What to do when the left side of the head hurts: the causes of dangerous symptoms


Headache is not a separate disease, but a symptom of pathological processes in the body: atherosclerosis, arterial hypertension, , the presence of various neoplasms. Often, cephalalgia occurs on the background of , mental or physical overstrain, and meteosensitive people experience discomfort when changing weather conditions.

What to do when the left side of the head hurts: the causes of dangerous symptoms

Why does the head hurt left

Morbidity of diffuse nature, moderately severe and rarely occurring, is characteristic of transient ailments (overwork, stressful situations). And pain, localized in a certain area of ​​the head, can be a sign of dangerous pathologies. Left-sided cephalgia is usually observed in the following cases:

  • migraine;
  • tension headache;
  • cluster syndrome;
  • injuries;
  • hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes;
  • neoplasms of benign or malignant nature;
  • glaucoma;
  • neurological or .

To find out the cause of pain, and even more to engage in self-treatment is unacceptable. When the seizures are repeated more than once a week, you need to contact the medical institution for qualified help. If the pain is accompanied by vomiting and fainting, an ambulance brigade should be called immediately.

Root causes and symptoms

Headache on the left side of the head can occur for a variety of reasons, so a medical examination is required to make an accurate diagnosis. However, according to the nature of the sensations (pulsation, constant pain, or “lumbago), their severity and localization, a preliminary conclusion can be made about the cause of cephalgia. Also of great importance is the absence or presence of additional symptoms.


This disease is mainly diagnosed in women of reproductive age. Hereditary predisposition, physical and psycho-emotional overloads, hormonal imbalance, and bad habits are distinguished as causes.

Migraine attacks are characterized by high intensity, lasting from several hours to 3 days. They can begin suddenly or after the “aura” – a special state, accompanied by weakness, impaired perception. Specific migraine symptom complex includes:

  • throbbing, increasing pain in the left side of the head;
  • intolerance of bright light, loud sounds, strong odors;
  • nausea, bouts of vomiting.

The aura, as a precursor, occurs in half the cases of migraine: the vision becomes blurred, thinking and speech are disturbed (a person confuses words). It is recommended to take preparations for the relief of an attack during this period, without waiting for him.

Cluster syndrome

Unlike migraine, cluster headaches are more often diagnosed in young men than in women, and seizures always begin unexpectedly, with no visible prerequisites. The painful sensations of a pulsed nature are very intense, the pain can be pulsating, radiating to the eye, forehead, temple, or burning. On the affected side, nasal congestion and profuse tearing are usually observed.

Cluster syndrome is characterized by seasonality with long breaks between exacerbations (up to several years). The exacerbation can last from 1 to 3 months, the attacks occur several times a day, lasting from 10 minutes to an hour. The causes of the disease have not yet been clarified, but it is noted that smokers of the stronger sex are primarily at risk.

Tension headache

When the left side of the head hurts after severe stress or prolonged immobility, a tension headache can be assumed. It occurs due to spasm of muscle fibers and, accordingly, circulatory disorders in one of the hemispheres of the brain.

Against the background of lack of oxygen, moderate soreness of the oppressive nature occurs in the temple or crown (upper region of the skull). Of the additional symptoms, , nausea, and dizziness are sometimes observed.


Benign and malignant tumors as they grow more and more squeeze the surrounding brain tissue, causing constant pain. Due to pressure, the activity of various nerve centers, conducting fibers, and blood vessels is also disrupted.

Clinical manifestations of the tumor process (visual disturbances, hearing, cognitive functions, coordination) make it possible to judge the localization of the lesion. In addition, tumors release toxins into the bloodstream that adversely affect the general condition of the body.


Brain injuries (concussion, contusion) are always accompanied by cephalgia of various nature and intensity. Depending on the type of injury, the pain pulses, crushes, tears, burns. The victim is usually nauseous, there may be a disorder or loss of consciousness. TBI of any severity requires immediate medical attention to rule out severe injuries and intracranial bleeding.


This chronic ophthalmologic pathology is characterized by increased intraocular pressure, neuropathy and visual impairment. With the defeat of the left eye, respectively, a headache on the left side, above the eyebrow, sometimes gives the pain to the temple.

Neuralgia of the trigeminal nerve

When inflammation or infringement of the largest paired cranial nerve, a “shooting” headache appears along with other signs of innervation disorder. Pain impulses can occur in the neck, eye, in the neck, face, behind the ear, depending on which branch of the trigeminal nerve is affected. The attacks are intense, but short.

Infectious diseases

With the entry of viruses, bacteria, fungi, local or generalized inflammatory processes develop. Headache accompanies both colds (flu, ARVI) and ENT diseases.

When inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, middle ear, eyes, mouth or nose, pain can occur in the left or right side of the head, as well as cover it entirely. At the same time the body temperature rises, rashes, purulent discharges appear. The most dangerous infectious brain damage – encephalitis, meningitis – accompanied by pain, specific syndromes, nausea.


Degenerative changes in the bone and cartilage tissue of the vertebral column in the cervical region lead to its curvature. At the same time, the large vessels and nerve roots that are responsible for the innervation and blood supply of the head are impaired. So, with pinching of the arteries, the left hemisphere of the brain hurts due to lack of oxygen in the blood. At the same time, carbon dioxide and decomposition products are also not removed, poisoning tissue.

Stranded nerves cause acute shooting pains to the right or left of the neck and occipital region. If you do not begin to treat osteochondrosis in a timely manner, after a while the entire affected side of the head begins to hurt. There may also be paresis of the facial muscles, a violation of the sensitivity of the skin and mucous membranes.


Ischemic stroke is the result of circulatory disorders in a separate area of ​​the brain. Cells of the medulla in conditions of oxygen starvation cease to perform their functions, then they die. Headache is one of the typical cerebral symptoms of the disease. It usually has a bursting or pressing nature, is localized on the left; if the left side is affected, it can be given to the eyeball.

In addition to cephalgia, nausea, drowsiness, confusion and specific focal symptoms appear. According to the latter, it is very likely to determine the affected area of ​​the brain. For example, during cerebral ischemia in the region of the middle cerebral artery (its superficial branches), the head leans to the diseased side.

Unlike ischemic hemorrhagic stroke, it is more acute, more often leads to disability and death. Its main features are:

  • hemorrhage in the left hemisphere hurts the left side of the head, and the attack occurs suddenly and is characterized by high intensity;
  • half of the body is partially paralyzed, because of which coordination and speech are disturbed;
  • there is a disorder of orientation in space, of consciousness (up to its loss).

If similar symptoms are observed, it is necessary to immediately call the ambulance team. The sooner qualified assistance is provided, the greater the chances for the patient to recover.

Diagnosis and treatment

One-sided, frequently occurring headache is a reason for going to a doctor. The above possible causes of cephalgia require careful examination and adequate treatment. It is impossible to ignore the pathological signs or treat yourself, as the disease progresses and can lead to irreversible consequences.

In the medical institution, the diagnosis is made on the basis of various instrumental and laboratory tests. According to the results, treatment is prescribed, in most cases – conservative, with the use of medicines. Surgical intervention is required less frequently, for example, with vascular anomalies, tumors, hemorrhages.

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