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Clinical Problem Solving
August 2013

Acute Onset Headache and Left Eye Swelling

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Naval Medical Center San Diego, San Diego, California
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2013;139(8):847-848. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2013.3837

A 21-year-old male US Navy search and rescue swimmer presented with a 1-day history of acute onset headache and left eye swelling. He denied any trauma but reported blowing his nose in the shower prior to the onset. The patient reported 2 similar headache episodes without eye swelling 3 months prior. The first was also triggered by blowing his nose, and the second occurred while exercising. Both previous headaches resolved over 2 days and were associated with a self-described audible “water trickling” sound in the left side of his head. The patient denied any weakness, paresthesias, or altered mental status.

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