Pain in Left Side of the Head

What causes head pain? There are many answers to that question depending upon where the pain is.

Last Updated Jun 21, 2013.

There are many possible causes for pain in left side of the head and we will explore several of them here. Depending upon where the pain is the cause could be minor or it could be life threatening.

There are many illnesses, injuries, and traumas that can cause this pain including brain tumors, inflammations, meningitis and more.  Pain is often a radiating experience and the causes of the pain might not be in the same location as the pain.

So you can have this pain and its cause could come from an entirely different part of your body such as the eyes, the right side of the brain, trauma to the front or back of the head. It could be caused by migraine headaches or brain cancer.

Migraine headaches for instance are very capable of causing this kind of pain in this location. There is a throbbing sharp pain on one side of the head with migraines. There are other symptoms as well though.

Most people experience light sensitivity, nausea, perhaps vomiting. For some patients there is no pain at all with migraines, but rather disturbing visual effects such as spots before the eyes. These are known as auras.

Another form of headache that can cause sharp pain in left side of the head is called Occipital Neuralgia. This should not be confused with Trigeminal Neuralgia which will be discussed later in this article.

Occipital Neuralgia is a very specific type of headache that causes this sharp, stabbing pain. This is almost an electrical shock type of pain that is usually chronic. It starts in the neck and moves along one side of your head. It is not a serious illness or life threatening and is usually caused by a pinched nerve.

On the other hand Trigeminal Neuralgia a serious nerve disorder caused by multiple sclerosis or a tumor that impinges on the Trigeminal nerve. This condition causes similar electric shock type pain in left side just like the Occipital Neuralgia headaches.

This Trigeminal nerve carries sensory information between the brain and the skin of the face. Inflammation of this nerve will cause pain on one side of the head that radiates to the face. It can be cured if caused by a tumor but not if caused by multiple sclerosis. The pain from this nerve disorder starts out as an occasional concern but soon becomes much more frequent and chronic in its attacks.

While Trigeminal Neuralgia is a serious disorder it is far from the most serious reason someone could have this kind of head pain. Several other reasons would include brain tumors, strokes, aneurism, meningitis, encephalitis, and other forms of cancer.

Minor less serious causes include hypertension, dehydration, dietary issues or allergies as well as the ingestion of a large amount of caffeine prior to exercise.

It is never a good idea to ignore sharp or dull pain anywhere on the head as you could be facing a life threatening situation such as stroke or an aneurism. Both of these conditions will come on suddenly and can cause instantaneous blinding pain on either side of the head.

Hypertension can cause an aneurism as well as being a source of left side pain in and of itself. The pain associated with a stroke may be similar to a very intense migraine. Don’t ignore it thinking it is a migraine.

Check it out immediately as a stroke can damage the brain permanently and leave the patient paralyzed, unable to speak or with major memory and motor skill loss. An aneurism of the brain is a weak usually bulging in the artery supplying blood to the brain.

When an aneurism breaks it causes hemorrhaging in the brain and the damage can be devastating if the patient survives. So it is clear that no one should ignore pain in left side of the head at any time. There are simply too many potential causes for this pain and one cannot know if their pain is serious.

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