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Hi, I am 45 years old woman. I have acute pain and swelling in the neck. A doctor diagnosed me with carotidynia and told me to take some medications used for migraine. Does anyone know something about this condition?

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Symptoms of carotidynia are usually tenderness, swelling, or increased pulsation. This condition is actually a form of vascular neck are face pain. Vascular change occurs in the carotid artery in the neck, and it usually appears with those patients who have a history of migraines. Diagnoses usually depend on place and type of the pain. A swollen artery on one side of the neck can also be a symptom helpful in diagnosing. Sometimes, carotidynia can become chronic, if response to medications is not well. However, it usually disappear in weeks or months with proper treatment. A treatment depends on classification of carotidynia, which can be migrainous, nonmigrainous (or classic) and arteriosclerotic.
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I am a 44 year old female and have been living with this condition for 3.5 years. I am afraid that my condition is getting worse. My pain used to be located only in my right neck and ear, now it has spread into my right cheek, eye and head. I have been on numerous beta blockers, anti inflammatory, narcotic and migraine medications. I am now waiting to have a botox nerve block done. My two neurologists are shaking their heads because they do not know how to relieve my extreme discomfort. Is there anyone else who has experienced this syndrome to the extreme?

Thanks,
Islandchip
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I've had carotidynia since late 2006, I'm pretty sure mine is stress related. It comes and goes and is definitely worse during times of high stress. The first time I had it, I kept it for about 6-7 months and had an ultrasound, MRI, several doctors, etc. All told me it would likely go away and then reoccur at some point in my life. It is usually worse when it's colder out and seems to act up for a few weeks, disappear again until the next time I get stressed for some reason.

I kinda feel like mine gets a little worse each time but it may just be the anxiety of having it again and wondering if it will stay for good. It's very uncomfortable to live with. Nothing so painful that I can't function, but a constant nagging of neck pain, throat pain and sometimes ear. I can't exercise much at all, only low impact because that will make it flair up again.

Anyone have it bother them worse in the evenings? That too leads me to believe it's entirely tension and stress related (for me at least) because I've had tension headaches in the past that will start in the evenings.

Mine also stops when I go to bed/sleep and I always feel great when I wake up.

Anyone else have similar experiences?
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I have the almost exact same symptoms.... when it goes away I think I've finally have it beat and then it comes back for no apparent reason. My doctor says it is related to perimenopause... but then every thing for me these days seems to be related to that! Ibuprofren helps if I take LOTS of it... which then upsets my stomache. Definitely stress related. Thankfully it goes away when I sleep too.... but creaps back in the a.m. I have found that drinking hot liquids helps. ( I actually drink hot water), and a heat pad on my neck will help too.
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I was just diagnosed with carotidynia, which had really knocked me down for a week. I thought I had a swollen gland from a cold but the cold symptoms never kicked in. Turns out, it wasn't a swollen gland at all. It's worse for me in the mornings. Prescription strength Ibuprofen helps. I have a lot of stress, but I also had neck problems for years until I had chiropractic care, which has helped me a lot. Now I am concerned that I may have hurt the artery through through years of stretching and wrenching and rolling and rubbing my neck because of neck pain and tightness. Is that possible? My doc thinks no. javascript:emoticon('8-|')
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I had been training for a bike race and was working out pretty hard. I had a sore throat since Dec 08 that wouldn't go away with any med's. In April I had severe neck pain and dizziness. about 15 minutes after a workout. With many many tests and a week long hospital stay with many different doctors opinions (some very bad) I was sent home with pain med's, muscle relaxers and was told to rest. I saw Dr. Spitzer in Farmington Hills, MI and he started me on a serious of different medications that still to date hasn't helped. The steroids worked like a miracle but my face and upper body swelled up bad. This isn't good long term because it has so many bad side effects so I had about a week of feeling "normal" again.
I find that when the weather changes (before it rains) my symptoms get much much worse. Head movement makes me dizzy with very sharp pain in my right artery. I have days when I feel okay but the symptoms get worse the more active I become. I can have 2-3 days of feeling okay and then am down for the count (which like I said, gets worse just before it rains).
Being so active this has been very frustrating and depressing. The insurance company has been horrid in understanding this and has added much stress that is totally unnecessary (liberty mutual).
I find that when I have good days it is important not to over do it. Normal household work taxes me but on those days I can tolerate the pain. Other than being on the steroids, I have not felt good since Dec. 08 and since April 09 my life has been hell other than the 2-3 good days a week I will have.
My doctors is still trying different medications and when we find something that helps I will share.
My only advise is watch and see if weather changes effect you and if it does that only thing I've found is to stay still and read or watch tv.
I also find that when I talk a lot my symptoms get worse so I suggest limiting that also....I love to laugh and sign and that also makes things worse so suggest not doing that either (not a very fun way to live). When I put my head down or turn my head I have to put my hand on my neck that seems to help (also do this when I talk). The pressure on the artery seems to help (don't know why).
If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to post.
Good luck and god bless, Cat
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I am 25 years old. I was being treated for sinus infection one after another for many years till finally one dr was sick of writing out priscription and sent me to a ear nose and throat specialist. Well after 2 mri's found out I have never had a sinus infection o have always had carotdyia. I also like a previous writer posted am worse with bad weather. I can't even get out of bed most days in the winter months(I'm from minnesota so that's pretty much most of the year) the other trigger I have found was the smell of any type of fish! I will be automatically sick and have the most horrid episodes. I get hot flashes(to the point that standing out in -40 degree wind chiil won't cool me down) my neck is in horrible pain nothing will make it stop and my face feels like it has the most intense pressure. I also about 50% of the time have to vomit. And I feel faint n dizzy. I have yet to find anything to help me I am going to see a new chiropractor in 2 days that I'm hoping will help. If anyone knows anything that might be usufull for me please please please email me thanks


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I was diagnosed 5 or 6 years ago with carotidynia, doctors tried me on beta blockers and did not work for me. I came acrossed something that has helped me kinda by accident. I get cold sores and when I do I take L- lysine... and I noticed after taking that for sometime my symptoms of the carotidynia went away. So, I pretty much stay on L-lysine which dont know if that is necessarily good but It helps tremendously... it will flare up occassionaly but I just double up on the L-lysine and get some rest... I told this to a natural praticioner for lack of the right title for her and she thought there was a connection between herpes simplex virus and this..... where as all I have read is it could stem from viral but unknown. dont know if it helps but thats my two cents!!!
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I have had carotidynia for 8 years now. I was only treated about 4 years ago though. I see a rheumatologists and she has been treating me with topamax used for migraines and plaquenil to bring down the inflammation of the artery. I don't have the daily throbbing headaches anymore and the swelling in my artery is nothing near what it used to be! I feel that I do have my life back. She also has me on metanx which is a combo of vit b 6, vit 12 and folic acid. This gives me extra energy which I had seemed to be drained of. I had the the same symptoms as many of you talked about with the dizziness when bending, the sore throat that gets worse when talking, I couldn't stand to put a scarf on my neck! Cold weather was always worse on me! I had MRI's done, CT scans and they were all normal. The only thing that showed anything was an ultra sound of my carotid artery! It showed a 85% blockage from swelling! At one point I actually lost hearing in my ear for a few days on the one side! I am so glad to finally feel for the most part "normal" again! Have any of you had your blood work come up with elevated markers? My ANA has tested high which means an autoimmune disorder but it's not lupus or anything? And also when this first started my SED rate was elevated just slightly which is for inflammation.
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I have had Chronic Pain in my neck on the left side for 1.5 years now. Three years ago I had an abscess in my throat from strep throat and had to have it drained, shortly after the chronic neck pain started. The worst is when I take a deep breath in, the pain radiates up behind my ear into the back of my head. I have had two CT scans done and seen numerous doctors. Nobody has been able to help me or diagnose anything. I just read about carotidynia for the first time. I wonder if this is what I might have. Whatever it is its really been bringing me down. Has anyone with a diagnosis had the pain intensify when taking deep breaths?
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I have been diagnosed with Carotidynia today and have had previous episodes about 4 months ago but it eventually went away so I never saw a doctor. Today the doctor (an ENT specialist) performed a laryngoscopy and listened to the symptoms I had. He knew straight away what I had and prescribed anti-inflammatory medication. I have experienced pain on inhalation like one of the other comments I read on this blog so I just wanted to address that question directly. If you would like to read the article I found on the disorder, go to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1818881/?page=1 and read the article. Hope this helps some of you! Good Luck!
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Otherwise healthy 40 yr female - diagnosed today with carotidynia - started 10 days ago, - which I mistakenly thought at first was my parotid gland acting up, so i self medicated with Advil, warm compass and sucked on lemons - this did not work,(as it was not my parotid gland) and i realized it was quite sore right at my carotid artery. Called my rheumatologist and she immediately got me an appt with an ENT - the ENT diagnosed the carotidynia and has prescribed a round of steriods, as the Advil did not have an effect. The ENT has also scheduled a MRI, as a precautionairy measure to ensure there is no tumor. While the ENT stated there is no known reason for carotidynia (classic type case) he did state since it is an inflammation it could be related to my Sjorgens Syndrome (which is an autoimmune disease) - Note to the individual who posted about ANA markers - go see a rheumatologist (a good one) to check to see if you have Sjorgens (pronounced SHOW-Grins) - its symptoms are dry eyes, dry mouth, vulvadynia, joint aches/inflammation - It is worth searching out the best drs, fortunately, i live in the NY metro area and have the ability to utilize NYC drs - which I do for everything that isn't routine.
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Years ago I was dx:having a cervical disc issue where the disc I was told desinegrated so I basically had vertebre on vertebre. that was about 15 yrs ago and I have been living with significant pain since. The pain is from base of skull to mid back now. It use to be just in skull base to shoulders. I have pain in my arms also. Any way recently I have had change in my swallow and sensation of swelling in my throat. Then a few days after the swelling sensation I developed discomfort in right side of neck and noted a popping sensation when I swallow. Long story short I was told by ENT that I have swelling at my carotid bulb which she felt was prob. carotidynia. I know about a week ago I was experiencing severe dibelitating pain from base of skull to mid back all the way around my body including arms. I fell a couple weeks ago and I really do not know why. Wonder has anyone ever passed out from this?
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Hi, Here are some information about Carotidynia : Carotidynia this is known as a facial migraine which affects the jaw and neck area instead of the head/temple area. This pain is continuous in nature and it is felt over the carotid bifurcation. It occur due to dilatation or distention of extra cranial arteries on the affected side. The expert describe carotidynia as to be viral origin. The symptoms of carotidynia are motivated by chewing and swallowing and contra lateral movements of head. The occurrence and cause of carotidynia is unknown. it mostly take place during cold weather. It is more accepted in women than men. It is divided into 3 types: 1. Nonmigrainous 2. Migrainous 3. Arterosclerotic. One can prevent from Carotidynia by using relieve stress treatments. It proves to be equally helpful as migraine remedies.


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