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Constant face pain and migraine

I am 62 and female and started getting migraine around 15 years of age. Originally the migraine was the classic, severe pain, vomiting etc type. After I had my 2 children in my mid 30s the migraines became less severe but more persistent. I discovered that I was also getting vestibular migraine which was diagnosed in my early 50s but I had been getting it for a few years to this point, it just hadn’t been named yet.
Since 2013 I started another symptom which I’m sure is a form of migraine but I can’t seem to find any information and so wondered if anyone else shares my experience.
In 2013 I was sitting quietly when I suddenly got a rush of saliva in my mouth which just wouldn’t stop. This is a daily problem for me and varies but never stops and it is very unpleasant as I am constantly aware of it and having to purposefully swallow to clear it. Sometimes it is so great I can barely speak. The constant swallowing makes my jaw and throat ache. Along with this, on a daily basis I have discomfort in my face. Sometimes just the left side and other days the entire face. This varies in intensity. It ranges from a dull to a severe ache. My eyes also ache most of the time too.
I have had the usual dentist checks, eye exams and seen a maxillofacial specialist. I have also had my sinuses checked. Nothing of any consequence to report on those fronts.
So does anyone else recognise these symptoms?
Any thoughts about how to proceed with a doctor? So far the opinion has been that it’s not life threatening so why worry. I wonder if they would be saying that if they had suffered this discomfort/pain on a daily basis for the last 10 years. Also as I already suffer from clinical depression I think that to say constant pain is not life threatening is a little shallow.
I have taken ibuprofen and naproxen but they don’t really make a difference. I have tried antihistamine for the saliva but that hasn’t made a difference. The only thing that ever helped was diazepam which I was prescribed for disc problems in my back. However, doctors in the U.K. won’t prescribe that. I have tried to indicate that I won’t become addicted as I still have diazepam left from that prescription back from 2019, but they won’t prescribe.
Any thoughts would be most welcome.
I also have ME and have a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

  1. Cluster headaches are severe headaches that occur in groups, often causing eye pain. Trigeminal neuralgia is a severe, intense burst of facial pain on one side of the cheek or jaw, often caused by pressure on the trigeminal nerve. Post-traumatic headaches can develop about a week after an injury or concussion.

    1. thank you for responding to my question, I appreciate your input. Yes I am aware of the other conditions that you described but what I am getting is constant, throughout the day so it doesn’t seem to fit in with the symptoms you suggested. Thank you for reading and responding though.

  2. Hi, rubu. How frustrating this all is! The saliva issue is a new one to me, but I am not a migraine expert so it might just be unfamiliar. I did some digging in our archives, and I did see a couple references to drooling and one person mentioned they felt like their throat was being clogged with saliva, but that's about it. That said, nothing would shock me. The facial nerves that can get involved in migraine are connected to so many things. Do you have any issues with speech or numbness in other parts of your body? Hemiplegic migraine tends to affect one side of the body and can mimic a stroke. This is honestly a puzzle for me, I'm curious to see what others will say. Did your doctor suggest the antihistamines? I would definitely pursue the question of how to dry you up a bit because clearly the swallowing is causing other problems. I really appreciate you reaching out and I'm sorry I couldn't be more helpful! Please keep us posted, we're glad to support you in any way we can. -Melissa, team

    1. Hi, thanks for having a go at helping with this question. I do get a bit of numbness in certain spots on my body and occasionally having real problems stringing my words together, but put that down to cognitive difficulties associated with M E. I am awaiting a neurology appointment but have been waiting 16 months now so have no idea when that’s going to happen, but it may make provide some answers.
      I tried the antihistamine out of curiosity but it made no difference.
      Doctors don’t seem to be too concerned. I was offered Amatryptaline several times but won’t take it because of the M E. Other than that there have been no other offers of any help.

  3. I'm not sure what might be occuring in your case, but because of my experience I might be able to help explain the phenomenon. So migraine actives the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve is a facial nerve. It in turn activates the parasympathetic nervous system - I explain it in an article here: It could be your nerves are misfiring due to migraine. The pain behind the eyes can be another nerve called the occipital nerve. You may or may not have trigeminal neuralgia or occipital neuralgia BUT understanding the connection of these nerves to migraine disease can help! So, how can this help you talk to your doctor? It could be that adding a migraine preventive (or another preventive) could help reduce these symptoms. Often antiepleptic or antidepressant medication helps tremendously in these cases. But talking with your doctor might help, I'm guessing you have and they haven't understood. Not all doctors understand the depths of migraine disease or have heard of trigeminal neuralgia (mine is atypical and constant, but it is typically unilatral and even though I'm bilateral it's not the same on both sides at the same time because the nerve is very much unilateral) but that doesn't discount your experience at all, it just is a matter of understanding what is going on and often addressing the inital symptoms (migraine or facial pain) it can reduce the exacerbation of symptoms (in your case potentially the facial pain and/or it going to the other side). I hope this helps. Feel free to ask follow up questions if I can help further or about more in talking to your doctor about it.
    - Anna ( Team)

    1. Thank you for that. I have often wondered if it is some type of neuralgia so that might be something I could ask a doctor about. Particularly the thought that it could be occipital neuralgia was of interest to me. You have given me some helpful information and I will try and see if I can get a doctor with a hearing ear. Much appreciated

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