What is this pain under my left eye?
February 29, 2004 12:22 AM   Subscribe

Is there a doctor in the house? I've been having some acute pain just under my left eye for a few days now. It feels like the sensation is enlarging and going 'deeper,' into the bone. I've had similar sensations on my lower back and right leg, though not as long lasting but at times equal in severity... Of course, I'm not looking for a diagnosis, but some shot in the dark maybes. And for the sake of my sanity, humor is enabled.
posted by moonbird to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
See a doctor. It might just be a kind of tension headache; have you been stressed lately? Clamping your jaw, anything like that? Do you use glasses, and have you been using them differently lately (perhaps reading stuff at a different position)? Does it go away when you stop whatever it is you're doing? But it might also be an infection (even a dental infection such as an abcess) or something much more serious.
posted by dhartung at 1:32 AM on February 29, 2004

Response by poster: I'm always under stress, and have migraines, but never anything like this, though I've been waking up with a headache. No glasses, and it doesn't stop. It lessens slightly from time to time.

I don't have health insurance but I'm saving up to go in as soon as I can. Thanks, dhartung.
posted by moonbird at 4:58 AM on February 29, 2004

migraines, headache, acute pain just under my left eye => agree with dhartung, might be a dental problem
posted by MzB at 5:53 AM on February 29, 2004

My first thought was sinus infection, but I am definitely not a doctor. I suppose a sinus infection would have some other stuff going on too, maybe, like sniffles.
posted by litlnemo at 6:02 AM on February 29, 2004

Acute pain? Going deeper into the bone? Several locations throughout the body? You mention on your site a "grinding, flashing pain" in your leg.

Go to the damn doctor already -- there are dozens of things this could be ranging from minor inconveniences to the foretelling of your imminent demise.

It sucks not having insurance but an emergency room will treat you (at least enough to rule out the worst case scenarios) and quite frankly if you ignore symptoms like this your a very foolish person. Mention Hill-Burton to them if your local hospital gives you a hard time, there is also a list of obligated providers on the aforementioned site along with information on getting bills paid.

I love the web as much as the next guy but this is akin to barricading yourself in your room with a SWATT team at the door while you wait for FindLaw.com to load.
posted by cedar at 6:14 AM on February 29, 2004

I'm an ER doctor. It's true you have to be treated regardless of your ability to pay... one dirty little secret is that you can get out of paying altogether by providing false ID information, although that's clearly against the law and I'm not suggesting you do that. (But many of our patients do). As for your complaints, you should realize that diagnosis over the internet is a pretty poor substitute for an actual face to face meeting. THat said, I'm thinking sinusitis or something called tic-douloreux (trigeminal neuralgia). If you have any eye pain or vision problems I would definitely go to the ER, since glaucoma or a foreign body in your eye could be vision-threatening... I cant really imagine a causal connection between this face pain and the pains in your back and leg.
posted by mert at 6:43 AM on February 29, 2004

Not that I'm saying that I had what you've got, but anyway, you asked for shots in the dark ;-)

I used to have the following symptoms, together, always on either the left side or right side of my face (never both sides at once): stabbing pains around the eye socket and in sinus area; pain/ache in upper jaw, associated molars and back teeth; pain/irritation across the top of my scalp; dry tickly throat/tonsils; as well as gastrinal bloat/discomfort; occasional nausea. The 'attacks' would last about 3-8 hours, would come everyday for a few weeks/months, then go away. Each series of attacks would occur at the same time of the day, e.g. mid-morning, or late evening, but could be different between series. Severe attacks would necessitate lying down in the dark in a foetal position, moaning, incapacitated; and I could write the day off. Boss got a bit weary of my staggering home in the middle of the day with "I've got a bad headache" excuse. Could be dealt with sometimes if I recognised the early symptoms with large quantities of Ibuprofen and caffeine. Tried many medications, was eventually refered by my GP to a chiropractor. Chiropractor pointed out that I had mild scoloisis (twisted spine) (check passport pics etc to see if you have one shoulder raised higher than the other); and said any time spent hunched over a keyboard and peering at a monitor would exacerbate this. Chiropractor wrenched my upper spine around, and the attacks gradually went away. Recurrence of attacks has been dealt with with new chiropracty sessions.

Anyway if this has nothing to do w/ you, apologies! But good luck gettting it sorted out.
posted by carter at 7:10 AM on February 29, 2004 [1 favorite]

i think sinuses or an abcessed tooth...there's really not much room in your head so anything swollen or inflamed can press on nerves and things and give you pain.
I'd go to the emergency room and tell them to bill you--they'd need to do a ct scan or something like that to tell for sure. Or you could go to a dental clinic or school.
posted by amberglow at 9:00 AM on February 29, 2004

Well, I feel a little better about my suggestion since an actual doctor suggested sinusitis as well! Sinus problems can hirt like a mofo.
posted by litlnemo at 6:24 PM on February 29, 2004

Hurt. HURT! Dammit, I saw that typo just as I clicked "post."
posted by litlnemo at 6:24 PM on February 29, 2004

Rather than the emergency room, if you're uninsured, check the yellow pages for hospitals or clinics with an urgent care facility. Essentially an emergency room without the added overhead of a trauma care facility, they're generally much less costly, and you won't have to wait for treatment behind the guy with a severed artery.

I had a situation a couple of years ago working a consulting gig that literally topped 80 hours per week onsite. After several weeks I developed a frighteningly acute migraine-type headache: I was whimpering, rolling around in bed, unable to get up for much more than physical needs. Fortunately a few days off, and a powerful prescription NSAID, cleared things up. But I was much happier having an actual doctor tell me that I didn't need to have a CAT scan for brain cancer, at least not right away, than going on believing that because I had no choice.

I also used urgent care a few months ago when I got a nasty electrical burn. The treatment I got included dressing the wound in a sterile environment and getting free (sample) meds including a salve that allowed my burn to heal. It was a couple of hundred dollars but they accept payment plans.
posted by dhartung at 12:54 AM on March 1, 2004

Response by poster: Diagnosis: Maxilial Sinusitis. Thanks all!
posted by moonbird at 5:03 PM on March 2, 2004

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