I have an undiagnosed condition which started three years ago, in December 2009. My family doctor doesn't take me seriously, so I am switching to another doctor soon. I'm male, 26 years old, non-smoker & non-drinker. Blood pressure on average 130/80, pulse rate around 70. I am 6 foot 1 tall, and weigh around 214 pounds (97 kg). My symptoms:
- Head pressure (especially around the temples) - Feeling my heartbeat pounding in my head (i don't hear it, but i definitely feel it) - Massive eye floaters in both eyes (always present) - Light sensitivity (always present) - Slight blurry vision from time to time (depending on the severity of the "head pressure") - Eye pain (also depending on the severity of the "head pressure")
What makes it worse:
- When I eat something very salty - When I am very nervous, or very angry
What makes it better:
- When I press on my temples - When I tie a piece of cloth around my head - Diazepam 5mg
- No fatigue (i have a lot of strength & energy) - No appetite loss - No sleep problems
A detailed history of my condition:
My problem began in December 2009 as just a strange feeling in my head. I started to literally feel my pulse pounding inside my head. This was accompanied by a feeling of pressure in the head, especially around the temples and around the eyes. It felt like extremely high blood pressure, but only in the head. I ignored all of this, thinking it's something that will go away quickly, but I was wrong.
After a couple of months, in the spring of 2010, the head pressure decreased somewhat, but then I began to have eye problems. There was a dull tension-type pain, first in my right eye, then in my left eye. This type of eye pain is very difficult to describe: A strong tension/pressure type of pain, which feels exactly like the pressure in the entire head. This lasted for several days, and then comes the worst part: massive eye floaters in both eyes, accompanied with light sensitivity. The eye pain went away, but the floaters & light sensitivity remained, as well as the head pressure. The floaters & light sensitivity are always present, 24/7, so it's definitely not a migraine.
The problem "stablized" in the summer of 2010, and remained very stable or "tolerable" I should say. Head pressure reduced by more than 50%, no eye pain, and only 5 or 6 floaters. Then in October 2012, for unexplained reasons, the whole thing came back with a punch. The pulse pounding in the head, the head pressure, and the eye pain all increased about threefold. Then a few days later, new eye floaters came along (more than 10 new floaters!). Now the whole thing is somewhat stable, but definitely not as good as it was before.
Why was it "ok" for more than two years, and then came back like this? The only thing I can think of is bodybuilding. In October 2012 I began to lift weights, mostly benchpress, and about a week after that, the problems began to intensify. This is the only thing I can think of that might have played a role.
Here are the exams I have had done in the past few months: - Extensive blood work, including TSH test (thyroid function): all clear, except for somewhat high cholesterol (255) - Abdominal ultrasound: completely normal - Ophthalmoscopy with dilated pupils: no retinal tears, no holes, no damaged blood vessels - VEP (Visual Evoked Potential) test: completely normal - Carotid doppler ultrasound: completely normal (I really insisted on the carotid doppler ultrasound, because of the feeling of high blood pressure in the head.)
Dear e_natural, thank you for your response. It was very insightful. Here is an update on my situation. In the meantime I've had the following exams done:
- MRI Head / MRA Head - MRA Neck (Carotid-MRA) - More blood work & urine tests - Cervical X-Ray - 24 hour blood-pressure monitoring - Electroencephalogram (EEG)
Every exam was completely normal. No abnormalities whatsoever. The cervical x-ray showed a slight curvature, but according to the doctors this is common in many people, and it is not something that could cause the symptoms I have.
Yet the problem persists. My head is "beating" 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is not a strong pounding feeling as it was many years ago, but it is still very noticable, especially when laying in bed. The painful pressure in the head has somewhat decreased, as well as the eye pain. The problem is stable, not getting any worse, which is at least some good sign.
I still have massive floaters in both eyes as well as light sensitivity. If the beating in my head is very strong, then my vision will be somewhat blurry for a few days, but after that it gets back to normal. Usually I have great vision, aside from the floaters.
Looking back at what I wrote, I have to say eating salty foods doesn't seem to worsen it anymore. However stress does make it worse, and valium still makes it better. I don't take valium much at all, maybe one 5mg pill within a two-month period.
I don't know what this could be, and I don't know what more exams I can do. The only exam I haven't done was measuring my intraocular pressure. I also don't know if this would do me any good. The problem with my symptoms is that there is really no known disorder that causes all of these problems. It just seems disconnected, all over the place.
If anyone has any advice, I'd be glad to hear it. I'm also surprised that no WebMD expert has responded to this thread.
Thanks for your reply. I don't think I have a vitamin deficiency. I eat fruits, vegetables, and also take some vitamin supplements. I don't think a vitamin deficiency would cause these kinds of problems. As far as water is concerned, I drink tons of water.
I would really appreciate a reply from a WebMD Expert.View Thread
I didn't have health insurance for a long time, which is why I started to see doctors only a few months ago. Now, I have learned to control this condition by avoiding salty foods, avoiding stress, and avoiding weightlifting. By "controlling" the condition I mean preventing it from getting worse. But nonetheless I want to know, and absolutely have to know, what is causing this problem, and how to treat it.
My family doctor does not want to do an MRI or a CT scan. He thinks this is all stress related without any physiological causes whatsoever, which I think is completely absurd, and this is the reason why I'm switching to another doctor very soon. In any case, my questions are as follows:
1.) Is it possible that these symptoms could be caused by a deformity of the neck and/or the spine? I have had a really terrible posture since I was a little kid, but my family doctor (as well as my neurologist) dismisses this idea, saying there's no chance it could cause these problems.
2.) Is it worth doing a contrast-enhanced thyroid ultrasound?
3.) Should I do an electrocardiogram & treadmill stress test?
4.) What medical exams would you recommend me? MRI? CT? If so, exactly what kind of MRI? Cervical? Head only? Whole body? I really don't know much about this subject.
5.) Is it possible for the eyes to really be healthy, but for a person still to experience floaters & light sensitivity, for example because of something neurological?
If there is anything at all you could say about this topic, I would really appreciate it. To this day I am not able to find on the internet one disease that has all of these symptoms. The whole thing really feels as if the blood pressure in my head is extremely high, but obviously that's not it. I would very much like to know if you were in my shoes, what exams you would like to have done.