Migraine Headache Care For Kids
Specialized care for migraine headaches.
Your health care provider team may order additional tests for your child if there are features of the headache that raise concerns for a different type of headache.
Reasons to seek immediate evaluation by your pediatrician or an emergency department include:
- Thunderclap headache a headache that is severe within a few minutes of its onset
- Positional headache a headache that changes significantly depending on whether you are lying down or standing up
- Headache that starts after a trauma or whiplash
- Headache that wakes you from sleep at night
- Headache associated with other symptoms, such as weight loss, fever or rash
- Headache with focal neurologic symptoms, such as weakness in the arms or legs, unsteady walking, difficulty hearing or communicating, seizure, etc.
- Changes in your thinking or speech during a headache
Migraine is often are under diagnosed in children, but it is a major cause of disability that can cause kids to miss school and activities, and can affect quality of life. Many children outgrow migraine, but about a third of children will continue to experience migraine headaches as an adult.
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- Will my child grow out of their migraines?
- What medications do you recommend for me?
- What should I change about my lifestyle to prevent my migraine headaches?
- Should I get tested?
- What type of migraine do I have?
- What can my friends and family do to help?
- Are my migraines considered chronic?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Migraine headaches can be devastating and make it impossible to go to work, school or experience other daily activities. Fortunately, there are some ways to possibly prevent a migraine and other ways to help you manage and endure the symptoms. Work with your healthcare provider to keep migraines from ruling your life.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/03/2021.
If Your Asthma Symptoms Are Caused By Allergies Take Steps To Control Knownor Potential Triggers In Your Environment
Allergy-proof your house for dust, mold, cockroaches, and other common indoor allergens to which you are allergic.
Reduce your outdoor activities when the pollen count or ozone level is high.
Choose foods that dont contribute to your asthma or allergy symptoms.
Evaluate your workplace for possible allergens and take the necessary steps to reduce your exposure to them.
In order to determine relevant triggers, you may want to seek consultation with an allergist who can further define these triggers.
In addition, anyone with asthma should consider getting an annual flu shot. Older adults also should talk with their internist about getting a pneumonia vaccination.
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Migraines With Aura In Middle Age Associated With Late
Women who suffer from migraine headaches in middle age accompanied by neurological aura are more likely to have damage to brain tissue in the cerebellum later in life.
Women who suffer from migraine headaches in middle age accompanied by neurological aura are more likely to have damage to brain tissue in the cerebellum later in life, according to a study by researchers at the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the Icelandic Heart Association in Reykjavik. Researchers noted that many people have these types of “silent” brain lesions, but their effect on physical and cognitive function in older people is not well studied.
The study appears in the June 24, 2009, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers found that women are more susceptible than men to localized brain tissue damage identified on magnetic resonance images and that women who reported having migraines with aura were almost twice as likely to have such damage in the cerebellum as women who reported not having headaches.
Researchers noted that while the study shows an association in women between migraine and cerebellar tissue damage later in life, the functional significance of such brain changes remains an open question. The cerebellum is located in the lower back side of the brain and is involved in functions such as motor activity, balance and cognition.
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What Is The Outlook For Children And Adolescents With Migraine
Treatment helps most children and adolescents with migraine. Fifty percent of children and adolescents report migraine improvement within 6 months after treatment. However, in about 60% of adolescents who experience their first migraine as an adolescent, the migraine may continue off and on for many years.
It should be noted that many of the medications listed in this handout have not been approved by the by the Food and Drug Administration for use in children and adolescents with headaches. This is a common practice in the field of medicine and is called off-label prescribing. It is one of the ways new and important uses are found for already approved drugs. Many times, positive findings lead to formal clinical trials of the drug for new conditions and indications.
Rehabilitation program. Some hospitals and/or other health care facilities offer inpatient headache management programs for children and adolescents ask your doctor if their facility offers such programs.
Patients typically accepted into these programs are those who have a chronic daily headache , missed an excessive amount of school, have overused over-the-counter medications, and have headache pain that is controlling their lives. The staff of such programs can include psychologists, pediatric rehabilitation specialists, occupational and physical therapists as well as access to a child psychiatrist. Stress factors are an important focus of this program not rapid changes in medications.
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Menopause Changes Migraine For Older Women
As we have discussed previously, migraine for women tends to align with reproductive changes, from the beginning of menstruation to pregnancy and through to menopause. Specifically, the menopausal transition has been shown to cause noticeable adjustments in the frequency and severity of attacks for nearly two-thirds of women. This transition phase may be characterized by a worsening of symptoms, although studies show that post menopausal migraines may in fact decreasesimilar to changes experienced by adult pregnant women. In addition, more intense or regular menopausal symptoms like hot flashes or night time sweating may co-exist with a higher number of attacks.10
Why Do I Get Ocular Migraines
Migraines are caused by cortical spreading depression, a medical term used to describe abnormal electrical activity in the brain that typically starts in the occipital lobe and spreads through the rest of the brain at a slow but steady pace. Ocular migraines may be caused by this same phenomenon that takes place in the retina of the eye.
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Serotonin And Other Brain Chemicals
People with migraines tend to have abnormal levels of serotonin, but what role this neurotransmitter plays in this condition isnt exactly clear. It could be that serotonin activates the release of CGRP, which affects the blood vessels and causes pain, or simply plays a role in activating the parts of the brain before an attack. Glutamate is another neurotransmitter that plays a role in migraines. People who have auras during migraines have trouble regulating glutamate, causing it to build up and activate the occipital cortex, the visual-processing center of the brain.
Can Migraines Develop Later In Life
Whilst its not totally out of the question for migraine to develop as you get older, its not that common either. Migraine sufferers often experience their first attack in their teens or early twenties, although the majority of sufferers tend to be in their thirties or forties. According to the Migraine Trust, 90% of people have their first headache before they reach age forty.
With women experiencing migraine more often than men in all age groups, the percentage of female patients drops in comparison with men as women get older. By the time theyre in their sixties and hormones are no longer upsetting the bodys balance, the migraine frequency either drops off or stops altogether. So for most people getting older is good news, as far as their migraines are concerned. But what about those people who experience migraine pain for the first time in their fifties, sixties or beyond?
Because its relatively uncommon, doctors are wary about diagnosing migraine for the first time in older patients. Headache pain can often be associated with–and caused by–other health issues, so doctors will typically perform a series of tests to rule out those conditions that can produce migraine-like symptoms before making the diagnosis.
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What Treatment Options For Late
The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends topical ointments for older adults with mild psoriasis. These include over-the-counter products like coal tar and salicylic acid, and prescription treatments such as retinoids, steroid creams, and forms of vitamin D. For older adults with severe psoriasis, the NPF recommends or biologic drugs, but only with careful monitoring.
The Migraine Attack Or Acute Phase:
This is the most prolonged phase, lasting anywhere from four to 72 hours. This is the time to take your rescue meds to decrease the headache, preferably within the first hour . The signs of this phase include:
Head pain. About 60% of people feel a throbbing pain on one side of their head, and 15% of those people always get the pain on the same side. Forty percent feel pain on both sides. Sometimes your head doesnt feel like its throbbing, but you still feel pain. Its usually moderate to severe, but not every migraine comes with a headache . In fact, some people who also have auras just have the visual or sensory disturbances, and yes, that needs to be treated too.
Nausea or vomiting. Three-quarters of women and 65% of men report feeling queasy, and about 31% of women throw up compared to 28% of men.
Sensitivity to light and noise. Eighty-three percent of women and 76% of men cant tolerate too much light or feel as if the lights have suddenly become too bright. Noise is also unbearable: 70% of men and 78% of women feel as if sounds have become too loud.
Pain that gets worse when you move, even for routine activities like doing chores or walking up the stairs. In fact, about half of people with migraines report that they have trouble doing chores during a migraine.
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How Prevalent Are Migraines
Migraines are about three times more common in women than men, and may affect more than 12 percent of the U.S. adult population. Migraines often run in families, and can start as early as elementary school but most often in early adulthood. They often fade away later in life, but can strike at any time. The most common cause of recurring, disabling headache pain, migraines are also the most common underlying cause of disabling chronic, daily headache pain. While migraines are the No. 1 reason that patients see a neurologist, most cases are handled by primary care physicians.
Things that can make the headaches more likely to occur include:
Women Are Increasingly More Likely To Be Diagnosed
As noted in our exploration of childhood migraine, women start to supercede men in migraine-related diagnoses starting as teenagers, and this gap continues to widen as patients get older. In fact, of those adults with migraine, nearly 85% are women. Hormones are thought to be one of the main contributing factors to the onset of migraine in adult-aged women, although it is one of many potential causes.
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Long Term Effects Of Untreated Chronic Migraine
Migraines can lead to other co-morbidities after experiencing migraines for a significant portion of your life and in the later stages of life:
- Studies have shown that both migraines and depression go hand-in-hand, especially during the early diagnosis of the disease and later in life. Symptoms include sensory problems like photophobia and psychology-related health ailments such as depression, anxiety, and panic disorders.
- Migraines can lead to stroke and other cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease and hypertension. High-risk patients are 50 years or older.
- Although rare, studies have also shown that visual disturbances aura can lead to Parkinsons disease or other People with migraines also develop a type of leg ailment- aka restless leg syndrome where they will exhibit discomfort in their leg and movement.
When To Seek Medical Attention
Some symptoms which accompany a migraine can indicate a more serious condition requiring urgent medical attention, such as a stroke or meningitis. These include:
- Slurred speech or difficulty speaking
- A sudden, sharp pain which is unlike any pain that the person has previously experienced
- Paralysis or weakness in one or both arms and/or in one or both sides of the face
- A high temperature , combined with a stiff neck and possible seizures, which may, but do not always, present as convulsions, as well as confusion, double vision and a rash.
Seek urgent medical attention if a person experiences any of these symptoms.
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Migraines: What Causes Them And How Can You Get Relief
It is difficult to explain to someone who has never experienced a migraine exactly how one feels. In fact, misunderstandings about migraines have led many people to believe they are having one when they may just be experiencing a stress or sinus headache. Unfortunately, these misconceptions can leave potentially serious health issues unaddressed. Understanding migraines is important both for those who mislabel their own intense head pain as well as those who truly suffer from these attacks.
For caregivers, migraines can be especially debilitating. Normal routines for sleep, meals and other activities often fall by the wayside, which can contribute to one of these painful bouts. It is crucial for family caregivers to be knowledgeable of their condition and know when it is time to seek medical help, especially since they are responsible for providing care for a loved one.
What Is The Prognosis For People With Migraines
Migraines are unique to each individual. Likewise, how migraines are managed is also unique. The best outcomes are usually achieved by learning and avoiding personal migraine triggers, managing symptoms, practicing preventive methods, following the advice of your healthcare provider and reporting any significant changes as soon as they occur.
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Can You Outgrow Asthma
If you or your child have asthma, youll be relieved to know that it is possible to outgrow the symptoms.
Of the approximately 7 million U.S. children with asthma, about half of them will outgrow it once they reach adolescence. Even if an individual outgrows asthma, its important to remember that the respiratory tract will remain sensitive to asthma triggers for life.
In fact, theres a chance that people whose symptoms disappear will see them reappear in varying degrees when they enter their late thirties or early forties. Researchers dont fully understand why some individuals see a resurgence of symptoms, but they have noted that both old and new triggers can cause them in people with a history of asthma.
Migraines In The Elderly Is It Really Brain Trauma
Migraines are some of the worst pain a human being can ever experience. It can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on just one side of the head. Its often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.
A migraine attack causes significant pain for hours to days and can be so severe that the pain is disabling. The best thing that can be said about a migraine is at least you a warning that an attack is on the way.
Warning symptoms can include flashes of light, blind spots, or tingling on one side of the face or in your arm or leg.
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Comparison With Previous Research
Our findings are comparable with other studies reporting an association between both self-reported and clinically diagnosed migraine and a higher risk of dementia. In addition, our findings are also supported by previously suggested plausible pathological mechanisms between migraine and dementia .
Other studies using migraine based on ICD-9 and ICD-10 found similar or somewhat lower dementia risks compared with our study . Two studies considered individuals at dementia risk after age 60 , however, one of these studies retrieved information on migraine and dementia simultaneously in the age range 6080years . This yields a potential overestimation of the association between migraine and dementia due to the risk of reverse causation or shared underlying causes. We accounted for potential reverse causation by strictly separating timing of exposure from outcome and only included migraine cases before age 59 and dementia cases after age 60. Sensitivity analyses were also conducted to assess the degree of bias due to reverse causation.
Treatments For Preventing Headache Attacks
Behavioral changes that are recommended for preventing migraine attacks include:
- Developing techniques to manage and reduce stress, such as deep breathing exercises and regular physical activity
- Keeping a diary to identify migraine triggers, such as exposure to strong smells, which can then be avoided if possible
- Sleeping well, and establishing a consistent sleep cycle
- Staying hydrated, by drinking water and other non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages throughout the day
- Establishing regular meal times, and adopting a healthy, balanced diet
- Devising a new medication plan with oneâs doctor, if any medications which a person takes regularly are thought to be causing the headaches
- Following a safe weight-loss programme is recommended, for obese people affected by migraine headaches
In some cases, particularly if a person has more than two headache episodes per month, medication may be prescribed to prevent migraine headaches. The medications that have been found most effective at migraine prevention include:
- Anticonvulsant medications, such as those used to treat epilepsy
- Non-selective beta-receptor blocking agents, such as those used to treat high blood pressure
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
- OnabotulinumtoxinA injections are approved by the FDA as a treatment for chronic migraine
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