Well, this is my first post and I need help!
I am 49 years old, male. Stay in really good shape, eat mostly a cave-man diet.
I had never had a headache in my life until 2 years ago on New Year’s eve. I was playing a computer game (I tend to play a computer game about 1 hour per night after work) and my eyes were tired/strained, then wham. The headache was centered on my right eye, only on one side of head. In pulsing waves, felt like someone pushing on my right eye. Some nausea, light sensitivity. Lied down for 3 hours and it went away. I got another one in a day or so, same thing, then another in a few days. In between, I felt different, I call it ‘being on the edge of a headache’, a tension or tightness or electricity in my head, like another attack could come if I push any of the triggers.
Since the attacks were usually eye strain triggered, specifically looking at a computer screen or reading, and I work as a computer designer, this was a huge deal. The pain seemed to originally come from the base of the right base of my neck and then somehow get associated with my eye, and would move all over on my right side during an attack, from my neck to my eye. My eye was literally sore during and after an attack.
I would often have to go lie down during a work day for 3 hours while another headache passed, which was not good for my job! This went on for weeks.
I went to a neurologist to check for a brain tumor. I found out I had no issues with brain tumors or aneurysms with a CAT scan.
I finally went to a chiropractor. He said that the headaches were caused by neck pain (due to my spine/neck being ‘out of alignment) which in turn caused my muscles to spasm in the right base of my neck, which in turn triggered the headache, and that somehow it downstream affected my right eye, and that allowed eye strain to trigger a headache.
I also got a book about migraines and it suggested 1) don’t take the ‘rebound causing pain meds that the neurologist gives you’ and 2) get rid of dietary triggers (caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, citrus fruit, aspartame, nitrates, etc).
About a month after going to the chiropractor and changing my diet, suddenly no more headaches, yea!!!
Then, this time the day after New Year’s (2 years later almost to the day), I had a day where I put a lot of strain on my eyes (drove a long ways), then when I got home I played a computer game, and boom, the exact kind of headache as two years before. I got another one playing a computer game 2 nights later. Both seemed to be related, just as two years earlier, to eye strain, but also the ‘epicenter’ of the pain seemed to be the right base of my neck in a kind of muscle spasm, then the pain goes back and forth between my right eye and right base of my neck.
These latest headaches lasted between 2-4 hours and usually occurred after a day of eye strain looking at computers (my job and my hobby both). I then lie in bed for up to four hours unable to sleep and praying to God for help to know what to do. The pain was BAD for the whole time with waves of pain going in and out and moving around between my neck and eye on my right side.
I went back to a different chiropractor and within a few adjustments the really bad headaches went away. HOWEVER, this time the feeling of something being wrong with my neck and the feeling of tightness/soreness/electricity in my head DID NOT GO AWAY completely like it did 2 years ago, so I feel like they could come back at any moment if I push any of the triggers.
I have been going to the chiropractor for 2 months now and also a rolfer. I am doing neck exercises per the chiropractor, sleeping enough, not drinking wine, not eating any of the dietary triggers (chocolate, nitrates, MSG, aspartame, etc). not playing computer games, not running on my treadmill, yet the feeling of ‘something being wrong’ persists.
I got laid off during all of this, and I have a really important new job starting in two weeks that will require 10 hours a day of looking hard at a computer screen and concentrating, and yet when I spent 8 hours yesterday looking at a computer screen, the eye strain feeling was back, causing a blocky/tight/tense feeling behind my eyes and my neck remains very tight and sore. I am really concerned about starting this new job in this kind of condition!
On getting glasses, I just had my eyes checked in Decemeber and got new glasses for the first time ever, yet they seem to actually make it worse as my eyes seem to do better with things being somewhat diffuse. I had been using my new far vision glasses while driving when I got my first headache this year, and using my reading glasses seemed to give me more, not less, eye strain.
The main problem is that I don’t know exactly what is causing the problem or how to go about fixing it. Is it a pure headache issue, like migraines or cluster or tension headaches, a neck related thing, or an eye related thing? My gut says the core issue is my neck and that somehow is causing my eyes to be adversely affected. So, I don’t know where to turn for what to do.
I just ordered the following migraine/headache books and some neck pain books from Amazon.
I also ordered the following supplements to start taking,
Vitalzyme from World Nutrition
Butterbur with Feverfew
Glucosamine & Chondroitin
I am very concerned of having this issue forever going forward! Since eye strain seems to be a triggering factor, it has taken away all my enjoyments (computer games, TV, reading) AND its directly affecting my job.
If I had a broken leg, I would go to a doctor, get a cast, etc, rest for 5 weeks, then all better. With this, I am stumbling in the dark as to what to do and everyone I go to (family, friends, chiropractor, rolfer, etc) all tell me different things.
One other note is that I am having to buy my own insurance with the new job, so I will have very high deductable and will have to pay full price for any doctor I go see.
What does this sound like?
What books/websites should I be reading?
What kind of doctor should I be seeing?
Thanks so much for reading this far, you are truly wonderful for doing so!