ZocdocAnswersCould I have suffered a stroke and don't know it or could this be an indication of a brain tumor?

Question

Could I have suffered a stroke and don't know it or could this be an indication of a brain tumor?

I eat a very healthy diet. I weigh 120 pounds and 5'8. I am very active and try to exercise often. The pain I am experiencing has been happening almost everyday for 2 months, but seems to be getting worse. I have been experiencing pain that has been located only on the left side of my head; including pain over left eye and continual redness and difficulty seeing. I also have a numbing pain in my left ear and head.

Answer

The symptoms you are describing could be caused by one of several different problems. I think a stroke is very unlikely, Strokes typically cause weakness, numbness, or loss of balance in an area of the body. Pain is very uncommon. It is possible that you are experiencing a bad headache. Head pain on one side is consistent with a migraine headache. Migraines can cause throbbing pain over one eye, and visual aura including difficulty seeing, and flashing light. A cluster headache is a less common type of headache where the pain is short lived (30 minutes) and feels like an ice pick poking into the eye. Eye redness is common as well. The pain in your left ear with pain in the eye makes me suspicious for a viral conjunctivitis with left ear infection. If your symptoms had been going on for a week or two, this would be my most likely diagnosis. Two months is a long time for a simple viral infection. The most uncommon of the possibilities is a brain tumor, but it cannot be excluded from your description. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Describe your symptoms to him or her. Your doctor will do a full neurologic exam and perhaps order some imaging of your head such as a CT scan to rule out the possibility of a tumor. I hope you feel better.

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