Kids and Migraines

A migraine can be debilitating.  There are the headache itself, the extreme nausea, your eyes hurt and you just plain feel like someone is pounding on your head as hard as possible.  You need a dark room to lie down in and it needs to be quiet.  Hopefully it will go away sooner, rather than later.

Most of us who have experienced migraines are adults.  Or are we?  Well, the majority of us still are adults, however, there are more and more teens and younger children experiencing migraines that are debilitating for them, as well.

Researchers have determined that many times when a child has a headache, it has not been determined to be a migraine however often, and that is a mistake.  It has been discovered that kids and teens often suffer recurrent migraines that are the same as or similar to those of adults. 

Part of the problem with children getting migraines is determining how to treat them.  Many times the medications that adults can take for migraines can create very intense side effects in children and some teens.  As a result, even the lowest doses of the medications can’t be used or don’t work.  Worse yet, some of the intense side effects are as bad as or worse than the migraines themselves.

It is important, however, for diagnosis to be thorough and careful.  For instance, a 12 year old girl whose migraines started at age 10 after some dental work, was extremely ill with debilitating migraines.  Once she had been getting them for over two years after having the dental work done, she was referred to a dentist by her doctor.  The results: her migraines were being caused by TMJ, a disorder that kept her jaw out of line, creating pain and the headaches.

There are many reason for headaches, and migraines are no exception.  If your child or teenager is suffering from repeated severe headaches, keep track of what they have done and/or eaten just prior to the headache.  Let your doctor know and ask if it could be migraine or something else.

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