Chat and Community Forums Closed

Due to the popularity of social media, we have seen decreasing engagement on our forums and chat. Please know we want to keep talking to you about epilepsy, seizures, and what you need. We want to stay connected with you.

Community Forum

Headaches, Epilepsy & Car Travel

For a year now I have been getting bad headaches whenever I drive or travel in a car. OTC pain relievers don't work on these and neither did any of the migraine medications I tried. My current Neurologist did an EEG and diagnosed Epilepsy. Apparently they are ictal headaches, where the headache is the only symptom of a seizure. Now we are in medication trials of anti-seizure drugs with all the joys of side effects I remember from back when I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder. I just wanted see if there was anyone else out there I could talk to who has ictal headaches or anyone who has headaches or seizures that are triggered by being in a moving car. Am I alone in this bizarre condition that confounded the doctors for so long?


RE: Headaches, Epilepsy & Car Travel

You may be interested in the page of that discusses seizures caused by things like being in a moving car:'s not a common situation, especially for adults, but you certainly are not alone. I hope you'll explore more of, particularly the information on Seizure Medicines.

Re: RE: Headaches, Epilepsy & Car Travel

Could you be sensitive to the emissions of the car? Gasoline, carbon monoxide, coolant has no smell. Maybe it is not your body at all but, the car that needs a good looking over for proper ventilation, etc. Chemical sensitivity can have lots of "interesting' effects.


RE: Headaches, Epilepsy & Car Travel

Don't worry, from what I've heard, everybody get's a post-ictal headache after a seizure. I know I do. And they're not fun. I just had the right labectomy surgery last Sept. and still getting really bad headaches from that, but thank goodness for Tylenol, right? You said whenever traveling or driving a car, you're still aloud to drive while having siezures? I thought everybody got cut off from driving while you have seizures in your life and can start driving again after not having one for I think about a year?

RE: Headaches, Epilepsy & Car Travel

The headache is the ONLY symptom of the seizure that I ever get (I suppose I should consider myself lucky?). That is why it took a year for a dr to diagnose it properly as epilepsy. Until a few weeks ago, they all thought I had migraines. No wonder none of the migraine medications did anything for me. For months I took Midrin (just a large dose of Tylenol) and tried to drive around normally and just cope with the headache pain, having absolutely no idea they were actually seizures! I seem to have developed a tolerance for Midrin/Tylenol as it no longer works for me. I have nothing to relieve the headaches now. They are currently trying anti-seizure drugs on me to prevent them.My Neurologist didn't exactly explain all of this very well to me at my last visit, nor did he address the driving issue. Probably since it only showed up on an EEG and I haven't actually ever had a standard seizure. I only started putting all the pieces together and understanding the meaning of his diagnosis from reading articles on this website. Once I understood that the headaches were actually seizures, I decided on my own that it was better and safer for me to stay home for a while until we found the right drug. And I just got sick of feeling awful all the time. Getting into a car whether I am the driver or a passenger, just isn't worth the pain anymore. So now I'm staying at home now, but I am miserable anyway from drug side-effects!

RE: RE: Headaches, Epilepsy & Car Travel

Trouble,My headaches come after a seizure, or even an intense aura. It feels like my whole head is in a vice grip, and the pain is excuriating, voiding all of my other senses. My neuro thought that perhaps they were migraines, but I told him I have had migraines in the past, even cluster migraines, and these were NOT migraines. The pain lasts anywhere from 5-30 seconds, and then it dissipates, as fast as it started. I had had several sharp pains for years in my left temporal, and at the base of my skull on the right side. I do have a pituitary tumor, which I think is the cause of the epilepsy, and the headaches...but I'm sure the endocrinologist will either confirm or deny my suspicion.In the meantime, take good care of you..and don't drive! I have found that I seize alot behind the wheel. I never understood the correlation, but don't have to worry now, since my neuro yanked my license for 1 year. Each state varies with the laws pertaining to driving and E. So, please check into that, not only for your own safety but for other's on the road.. :-)Wishing you the best...and keep safe always!classy

RE: RE: RE: Headaches, Epilepsy & Car Travel

i dont understand this people on this site say there D.R or neuroligist jerked there liscense how does this happen?i thought only the DMV could do this how does this work?????

RE: RE: RE: RE: Headaches, Epilepsy & Car Travel

oops hit the post button twice

RE: RE: RE: RE: Headaches, Epilepsy & Car Travel

In some states if you have seizures or episodes of loss of consciousness, the MD is requied to report you to the DMV, who in turn "yanks" your license.

RE: RE: Headaches, Epilepsy & Car Travel

   A friend of mine was put on the anti-convulsant "Neurotin" (I don't think I spelled that right!) after a severe head injury- this drug to prevent a possible seizure onset, and it also worked to help control pain......incidently, after nursing him through all that, he dumped me because he couldn't "handle" my seizures (go figure...).   I also had a co-worker with a migraine diagnosis (only- not epilepsy), and her doctor put her on Tegretol (I was on it at that time); I mentioned to her that now we (she & I) had something in common, she was angry & much for being friends with her!  She walked out in the middle of a shift shortly after that........You don't mention which anti-convulsants you're being tried on, so I can only imagine what side effects you're experiencing......

RE: Headaches, Epilepsy & Car Travel

ToubleCat,I have a question. How is your periferal vision? I have had seizures when I am the passenger in the car. My hubby just pulls over and waits til it is over. You know how some people have very good periferal and get car sick from the moving things in their vision? Well I have the opposite problem...I have almost no periferal vision and it is getting worse. Needless to say when I drive I have to concentrate and turn my head alot to see what is around me.The Neuro has no idea why my periferal is failing.Dayna

RE: RE: Headaches, Epilepsy & Car Travel

Pongo,Believe it or not, loss of peripheal vision is my 'aura', so to speak. I know I'm headed for the tunnel, when I get that feeling of things closing in. Somtimes I do seize, other times I don't. But the initial feeling starts with a buzz, almost a tickling sensation in my head...then wham...I can see and feel my peripheal vision closing in on me, until I feel like I'm in a deep dark tunnel, struggling to get out. Sometimes I seize at this point, and hold my breath. Othertimes, I don't.I hope my 2 cents has helped a littled...lolKeep safe...classy

Re: RE: RE: Headaches, Epilepsy & Car Travel

also have had a problem with that "aura" feeling.  However, i have yet to have a seizure from it.  I have taken benadryl before to see if it would help and it helped a couple times.  If i feel like i may have problems while in a car i close my eyes and listen to my ipod to keep my mind off of it because the more i think about it the more my mind races and i get stressed out which worsens it.  Have you ever got that aura when in a public place like a mall too with a lot of people talking?  It seems like once in a great while this happens to me just from all the stimulus around me...

RE: RE: RE: Headaches, Epilepsy & Car Travel

Hi classy,Yes your 2 cents do help. By adding your experiences it helps all of us to know we are not alone in this.I wish my periferal loss was just an aura. Unfortunately mine seems to have gotten worse over the last year, and seeeems here to stay.Take care, and have a great Sunday,Dayna

RE: RE: RE: RE: Headaches, Epilepsy & Car Travel

Dayna,Is lost of vision, or part of, a sign or repurcussion of "D"? What if anything does the neuro's say about that? I told my doc that, and he had no response.Warmly,classy

RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Headaches, Epilepsy & Car Travel

Hi Classy,The Doctors have no explanation for the loss of vision. They check my peripheral every time I see them, It can't be due to the meds, because this was happening before I started on the meds.But if it is a complication from the Diabetes, that we don't know. I need to go see my PCP, but she just had a baby and now I will have to see someone else. It is also time for me to see the optomitrist again. maybe he can answer the questions.Dayna

Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

24/7 helpline