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Question
Posted by: Dee | 2005/07/18

Behind eye

Hi Doc - I quite often get a dull pain behind one eye and at the same time it feel like I have a slight ear ache. One person treats for sinus the other something else. Should I go to a specialist as I worry it may be sinister. At the time the pain is there I feel as that that vision is not 100% i.e. I feel as though my contact lens is the wrong strength. I also get neuraligia fairly often.......ANOTHER EXPLANATION may be my back goes out (one side) could it be a pinched nerve going all the way up. I go from chiropractor to physio and then it goes away for a few months then back again.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Dee,

The pain behind the eye accompanied by earache, are common symptoms among headache sufferers. Visual disturbances such as the one you describe are also common, and don’t necessarily mean that there is something wrong with the eye or with your contact lenses. If there were a problem with the contact lenses, then you would expect to have the visual disturbance all the time, not only when the headache occurs.

If physiotherapy and chiropractic give you temporary relief, then the chances are that a major component of the problem is muscle tension. This would also possibly explain your back problem.

There is a sequence of steps to be taken for anyone suffering from chronic (ongoing) headaches. The first step is that the patient must have a proper medical assessment, which should include a neurological examination. The reason for this is to make absolutely certain that there is not some underlying medical condition causing the headaches. Although this is uncommon, it is essential in order to give the patient peace of mind.

If the patient gets a clean bill of health, then the next part of the investigation is started. The correct way to deal with the problem is to have a proper diagnosis of the causes of the headache. If the causes are treated, the headaches no longer occur, and it is no longer necessary to rely on potentially harmful “rescue” medication. To get to the root of the problem, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary” approach. This means that you no longer go from one practitioner to another, with the resultant unco-ordinated treatment. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For this reason, the combined the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, are co-ordinated into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables a more comprehensive treatment plan, in which all the contributing factors are addressed.

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic on 0861 678 911.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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