Discussions By Condition: Eye conditions

Chronic, continuous facial pain and photophobia

Posted In: Eye conditions 5 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • August 23, 2007
  • 00:31 AM

For the past four years I have had non-stop facial pains. Typically, this begins with discomfort around my eyes, then pain on my upper cheekbones, then pain and tension on my forehead.
For the first year the pain was not so bad, but I had a few dizzy spells and I saw flashes of light a few times. This has not happened since four years ago.
This pain becomes worse when I use the computer, watch television, see a movie, etc. Exposure to bright lights intensifies the pain, and this increased intensity lasts for days afterwards. So, for example, if I drive home at night, a half hour drive, the headlights will cause me pain and I will suffer for the next two days. This is accompanied with a sensitivity to light, and after about 45 minutes of driving or watching tv etc, I will be unable to look at bright sources of light. The photophobia occassionally occurs when I do not have the facial pains, however.
My doctor said it sounded like a sinus problem. ENT and allergist said nothing was wrong with my sinuses (although an MRI revealed that I had a deviated septum, there was no pressure caused by this, and a CAT scan showed nothing). ENT suggested clearing out sinuses with saline solution; this did not help. Allergist prescribed Astelin, which helped some. Three opthamologists said nothing was wrong with my eyes. My dentist says it is not caused by bite occlusion. Nutritionist consult said diet is not the problem. Neurologist said it sounds like tension headaches, and prescribed Topamax, which helped some. Also suggested I get tinted glasses for watching television, using the computer, etc. This helps a lot (I can now use the computer and watch television for several hours before debilitating pain). I changed primary care physicians and the new doctor said it sounds like oculomotor migraines. Prescribed Imitrex (sumatriptan) which may or may not help (no effect for a few hours, then it seems to help with pain around my forehead but not with the light sensitivity or pain around my eyes).
Striped white paint patterns on roadways cause a great deal of discomfort for me, and I have been told this happens with people who have migraines.

The pain has been non-stop (but changing in intensities) for four years, and this does not fit any description of migraine I have ever heard. Also, I do not get nauseous, sensitive to loud sounds, or anything like that. Also, Astelin helps with the pain, so that makes me think it is something sinus-related somehow.
But I have no idea.
Because if it's not a migraine, not a sinus problem, there are no signs of anything wrong with my eyes or sinuses other than the pain, what is the cause?

Any ideas? I really need some help. This has significantly affected my life for years. I used to be a gamer, all of my friends were gamers, so I have drifted apart from all of my old friends since I can no longer play video games much. I have turned down girls for dates because they wanted to go see a movie or because it would require me to drive a long distance at night. It affects my study habits (I am a student) and my grades. It prevents me from relaxing in front of the television or with a book. Please help!!

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5 Replies:

  • Anyone? Please help.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 2, 2007
    • 10:52 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Those are signs of allergic reactions.Argenine allergy causes all the symptoms you mentioned, but it could be an intolerance to anything- argenine, something else, or more than one allergy.Western allergy tests can't figure those types of allergies because they are mediated by other antibodies/mechanisms that they do not study.I had a bad case of weakness, dizziness, photophobia, facial pain and partial paralysis less than a month ago. I was like that for 3 days...it was my new shampoo with Argenine extract. If you are allergic to amino acids- or anything else that it is so unnoticieable that you can't figure it out on your own, you should look into NAET- It helped me a gread deal with my multiple intolerances and debilitating pains and aches...NAET is a body treatment (shiatsu on your back) - it boosts up the immune system/nervous system, so you don't suffer from those reactions anymore.Best.Mar.
    Eatafruit78 960 Replies
    • September 3, 2007
    • 03:49 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • some of the symptoms are suggestive of trigeminal neuralgia, although the chronic pain seems to be causing some psychologic overlay. although an MRI is a good test, it is only as good as the person interpreting it - you would want a neuroradiologist looking specifically for compression or impingement of the trigeminal nerve. low dose anti-depressants can also be useful adjuncts in treating chronic pain.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 16, 2007
    • 02:38 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • For the past four years I have had non-stop facial pains. Typically, this begins with discomfort around my eyes, then pain on my upper cheekbones, then pain and tension on my forehead.For the first year the pain was not so bad, but I had a few dizzy spells and I saw flashes of light a few times. This has not happened since four years ago.This pain becomes worse when I use the computer, watch television, see a movie, etc. Exposure to bright lights intensifies the pain, and this increased intensity lasts for days afterwards. So, for example, if I drive home at night, a half hour drive, the headlights will cause me pain and I will suffer for the next two days. This is accompanied with a sensitivity to light, and after about 45 minutes of driving or watching tv etc, I will be unable to look at bright sources of light. The photophobia occassionally occurs when I do not have the facial pains, however.My doctor said it sounded like a sinus problem. ENT and allergist said nothing was wrong with my sinuses (although an MRI revealed that I had a deviated septum, there was no pressure caused by this, and a CAT scan showed nothing). ENT suggested clearing out sinuses with saline solution; this did not help. Allergist prescribed Astelin, which helped some. Three opthamologists said nothing was wrong with my eyes. My dentist says it is not caused by bite occlusion. Nutritionist consult said diet is not the problem. Neurologist said it sounds like tension headaches, and prescribed Topamax, which helped some. Also suggested I get tinted glasses for watching television, using the computer, etc. This helps a lot (I can now use the computer and watch television for several hours before debilitating pain). I changed primary care physicians and the new doctor said it sounds like oculomotor migraines. Prescribed Imitrex (sumatriptan) which may or may not help (no effect for a few hours, then it seems to help with pain around my forehead but not with the light sensitivity or pain around my eyes).Striped white paint patterns on roadways cause a great deal of discomfort for me, and I have been told this happens with people who have migraines. The pain has been non-stop (but changing in intensities) for four years, and this does not fit any description of migraine I have ever heard. Also, I do not get nauseous, sensitive to loud sounds, or anything like that. Also, Astelin helps with the pain, so that makes me think it is something sinus-related somehow.But I have no idea.Because if it's not a migraine, not a sinus problem, there are no signs of anything wrong with my eyes or sinuses other than the pain, what is the cause? Any ideas? I really need some help. This has significantly affected my life for years. I used to be a gamer, all of my friends were gamers, so I have drifted apart from all of my old friends since I can no longer play video games much. I have turned down girls for dates because they wanted to go see a movie or because it would require me to drive a long distance at night. It affects my study habits (I am a student) and my grades. It prevents me from relaxing in front of the television or with a book. Please help!! hi there i know your post is old but i have been suffering from the exect same symptoms for the last 18 months . i have had my eyes tested and scans but nothing has shown up you didnt mention but at night do lights become elongated down wards?i if you have anymore information please let me know.
    carletouk 1 Replies
    • November 1, 2010
    • 11:42 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Me too. I've been suffering for 3 years. I have exactly the same problem. I had no sensitivity to light prior to 3 years ago. NONE. But, I've been sensitive to flicker for many years....meaning that if the computer refresh rate was too low, it would make me nauseous....or if a ceiling fan was turning under a light and there was a strobe effect....that would make me nauseous also...looking at microfiche would also make me nauseous. Now, I seem to have become super photo-phobic. I have to wear sunglasses whenever it's dark outside because the lights from the cars and the street lamps that use the super bright fluorescent bulbs really hurt me. I wear a hat 100% of the time now. 20 minutes in Home Depot without a hat will give me a killer headache, from the extra bright fluorescent light. 10 minutes looking out a bright window will also give me a killer headache. I can hardly bear to watch TV most nights. I start to feel pain as soon as I turn on the computer in the morning. I have cardboard around the top of the cube where I work to block the fluorescent light. The neurologist says it's chronic migraines. I don't have headaches that often, though, but my face burns terribly from the light....and I just can't bear bright light.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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