Pressure, heaviness and burning on the left and top of head
Dear Ask The Doctor: Last week I started to have these weird sensations on the top and also on the left top part of my head. They come and go but they are mostly there. They are different from what I have ever felt and are somehow strange. I don't feel dizzy or tired, or unable to concentrate but I am very worried. I sleep well but the sensation starts right after I wake up and is there until I fall asleep. It starts as slight stiffness, then elevates to a feeling of pressure or heaviness (I am not sure). It's hard to describe. Sometimes there is a burning sensation as well. I can kind of locate the sport. It may disappear for several minutes but it comes back again. It is very frustrating. Last week when I was doing my regular 10 mile weekly run I got the sensation that the left side of my head is heavier and somehow more strained than the right. I have had a 2nd cousin who died from a brain aneurysm when he was only 18. My grandfather had a stroke at 70 so this type of illness is in my family history. I am very worried that it may be something like this. Please, give me any advice or opinion. I am really not sure how to react to this and it's been going on for quite a while.
Dear Patient: In my opinion you may want to see your doctor to rule out any condition such as aneurysm (since there is a history in your family). The type of pain in aneurysm is usually severe and different than any headache you may have had, the worst headache ever. Headache may also be caused with the leakage of blood into the brain. Another possibility could be tension headache, that may also be severe at times and be present all the time, but improve with sleep, reduced stress and relaxation of mind. You may try meditation, yoga and other relaxation exercises to reduce stress and related headache. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoking if that's the case.