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"What could be causing pain in left side of head and ringing in left ear?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat could be causing pain in left side of head and ringing in left ear?


I have a history of chronic migraine and chiari malformation type one and have had a non stop head for the past 11 years. May of 2012 I had chiari decompression surgery, which did not help the headaches but was a successful surgery. I am currently experiencing a different kind of pain in addition to my normal daily pain. For the last 4 days I have had a very loud ringing noise in my left ear and the whole left side of my head is hurting. It is a different feeling then my normal headaches. A normal headache pain for me is a pressure and throbbing feeling where as this is more of a burning and throbbing and sometimes stabbing pain. My scalp is also sensitive when touched, which is also not normal for me. I am starting to get worried. I have an appointment with my neurologist next week but would like some insight as to what may be going on before then. He has not seen me for this new pain yet.


Thanks for your question, and sorry to hear about this new pain. It is quite difficult to comment in any specific manner with regards to these new symptoms in a patient with such a complicated past medical history, so it is important to speak with your doctor. The possible explanations are quite numerous.

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Some of these, perhaps the most likely explanations, are those that are simply describing an evolution of the symptoms that you have had for some time. It is important to make sure, however, that there are no other explanations. In less ideal situations, things such as an infection or even a tumor or other swelling could cause the symptoms that you are describing. In some cases, changes in how the fluid drains from inside and around your brain can also lead to some of these symptoms. The ringing in your ears could also be a possible symptom of a change in your hearing, and is something that should be discussed with your doctor in the very near future if you are having other symptoms. There is a treatment for acute hearing loss and tinnitus, but it should be started in the near future for optimal results. Again, please speak with your doctor about these questions.

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