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Constant Head Pain and Tingling: What Could it Be?

By: Kathryn Senior PhD - Updated: 28 Jun 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Headache Headaches Eye Strain Eye Test

Q.

I am 14 years old and have been suffering with headaches for over a year now. Over the past year they have been getting increasingly worse and are now getting unbearable and constant. The pain is only on the right side of my head and often tingles alongside the constant pain.

I have been to my GP twice and they keep telling me to come back if they haven't gone in 6 weeks.I hope you have a suggestion of what it is and how I can make it go away?

(A.S, 17 June 2009)

A.

It is really impossible to tell you what is causing your headaches – it is only possible to investigate that with physical examinations and your doctor is in the best position to help you. However, it does seem as if they are not taking the problem very seriously. It could be nothing, or it could be something that requires treatment. Just waiting for six weeks might be a way to just avoid dealing with the problem.

Have you told your parents or another adult you are close to about how you feel and how bad the pain is? I think this would be important if you haven’t already done so. I would then recommend that you ask them to go with you and book an appointment with your local optician. It is possible that the headaches could be caused by eye strain. I know myself that if I am working on the computer a lot, sometimes I get really bad headaches on one side of my head because my left eye gets very strained.

At 14, you are likely to be doing a lot of school work – do you wear glasses? If not and if you have never had an eye test, you might have a sight problem that could easily be sorted out. Go along and have an eye test – as well as checking your sight, the optician will also check the inside of your eyes and the pressure in your eyes and rule out any problems with the eyes themselves.

If all is OK and your sight is fine but the headaches continue, go back to your GP and take the same adult with you. Get them to explain about the results of the eye test and to ask the GP to investigate further – ask for a referral to a specialist if necessary. To rule out that there is not a serious problem going on inside your skull, either with your brain or blood vessels leading to your brain, you might have to have some sort of scan. This is painless and the doctors can see exactly what is happening on that side of your head.

It may be that there is no obvious physical problem – in which case your headaches may be chronic and you may just be prone to them. However, even if this is the final explanation, your doctors should be working on devising proper pain killing treatment to help you deal with the headaches and live a full and normal life.

Sometimes doctors are busy and overlook problems that they should be paying more attention to – you and the adult you choose to accompany you must hold your ground. Insist on a second opinion if necessary, but get this checked out and you will feel a lot better.

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