DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 79-year-old woman in reasonably good health. I am very active and do everything I can for my health. Whenever I feel a cold coming on (which is rare), I have pain on the left side of my throat when I swallow and get a stabbing pain in my head every 5-10 seconds. I worry about stroke, and my husband thinks I may have a brain aneurysm. My doctor says he never heard of a correlation like that. When my throat feels better, the stabs in my head are gone. What do you think? -- H.B.
ANSWER: I agree with your doctor that it is very unlikely to be warning signs of stroke or an aneurysm. Stroke warning signs usually involve loss of function: temporary vision loss, difficulty speaking, dizziness, confusion or numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body. Most unruptured aneurysms have no symptoms, but some of the stroke symptoms above can occur, or headache and visual changes.