Sharp shooting pain on left temple, "eye" Migraines?

Ask the Clinician Health Guide September 18, 2010
  • Full Question:

    Early today, Fri, 9/10/10, I got this sharp shooting pain on the left side of my temple. I took 2 Magnesium capsules and later realized it was gone. Later in the afternoon it came back - it would last only seconds. I went to bed and at 2:00 AM I awoke to go to the bathroom and the pain was still there. I took another Magnesium which hasn't helped. I went online to research headaches and found interesting stuff about ice pick headaches which is what this seems to be only now at 3:00AM when I move my head I feel the pain - it seems to be there all the time now and there is a heaviness on that side of my head. Back in December 2009 I went to an ophthalmologist as I was getting strange zigzag blurry spots in my eyes and was told it was migraines in the eye. I had read Magnesium was excellent for migraines and took 2 - within 30 minutes my eyes cleared up. It's happened 5 more times since then and every time I take the Magnesium it's gone within 20-25 minutes. Right now it's a steady ache on the left side of my temple. Joan.

     

    Full Answer:

    Dear Joan;

     

    Magnesium works well as a preventive therapy for many forms of Migraines and headaches, but not all, and there's little, if any, evidence that oral magnesium is effective treatment for headache or Migraine in progress.

     

    It's time to see a doctor about these headaches and about the symptoms you reported to your ophthalmologist; time to be accurately diagnosed and get help with treatment. "Migraines in the eye" isn't a true diagnosis. If you have Migraines, you need to know what type of Migraine. There are four forms of Migraine that can include aura:

    Treatments aren't the same for these; that's why it's important to get that diagnosis.

     

    Your current headaches that you're describing may or may not be ice pick headaches. They are very short, lasting only seconds. You can read more about them in Ice Pick Headaches - The Basics.

     

    Please be very cautious about self-diagnosis and self-treatment. This isn't meant to insult you, but diagnosis Migraines and headaches is tricky. All of the symptoms you describe could be Migraine or another headache disorder, more than one of them, or none of them. The could also be symptoms of something else entirely. This is why we say you need to see your doctor who can review your and your family's medical history, discuss your symptoms with you, and conduct a complete examination.

     

    If your doctor isn’t able to help you, it may well be time to consult a Migraine and headache specialist. It’s important to note that neurologists aren’t necessarily Migraine and headache specialists. Take a look at the article Migraine and Headache Specialists - What's So Special? If you need help finding a Migraine specialist, check our listing of Patient Recommended Migraine and Headache Specialists.

     

    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert

     

     

    To review other questions from our Ask the Clinician Column,

  •  browse the Ask the Clinician archives.

     

    If you need help finding a  Migraine and headache specialist,
     visit our listing of Patient Recommended Specialists.

     

     

    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and  Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and  Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.

     

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    Last updated September 18, 2010.