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Dizziness and head pain

I have been experiencing headaches on one side of my head off and on for years but now I am getting worried because I think my migraines are getting worse.

I used to get just headaches but now I am getting the occasional ocular migraines where my I'm nearly blinded for half an hour with colours and distortion in my vision. I am also starting to get dizzy spells.

A few weeks ago I had a bad migraine headache and I was feeling tense so I took a couple of paracetamol pain killers and went to bed. I woke up in the early hours of the morning feeling better and I got up and fed my cat and went back to bed.

When I turned over in bed to get comfortable I suddenly felt dizzy. I opened my eyes and seen my bedroom moving as if I was on a capsizing ship. This feeling gradually went then the dizziness hit me again when I tried to get up and my bedroom was spinning. I had to hold on to the walls and door to get to the bathroom because it was so bad but I gradually felt better.

I managed to get an appointment with my doctor. He checked my ears but they were fine so he asked me to lie on a table while he performed head manoeuvres to see if I felt the dizziness again. I didn't feel any dizziness so he suggested that the dizzy spell I experience that morning was due to vestibular migraines.

Just a week ago I started feeling a headache come on around the left side of my forehead and eye and I also felt light headed and a bit off balance. I took paracetamol pain killers but they didn't work and I went throughout the day with this throbbing pain, light headedness and feeling sick. The headache radiated from the left side of my forehead down the back of my eye which made my teeth slightly sensitive. I then went to bed that night and woke up feeling better. However a couple of hours later the pain returned so again I went all day suffering the same headache and same symptoms as before.

This seems to be happening every morning for the past week where I wake up and my headache is gone only for it to return a couple of hours later and it lasts all day alongside feeling lightheaded, nauseous and off balance and pain killers aren't working.

Please advise.

  1. I'm sorry this is happening. Did you see a headache specialist or neurologist, or just your regular doctor? It sounds like your headache spells are coming on pretty regularly. Did your doctor talk to you about any preventative medications, or are you just taking painkillers?

    If you haven't seen a neurologist (a headache specialist is even better), it sounds like it would be a good time to do so. That way they can talk to you about better treatment options that might be able to get you feeling better. The current recommendation on painkillers/prescription medications for headache, including over the counter, is no more than 2-3 times per week, or it can start to cause more headaches (MOH), so that's why if you're having a lot of headaches, it's important to discuss preventatives with your doctor, rather than just treat with painkillers.

    1. My doctor just spoke to me about taking over the counter pain killers like aspirin and paracetamol. He never mentioned anything about prevention medication. He didn't even mention getting me to see a neurologist or headache specialist.

      1. So you said...

        -Losing vision, seeing bright colors in one eye for half an hour at a time
        -Dizziness, vertigo, can't get from room to room without holding on to walls
        -Headache every day for a week? Am I understanding that correctly? Is that just one fluke, or is that a pattern?
        -Painkillers aren't working?

        How many headaches would you say you have in a month?

        These can all be symptoms of migraine. But a general rule of thumb is that if you're experiencing a change in headache, you need to see a doctor (which you did) and if you're having more than 4 headaches per month, you might need to discuss a preventative medication with your doctor.

        Did your doctor discuss with you why it's important not to take OTC pain meds (or any pain meds) more than 2-3 times per week? Doing so can cause you to start having more headaches because of a condition called medication overuse headache.

        1. I only get the migraine aura where my vision is distorted for about 30 minutes once every year. The dizziness I have had for months but it has only been slight off balance feeling but the dizziness hit me big time when I was turning over in bed but lasted about a minute before returning to my usual off balance light headed feeling again. My doctor prescribed me medication for the dizziness.

          My headache has disappeared but I had it for nearly a week earlier in this month alongside the full (pressure) feeling in my head and ears and tinnitus. I'd say I would have headaches around six times a month but last month I managed to go through a whole month without any headaches. The nausea I get most of the time which is relieved when I am dry heaving in the bathroom.

          I forgot to mention that I suffer from anxiety and depression and I have had a few panic attacks in the past three years triggered off by those horrible migraine symptoms.

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