Children and teenagers frequently have headaches. Indeed, over 50% will get headaches at some point, and most teenagers will have experienced them by the time they are 18 years old. Furthermore, not all headaches are due to viruses; some are actually migraines. As many as one in ten children and teenagers worldwide suffer from recurrent migraines.
If you suspect your adolescent or child is experiencing migraines, what should you do and what should you know?
How soon do migraines begin to happen?
Although we don't often consider migraines in children, one in twenty of them had experienced one by the age of ten. And migraines might occasionally start even sooner.
Before the onset of puberty, the risk is comparable for both males and females. Girls experience migraines more frequently after puberty.
Which migraine symptoms do kids most frequently experience?
In adulthood, migraines are frequently unilateral (one-sided). They are more likely to be felt in both the forehead and temple areas on the sides of the head in children.
Although it can be challenging to distinguish a migraine from another type of headache, children
frequently describe having throbbing pain, nausea, and light and noise sensitivity.
In children, flashing lights and other visual abnormalities that are frequently observed during migraine attacks are less frequent. But before a migraine starts, parents could notice that their child is more tired, irritable, or pale, and that it takes some time for them to return to normal afterward.
What is the cause of migraines?
What specifically causes migraines is unknown. It doesn't appear to be related to blood flow to the brain, as we once believed. It seems that increased nerve sensitivity and reactivity to stimuli are the causes of migraines. Stress, exhaustion, hunger, or nearly anything else could be that stimulation.
It is hereditary to have migraines. As a matter of fact, the majority of migraineurs have a family member who also experiences headaches.
Is it possible to prevent migraines?
Identifying and preventing migraine triggers is the most effective strategy to prevent migraines. The triggers change from person to person, which is why keeping a headache diary is a smart idea.
When your child develops a headache, write down what was going on before the headache, how bad it hurt and where it hurt, what helped, and anything else that comes to mind. This allows you and your doctor to identify patterns that can help you understand your child's specific triggers.
Make sure your child gets adequate sleep, eats regularly and healthfully, drinks plenty of water, exercises regularly, and manages stress. This not only helps prevent migraines, but it is also beneficial to one's general health!
How can you assist your child in dealing with a migraine?
When a migraine hits, sometimes lying down in a dark, quiet room with a cool cloth on the forehead is all that is required. If it isn't, ibuprofen or acetaminophen can assist; your doctor will advise you on the optimal dose for your child.
It is critical not to give your child these pills more than 14 days a month, as doing so can cause rebound headaches and make everything worse!
Are there any prescription medications that can aid youngsters who suffer from migraines?
If those techniques are ineffective, a family of drugs known as triptans can help children aged 6 and up stop migraines.
Doctors frequently use migraine drugs to prevent migraines in children who have frequent or severe headaches that cause lost school days or otherwise interfere with life. There are several types, and your doctor can advise you on which is best for your child.
Some women experience migraines around the time of their cycle. If this happens regularly, taking a preventative drug around the time of menstruation each month can be beneficial.
When should you consult your doctor?
If you suspect your child is suffering from migraines, call and book an appointment. Bring your headache journal with you. Your doctor will ask you a lot of questions, perform a physical exam, and then make a diagnosis. You and your child can work together to devise the best plan for your child.
If your child gets a severe headache, a stiff neck, difficulty with coordination or movement, is unusually tired, or isn't talking or behaving normally, you should always call your doctor or go to the emergency room.
The American Academy of Pediatrics' website contains important information regarding migraines, as well as how to treat and prevent them.