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Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
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Experience:  Eye Physician and Surgeon
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Hello, My husband has had a low-grade headache on the right

Resolved Question:

Hello,

My husband has had a low-grade headache on the right side of his head for about 10 days. It got worse for a few days and is now back to a low, dull pain. He just noticed a problem with his sight that he does not normally have.

The vision in my husband's left eye is fine, but he is suddenly having an issue with the right.
When he closes his left eye and looks at a line of text with his right, the vision on the sides of the eye are fine but the middle section actually curves the text.

Is there a common condition that would cause this problem? Would it normally also be causing the constant headache on the right of his head just behind the temple?

Thank you for any info,
Meera
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. James replied 5 years ago.
Hello Meera,

Sorry to hear about your husband's trouble. Eye problems do not generally cause headaches. Increase pressures within the eyes may, but usually at the higher pressures only. High intraocuar pressure may cause blurring of the vision associated with halos around lights, headaches, nausea and vomiting (or any combination).

The wavy lines are not characteristic of high eye pressures. The most common cause of wavy lines (or metamorphopsias) are due to wet macular degeneration, swelling of the back of the eyes (possibly from diabetes), or scar tissue (epiretinal membranes). These causes generally do not cause eye pain.

How old is your husband? Is he having any generalized weakness, weight loss, scalp tenderness, jaw pain with eating? There is a rare condition called temporal arteritis or giant cell arteritis, which can be ophthalmic emergency.

From what you've decribed, the headache may be unrelated to the eyes. Your husband should get an eye exam to rule out the other causes which I've decribed above. Your primary care doctor should be able to further evaluate the headaches if your ophthalmologist does not find any of the above problems.

I wish your husband well.

Sincerely,

Dr. Khu
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you Dr. Khu for your quick response!

 

I wanted to give you some answers to your questions and just heard back from my husband on what he would like me to mention.

 

He is a 39 year-old of Northern European origin (Norwegian). He does not have any generalized weakness, weight loss, scalp tenderness, or jaw pain with eating. (He does currently have a broken filling with a crack in the tooth. He is having that re-filled soon.)

 

It may be important to mention that he spends all day looking at a computer screen at work. If one eye is trying to compensate for the other one weakening, might that not cause pain? He is definitely planning on getting his vision tested as soon as possible.

 

Thank you very much for any additional info,

Meera

Expert:  Dr. James replied 5 years ago.
Blurred vision and straining can cause headache, though it should not be severe. If the symptoms are not severe, the first step should be an eye exam to update his glasses prescription.

He is near the age where he may need reading glasses (presbyopia). I've had patients coming in with vague complaints of eye strain and all they needed were bifocals.

A dilated exam, though, is a must to exclude any retina problems. He's young for wet macular degeneration, but there's a list of other things that can cause straight lines to be distorted. The only way to find out is for a doctor to look at it.

One thing they may ask is if you have used an Amsler grid. I did a quick internet search and came upon this this.

http://www.stlukeseye.com/eyeq/Amsler.asp

Have him look at the center dot one eye at a time, using his reading glasses if he needs it.

I'd be happy to answer more questions or clarify if needed.

Take care,
Dr. Khu
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2282
Experience: Eye Physician and Surgeon
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