I have a pressure by my ears and around the

Patient

Q: I have a pressure by my ears and around the back of my head. It actually feels like its all over my head. I would really like to talk to a doctor about this. It really started getting bad about 2 weeks ago. I drank a red bull and as I was drinking I could feel this radiating tension headache, all over my head occurring. This happened with Red Bull before, to a much lesser degree, but would go away. In the past, whenever I drank caffeinated drinks, the feeling would increase in intensity and go away. Now it is here to stay and seems to get worse in cold weather. Urgent Care Doc gave me antibiotics because I suggested maybe it’s an ear infection. She doesn't think so, but sees a tiny amount of liquid in my ear. She says sinus or ear infections should not cause pressure on the back and sides of my head. I think this is related to blood flow because I used to get a milder version of this whenever I drank coffee or had adderall (I have ADD). Also, one day I put my left ear near the air conditioning vent to test hunch that cold whether made it worse and it did! A radiating tension headache spread over 3/4 of my head. On a scale of 1 to 10 as far as how sever the tension was, it was a 10. I feel like I'm walking around constantly anywhere between a 4 and 7. My son had an ear infection a couple of weeks ago and my wife had a sinus infection. My face and forehead feel fine but it feels like I've been wearing big headphones for a week straight. I tried to do a few push ups to see if that did anything and it made the pressure in the back of my head worse and my head was slightly shaking uncontrollably when I stopped. So to sum up: my ears feel muffled, pressure all over head, gets worse with caffeine and Adderall, the onset can come in a radiating fashion and then the overall tension feeling can remain. Sometimes it actually feels like I can feel the hair growing out of my head (or worms crawling on my scalp), which makes me think it has to do with blood flow. Here’s the medication that I’ve tried and that don’t help: Tylonol, Advil, Hydrocodone (prescribed a week ago for this), Aleve (the one for congestion). Also I’ve been taking antibiotics for two days but I have a feeling they are not going to help. Could this be like some sort of a leak in the head or meningitis? Should I go to the E.R.? This is more of a discomfort than a pain but I’m worried that something terrible could happen in the near future. I’m neither dizzy, nor nauseous, nor confused.

Thank you,

Steve Lozano

Symptoms:  I have a pressure by my ears and around the back of my head. It actually feels like its all over my head. I would really like to talk to a doctor about this. It really started getting bad about 2 weeks ago. I drank a red bull and as I was drinking I could feel this radiating tension headache, all over my head occurring. This happened with Red Bull before, to a much lesser degree, but would go away. In the past, whenever I drank caffeinated drinks, the feeling would increase in intensity and go away. Now it is here to stay and seems to get worse in cold weather. Urgent Care Doc gave me antibiotics because I suggested maybe it’s an ear infection. She doesn't think so, but sees a tiny amount of liquid in my ear. She says sinus or ear infections should not cause pressure on the back and sides of my head. I think this is related to blood flow because I used to get a milder version of this whenever I drank coffee or had adderall (I have ADD). Also, one day I put my left ear near the air conditioning vent to test hunch that cold whether made it worse and it did! A radiating tension headache spread over 3/4 of my head. On a scale of 1 to 10 as far as how sever the tension was, it was a 10. I feel like I'm walking around constantly anywhere between a 4 and 7. My son had an ear infection a couple of weeks ago and my wife had a sinus infection. My face and forehead feel fine but it feels like I've been wearing big headphones for a week straight. I tried to do a few push ups to see if that did anything and it made the pressure in the back of my head worse and my head was slightly shaking uncontrollably when I stopped. So to sum up: my ears feel muffled, pressure all over head, gets worse with caffeine and Adderall, the onset can come in a radiating fashion and then the overall tension feeling can remain. Sometimes it actually feels like I can feel the hair growing out of my head (or worms crawling on my scalp), which makes me think it has to do with blood flow. Here’s the medication that I’ve tried and that don’t help: Tylonol, Advil, Hydrocodone (prescribed a week ago for this), Aleve (the one for congestion). Also I’ve been taking antibiotics for two days but I have a feeling they are not going to help. Could this be like some sort of a leak in the head or meningitis? Should I go to the E.R.? This is more of a discomfort than a pain but I’m worried that something terrible could happen in the near future. I’m neither dizzy, nor nauseous, nor confused.

Thank you,

Steve Lozano
Doctor

A:   Hi.
Thanks for your query and an elucidate history.
Read and understood your problems.
(To recapitulate (for my sake): Male/36-45 - 2 weeks ago - pressure by ears and around the back of head- Red Bull- instigated tension headache - also with caffeinated drinks but would go away - get worse in cold weather - drank coffee or had Adderall - have ADD - son and wife too had URI problems - push-up increased pressure in the back of head and head was shaking slightly - ears feel muffled, pressure all over head - actually feels like I can feel the hair growing out of head or worms crawling on scalp - Tylonol, Advil, Hydrocodone and Aleve do not help - neither dizzy, nor nauseous, nor confused -
Q: Could this be like some sort of a leak in the head or meningitis? Should I go to the E.R.?)
..............................

Red bull is a known drink that cause headaches and your history says the headache started the moment you started consuming it.
It has such contents that can cause headache and the amount of the caffeine and other constituents is high enough cause many other side effects.

Yes, you should go to ER for the following reasons:
-To have clinical evaluation and physical examination.
The increase in blood pressure can increase the already existing problem causing such pains.
- Proper Neurological examination and tests like CT scan of the brain / ears/ sinuses can either confirm contributory factors for your headache or can be ruled out.
- Such problems as Blood pressure can be controlled in ER.

The possibility of leak in the head or meningitis : not much as there would have been associated symptoms of intractable vomiting, change in sensorium, vertigo and others.
Well, this too will be examined by a professional and needs to be ruled out.
- Similarly Vasculitis and other caused will be also looked for and treated if present.

Now you know: Never to have anything in like which contains caffeine.

I hope this answers your query.

Related Q&A

Q: Ihave lived with chronic migraines (most if my life) and more recently I've been having sleeping issues aa well. I ca...

Q: I have had a bad migraine for 2 days even took sumatriptan with no relief im sick to my stomach and sweating like cra...

Q: I've been having some migraines, three in two weeks, this all started when I started invisalign for my bite, well, no...

Q: Hi, I have a girlfriend who is suffering chronic migraine she has had it since last sunday and hasnt been able to kee...

Q: I have MS (RRMS) and migraines with aura. As of December 5th, I see trails of horizontal and vertical light in my pe...

 
DOCTOR ADVISORY BOARD
218

Dr. James Obaji M.D.

  • 247 Reviews
  • Family Physician
173

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

  • 190 Reviews
  • Family Physician
138

Dr. Pat Golden M.D.

  • 169 Reviews
  • Cardiologist
98

Dr. Kunaal Jindal M.D.

  • 112 Reviews
  • Plastic Surgeon
CNN
BBC
MSNBC
CBS
abcNews
FoxNews