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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18204
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I have been having left sided headaches two months. They

Resolved Question:

I have been having left sided headaches for around two months. They only last for seconds and disappear. my GP has put me on 160mg slow release beta blocker but it doesn't seem to be preventing them. I have noticed they come even worse when I sneeze. I also take a nasal spray for rhinitis.. I have been to the hospital, no scans but they said there weren't any red flags for it being anything more serious, but t's getting me down now.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  DR. EHTISHAM replied 10 months ago.

Hi

Welcome to JA and thanks for asking

It seems like you are suffering from migraine

There are two types of medicines used in this condition

One of these is to abort an acute attack and the others are to prevent further attacks.

To abort an acute attack drugs like NSAIDs,opioids analgesics,triptans,ergot derivatives and steroids are used

For prevention of attacks drugs like beta blockers,calcium channel blockers,anti seizures,anti depressants,and certain pain reliever are used.

If beta blocker is not working then consult your doctor to switch to an alternative drug among the ones i mentioned

Feel free to ask if you have any more question

Please leave a POSITIVE (3 – 5 stars, preferably 5) rating by clicking on the stars above, until you do i am not compensated for my time. You can continue to ask follow-up questions even after the POSITIVE rating

Regards

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi thank you for response. My GP doesn't think it's migraine as they only last a few seconds but I get them frequently throughout the day.. I originally got sumitriptan but they took me off that and changed to naproxen and proponalol. It is strange though that when I am about the sneeze the pain comes bad for 3-5 seconds then passes when I have actually sneezed, could that be connected ?
Expert:  DR. EHTISHAM replied 10 months ago.

Another thing which should be considered is a sinus problem as it can lead to a unilateral headache as well. Pressure rises in the sinuses when you sneeze and that can worsen the headache so it won,t be a bad idea to see an ENT doctor as well

Feel free to ask if you have any more question

Please leave a POSITIVE (3 – 5 stars, preferably 5) rating by clicking on the stars above, until you do i am not compensated for my time. You can continue to ask follow-up questions even after the POSITIVE rating

Regards

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 10 months ago.

The system says that you requested a new expert.

If your GP thinks that these are not migraines, what is the reason for using a beta-blocker?

When used for headaches, beta-blockers are typically used for migraine or other vascular headaches.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for reply. My GP just said that they were for preventing headaches.. I'm still getting them, up to 20 times per day but always only for seconds then they are gone. The beta blocker is making me tired, and I am struggling to exercise.. I just don't know what road to take now as I feel that nothing is helping, can you please tell me what you think these are ? They came on all of a sudden at end of April.. Always in the exact same place on the left side, sometimes a bit burny..
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 10 months ago.

Intense short headaches are frequently referred to as ice pick headaches, although the proper medical term is primary stabbing headache. These most often often occur as a part of a larger headache syndrome, and most often associated with migraine headaches. However, they can occur with other types of headaches.

Since they are of such short duration, it is usually difficult to treat these headaches with a medicine designed to relieve the headache, so the treatment is usually oriented towards that larger headache syndrome with which they are associated.

If you do not have migraine headaches or other vascular headaches, the doctor may have tried the beta-blocker to cover for the most common associated headache syndrome. Since the beta-blocker is not helping, then the next step would be to try an alternative preventive medicine.

It is true that sinus disease can cause chronic headaches, although only infrequently associated with ice pick headaches. But since you have rhinitis and an association of headaches with the need to sneeze, it would be appropriate to consider further evaluation or treatment by an ENT physician.

Another common headache syndrome are muscle contraction headaches. Ice pick headaches can be associated with muscle contraction headaches, although not as often as with migraine headaches. Sneezing can make muscle contraction headaches worse, but it is usually with the sneeze, rather than preceding the sneeze.

It would be reasonable to discuss with your doctor about the use of medicines to prevent muscle contraction headaches, such as amitriptyline or duloxetine. These are antidepressant medicines, but have also been shown to be effective at preventing a variety of chronic pain syndromes, including muscle contraction headaches, and it may help prevent any associated ice pick headaches.

If I can provide any additional information, please let me know.

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 10 months ago.

Is there any further assistance that would be helpful?

Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18204
Experience: Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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