
Old 04-03-2013, 04:45 PM   #8
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Re: Head pressure, eye floaters, and light sensitivity. (I need some insight.)

Does anyone else have any insights? Thank you all.

 
Old 04-04-2013, 09:48 AM   #9
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hildygirl14 HB User
Re: Head pressure, eye floaters, and light sensitivity. (I need some insight.)

think out of the box , maybe Sinusitis or a bad tooth or wisdom teeth....you would be surprised

 
Old 04-04-2013, 09:53 AM   #10
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Re: Head pressure, eye floaters, and light sensitivity. (I need some insight.)

Light sensitivity also is associated with a detached retina

 
Old 04-04-2013, 11:45 AM   #11
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Re: Head pressure, eye floaters, and light sensitivity. (I need some insight.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hildygirl14 View Post
Light sensitivity also is associated with a detached retina
Thank you for your reply, hildygirl14. My retina has been checked out. There is no damage whatsoever, according to the Ophthalmologist. The blood vessels are also fine.

Everything is really sort of a mystery. What I noticed is that heavy weight lifting makes the whole thing 10x worse, causing pain and pressure in the eyes, etc., so I learned to control it by avoiding weightlifting.

I could live with this, if I knew that it won't get any worse or cause major complications. But still... I would really love to know what is causing this. I'll have to insist on an MRI of the head, and see what my doctor says.

 
Old 06-09-2013, 08:51 PM   #12
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Re: Head pressure, eye floaters, and light sensitivity. (I need some insight.)

[QUOTE=Eraphim;5156742]Does anyone else have any insights? Thank you all.

First week of Feb. 2013 I developed pain in the right side rib area and a headache on the right side. First week of April 2013 I developed 6 to 8 black eye floaters ( dots and lines ) they move on their own or when I move my eyes. The head pain and eye floaters are every day. I can only see the eye floaters in bright light. The middle of May I developed perceptual problems. I have mental foggy feeling and when writing or typing I occasionally switch letters. EX. (in) I type ni, or I leave letters out completely.

Kaiser has done blood tests, ultra sound on abdomen, CT Scan, Carotid Arterie ultra sound, and an x-ray on rib area. Every test came back normal.

Kaiser refuses to do an MRI. I have switched Primary Care Doctors three times in the past 4 months. And I have seen two neurologists.

I am now in the process of filing a grievance and will find out in two weeks if they will give me an MRI.

I am also in the process of researching my insurance options to get out of Kaiser. Most of the Kaiser Dr. tell me that since I have not lost vision and I don't have a droopy lip or numbness they do not see a reason for the MRI.

Alphaflight

 
Old 07-01-2013, 10:46 AM   #13
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Re: Head pressure, eye floaters, and light sensitivity. (I need some insight.)

Just an update: I've had an MRI (Head MRI) done recently, including a couple of MRA images as well. Nothing bad has been found.

Does anyone have any other suggestions? Could this be some kind of vascular disease? What other medical exams can someone recommend me?

Thank you,
Eraphim

Last edited by Eraphim; 07-01-2013 at 10:52 AM.

 
Old 07-01-2013, 10:31 PM   #14
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Re: Head pressure, eye floaters, and light sensitivity. (I need some insight.)

I recently had another appointment with a ophthalmologist and he recommended that I have a test called an MRA which determines if there are any vascular problems. Your symptoms are similar to mine so you may want to ask for an MRA. I was told they fill the arteries and veins with dye to then determine if there is a blockage. I had an ultrasound of my carotid artery and it was fine but that was the only artery they tested. So, the MRA is the next test I am trying to get. I have Kaiser and they suck but it is all I can afford right now. The Kaiser Board of Doctors and Customer Relations Dept. who I wrote to for my grievance turned me down for the MRI now I will try for the MRA.

 
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:16 PM   #15
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Re: Head pressure, eye floaters, and light sensitivity. (I need some insight.)

Please look into osteopathy... It might relieve your symptoms. Being a migraine sufferer forces a lifestyle change. The fact that other family members are also sufferers may indicate its genetic and there will be no cure. Due to your floaters, you will most likely be light sensitive for the rest of your life. Floaters can be caused by a good bump on the head for younger people but they are normal in elderly people. You are most likely suffering from tension headaches also which are convulating your symptoms.
Since my 'headaches' haven't killed me yet and doubt that they will ever be life threatening, I accept it for what it is and I continue to search for ways to alleviate my symptoms. I hope you will find peace and a good group of friends to deal with your condition. Seek help from a certified osteopath. Take care!

 
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