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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