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Dr. Abby
Dr. Abby, US Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 10330
Experience:  Family Physician practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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shooting pain on right side of head from about the temple to

Resolved Question:

shooting pain on right side of head from about the temple to about over the ear sometimes shap sometimes dull
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 5 years ago.

Are the episodes of sharp pain brief with a dull underlying pain?
Does it ever radiate to the cheek?
Do you have any difficulty chewing?
Jaw pain?
How long have you had the pain?
Does anything make it worse?
Any tenderness over the temple area?

Dr Abby
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
First one yes, no, no, no, this morning about 10:ooam to now no,no for the last one
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


The pain is brief

Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for clarifying,

This sounds like a nerve type pain that you are experiencing (called neuralgia).
The trigeminal nerve is a nerve that has three branches--one supplies the area around the eye, one around the temple/jaw and one the cheek.
When the trigeminal nerve is compressed, it can cause severe, short jabbing sharp pains. It can be triggered by light touch or cold air (among other things).

For some people, the attacks are brief and mild. For others, the attacks become close together and severe and uncontrolled with over the counter pain relievers.

Your doctor should be able to diagnose the condition simply by your history and symptoms. If you have this and it is severe, there are preventative medications you can take that lessen symptoms (ie tegretol).

Here is more information for you to read about the condition. Read about it to see if this sounds like what you have. If not, let me know more about what you are feeling and we can discuss further;

Dr Abby

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
It is not in my eye or temple jaw orcheek touch or cold air does not bother it
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 5 years ago.
I am sorry, initially you said it was in your temple.

Where is the pain?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
above the temple about 2 in
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 5 years ago.
Ok, thank you.

Then it is not trigeminal neuralgia.

Brief headaches in that area that last 5 to 30 seconds and can be severe may be what are called ice pick headaches (also known as a primary stabbing headache).
They are not a sign of underlying disease; the cause of this type of headache is unknown. Many people who have these headaches have a history of migraines...

If you have never been evaluated for this type of headache and it is new for you, you do need to have a CT scan or MRI. Any time someone over the age of 50 develops a new type of headache, imaging of the brain is warranted to rule out any underlying structural cause for these new headaches (such as an aneurysm, tumor, etc).

The majority of the time, the imaging tests are normal.

Feel free to ask any follow up questions you may have,

Dr Abby

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