Shooting Pain in Left Side of the Head Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Several conditions can cause people to develop a shooting pain in left side of their heads. Although migraine headaches are the major cause of pain in the head, the pain is never shooting but dull and throbbing.
Sharp pains in the head can appear from the blues and occur on one side or even both sides. In fact, this kind of pain in the head can be so severe that one might not be able to perform their daily activities.
Causes of Shooting Pain in Left Side of the Head
According to NBTS (National Brain Tumor Society), brain tumors may cause sharp pain that occurs on the left side of a person’s head. Tumors grow in the skull and have the ability to impair the functioning of the brain.
Brain tumors damage nerves, increase pressure in the skull, damage tissues of the brain and can shift the brain. Another cause of the sharp pain in the head is the giant cell arteritis that entails inflammation of the inner lining of the arteries that is very painful.
Arteries help in the transport of oxygenated blood from one’s heart to other body parts. Giant cell arteritis is also known as temporal arteritis because it only occurs in the brain’s temples deep within the arteries found in the head.
According to NINDS (Neurological Disorders and Stroke), trigeminal neuralgia, which is a disorder of the nerves, can bring about sharp pains in the head and face.
Tumor or swelling of the blood vessels (which can lead to the inflammation of the nerves known as trigeminal) and multiple sclerosis can cause trigeminal neuralgia disorder.
This nerve (the trigeminal nerve) connects the facial skin to the brain by transmitting sensory information. This disorder affects anyone irrespective of age although it is more rampant in the aged.
The signs of brain tumor depend on its size and the exact location of the brain where it develops. The identification of the brain tumor through its signs plays a great role in its treatment.
Pain in the head that is sharp and persistent, problem with vision, dizziness, difficulties in speaking, loss of sensation, change in behavior, hearing problems and unsteadiness are some signs of brain tumor.
Signs of giant cell arteritis include fever, double vision, pain in the jaw when chewing, sharp pains in the head, loss of weight as well as tenderness in the scalp. Sharp pains that increase in intensity on the left side of the head or face are a major sign of the trigeminal neuralgia.
Treatment of Shooting Pain in Left Side of the Head
When the pain on the left side of the head persists and gets severe even after taking some rest (OTC medication must be totally avoided), one should seek medical treatment because it signals a serious underlying health problem.
Radiation or chemotherapy can help to treat brain tumors although in severe cases, the tumors are removed surgically. Steroids aid in treating giant cell arteritis while the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia involves the use of anticonvulsants and antispasmodic agent. However, the extreme cases of trigeminal neuralgia call for surgery.