Headaches in Children
Statistics indicate the around twenty percent of headache sufferers had their first attack before reaching the age of five and that five to ten percent of school-age children in the US experience headache headaches.
Headaches in children exhibit somewhat similar symptoms to those that occur in adults. These are headaches, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound and smell, abdominal cramps and the need to sleep. Headaches in children are of a much shorter duration than adults, lasting from 30 minutes up to 48 hours, but only 4 hours in most cases. Child headache sufferers are usually pale and have dark circles under their eyes.
Foods comprise most of the triggers of headaches in children. The most common are chocolate, cheese, nuts, shellfish, Chinese food and sugar. Certain findings of a study indicated that ninety-three percent of headacheurs developed headaches after eating ice cream.
Since most triggers are found in food that children love, their diets must be strictly supervised if pain is to be avoided. Awareness of the exact trigger will help the sufferer to stay healthy in spite of his condition.
Once a parent observes that the child has severe headaches, he must be taken to the doctor right away. The headaches may not be headache and could be due to tension or sinusitis. The most important thing is find out that the pain is not caused by any life-threatening condition and if it is, then treatment can be administered immediately. Sometimes HGH supplements can be helpfull.
Diagnosing headaches in children is more complex than adults, especially when there is no particular test to clearly establish if a person has it or not. The physician has to look at several angles such as the medical history, laboratory tests, allergies and medications being taken.
A child will also need guidance from the physician to accurately describe the pain that he feels in order to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. Questions that need to be asked involve the type of pain, the location of the headache, when it happened, times when he felt he wanted to sleep and whether or not he was sensitive to light or sound.
A child may also find it difficult to describe an aura if he suffers from classic headache. To resolve this, some doctors use picture cards that display typical visual auras to aid in the diagnosis.
Once a child is confirmed to have headache, the parents and doctor should spend time discussing how to manage the disease. Issues like avoiding triggers, dealing with pain, what drugs are to be used and how to administer them. A change in the lifestyle of the child will have an impact on the family as well, and this should also be considered. There might be a need to talk about the disease with other members of the family.
Headaches in children need not hamper their development. With the support of the physicians and families, they will still be assured of growing up to be healthy adults.
Types of Headaches
There are many diverse categories of headaches. But it’s still possible to distinguish a few key types of headaches:
- Tension Headache: It’s the most frequent type of headaches which the majority of people have to deal with from time to time. In some cases, people feel tension headaches nearly from day to day. And this headache turns into a chronic one. This kind of headache is typically characterized with constant muscle tension and pressure, which involve both sides of the head as well as sometimes the back of the neck. This type pf headache resembles a feeling that emerges when a band grips the head.
- Hormone Headache: Hormones are very crucial for the normal pain response mechanism that helps overcome both female and male headaches. But the women are much more prone to hormone headaches, called menstrual migraines. Such headaches typically begin prior to a menstrual cycle or during it. During them, the women feel acute pain on one side of the head. These headaches may be also accompanied with nausea and vomiting.
- Cluster Headache: This headache category refers to the men to a greater extent than to the women. Such headaches are characterized with high severity. Their duration varies from 30 to 45 minutes. People may experience a few attacks of such pain per day. These attacks happen suddenly so that no one can predict them. The pain is typically keen and touches on only one side of the head, frequently surrounding the eye area. One of the symptoms of cluster headache is teary eyes. It’s a repeatable pain, occurring always on the same side of head.
There are many sensations which may describe any headache. But there are even more causes which may contribute to the development of headaches. The most frequent headache causes include:
- Psychological issues such as stress, depression, anxiety, and irritation
- Sleep deprivation which in its turn is fraught with constant fatigue and exhaustion
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Poor nutrition which is loaded with processed foods and food additive but still can be corrected with the medically proven weight loss supplements
- Severe hunger
- Refusal from caffeine
- Susceptibility to weather changes
- Inhalation of cigarette smoke
- Specific smells
- Exposure to the sunlight or flashing lights
- Intake of some prescription drugs including nitroglycerin and artificial estrogen
- Sudden interruption of caffeine-rich medication use
Symptoms of Headaches
There is a variety of headache types. Headaches are also classified as primary and secondary ones. While primary headaches are known as cluster headaches, tension headaches, and migraine, secondary headaches are the manifestations of different medical conditions. The coexisting diseases can be both major and minor ones. But regardless of headache type and cause, it’s possible to distinguish the following most common symptoms of headaches:
- Photophobia which means the increased eye sensitivity as a result of the eyes’ exposure to the bright lights
- Feeling of scalp hurting while touching the hair
- Feeling of a heavy head
Severity of headache symptoms may exacerbate in people who suffer from depression and anxiety.
The headache symptoms may also become especially strong in women whose hormone fluctuations are frequent, sudden, and dramatic.
This is typical for the women who are already approaching menopause.
When to See a Doctor
If you have a headache, it doesn’t mean that you should immediately run to a doctor. But in some cases, it’s still necessary to consult the healthcare provider.
If the frequently occurring headaches drastically worsen the quality of your life and your weekly headache medicine dosage exceeds two pills, then it’s recommended to visit your family physician.
If you are diagnosed with severe obesity treated with both medications and OTC fat burners, the risk of having episodic or chronic migraine considerably grows. If these migraines become too much disturbing, you should go to a healthcare practitioner who will not only control your obesity pharmaceutical treatment and appetite suppressants intake but also tackle the issue of migraines.
If you have been already suffering from headaches for a long time but the headache peculiarities have substantially and inexplicitly changed recently, it’s advisable to talk to your doctor. The matter is that such changes in headaches may be a sign of dangerous diseases like aneurysm and brain tumor.
To properly diagnose a headache, the healthcare provider should first of all precisely study your medical history. This is what actually headache diagnosis is primarily based on.
The doctors also try to find out the most important information about the headache you are experiencing. Thus, the medical expert should know:
- How often you have the headache
- How severe the headache is
- Where exactly it the headache is located
- What type of painful sensations in the head you have
The doctors also have a range of the innovative diagnostic techniques for diagnosing headaches at their disposal. The special tests used for diagnosing headaches demonstrate the highest efficacy when it comes to diagnosing secondary headaches. They are as follows:
- CT scan
- Spinal tap
- Digital subtraction angiography
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
- Eye exam
However, some additional testing may also be required in each particular case of a headache.