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"I can't read anything without suffering a massive headache, what can I do?"


I recently suffered a substantial loss of beloved objects, in fact I lost every worldly passion I had worked so hard for. I suffered a mild heart attack at 23 yrs and one of the many troubling problems I've had since this happened is I can no longer read without suffering the most intense and crippling headaches. I love reading, I want to read desperately as it was often my means to cope through hard times. But now every time I try to read its starts, reading anything longer than a sentences educes the headache. I think it's just a mind/grief issue but I really want it to stop. I have no G.P, I am allergic to the sun and have very limited funds and means for help. My condition is dire and I don’t want to spend the time I’ve got left not being able to do the things I love. All I ever really had was my ability to read and write. Can you suggest something to help? I’m in a lot of pain.


Headaches are a very common problem that is clearly causing you a lot of distress. Speaking to a doctor who can examine you and help figure out what is causing you these headaches will be the best way to treat this problem. If you develop headaches only when reading, it would be helpful to get your eyes checked to determine whether you are having vision problems that are causing your headaches and whether corrective eyewear would help you.

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If you develop headaches that extend from your neck forward and come at the end of the day, these may be tension headaches that can be treated with stress reduction, heat, massage, hydration, and over-the-counter pain medications. Pounding headaches with visual changes may represent migraines, whereas a one-sided headache with eye pain and tears may be a cluster headache. There are also more rare conditions that can cause inflammation of the nerves of the eye that cause headache and visual problems and might explain why reading is such a strong trigger. It is clearly difficult for you to get a doctor, but given how important reading is to you and the fact that some of these conditions are very treatable (and some causes of headaches, when untreated, can be dangerous), I would strongly recommend making an appointment to see someone who can ask you more specific questions about your headaches and your vision.

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