How Are Headaches Diagnosed In A Child
The healthcare provider will ask about your childs symptoms and health history. He or she may also ask about your familys health history. He or she will give your child a physical exam. The physical exam may include a neurological exam.
Your child may be asked questions, such as:
When do headaches happen?
How long does the pain last?
Do changes in position such as sitting up cause the headache?
You may be asked questions about your child, such as:
Does your child have changes in walking?
Does your child have changes in behavior or personality?
Is your child having trouble sleeping?
Does your child have a history of emotional stress?
Is there a history of injury to your child’s head or face?
If a more serious condition is suspected ,your child may also have tests, such as:
MRI. This test uses large magnets and a computer to make detailed images of organs and tissues in the body.
CT scan. This test uses X-rays and a computer to make detailed images of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than standard X-rays.
Spinal tap . This test measures cerebrospinal fluid pressure. It may also be used to check for an infection in the CSF.
Primary Vs Secondary Headaches
There are two major kinds of headaches: primary headaches, which include migraines, cluster headaches, and tension headaches and secondary headaches, which are caused by underlying factors such as medical conditions. Both kinds of headaches are common in cancer patients certain kinds of treatment, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy, can cause headaches.
A red flag that a headache could be indicative of a medical issue is if it is a new or unusual headache for example, one that causes someone to wake up at night, or one that is associated with changes in position. Another red flag is if the headache is accompanied by other symptoms, such as weight loss. Some headaches can be relieved through over-the-counter pain medication, or by having a cup of coffee, for coffee drinkers but if the headache is persistent and doesnt improve like it normally would with typical measures, there could be cause for concern and enough reason to see a primary care physician.
Preventing Migraines By Preventing Teeth Grinding
< strongQ. What are the National Headache Foundations thoughts about the NTI Tension Suppression System, which has been determined to help with migraines?
A. The National Headache Foundation has no official position on the NTI Tension Suppression System. The system is a small plastic device that is worn over the two front teeth at night to prevent bruxism . The theory is that clenching and grinding may lead to a hyperactivity of the trigeminal nerve and subsequently trigger migraine events. The system is obtainable through dentists. This device is FDA approved for migraine prevention treatment.
Anecdotally, I have patients who find it beneficial and others who do not. I know of no head-to-head trials to determine its statistical superiority. That said, muscle tension is extremely common in the migraine population and bruxism is nearly universal. If the price is right, a trial is likely harmless and may well be beneficial. Another device currently being promoted for acute migraine relief, but as yet without FDA approval, is a splint device called the Best-Bite Discluder.
Frederick Taylor, M.D.Minneapolis, MN
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How Is Abdominal Migraine Similar To A Migraine
Abdominal migraine and migraine share similar triggers, such as stress, skipping meals, exposure to bright light, poor sleep, and foods containing chocolate, caffeine, and monosodium glutamate . Because there are so few studies on medications used to treat abdominal migraine, patients with the condition are often treated with medications shown to be effective on a migraine.
What Causes These Throbbing Headaches
A throbbing headache produces pain that noticeably ebbs and flows in rhythm with the sufferers heartbeat. This headache can arise suddenly and unexpectedly in someone who has no history of regular headaches. There are many potential causes, and some suggest a serious medical issue. Some possible causes include:
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Sharp Head Pain On Left Side Are Among The Common Reasons People Seek Medical Care Causes Range From Benign To Serious And Potentially Life Threatening
Headaches are a very common occurrence. The causes range from benign to life threatening. Examples include migraines, inflammation, stress and more serious causes such as stroke, brain tumor and high blood pressure. Headaches that are severe, unrelenting or associated with other symptoms such as fever, weakness or vision changes require a trip to the doctor. For certain conditions, like stroke and brain tumors, seeking medical care early can have a significant impact on the outcome of treatment.
When You Get A Migraine
Try to treat your symptoms right away. This may help make the headache less severe. When migraine symptoms begin:
- Drink water to avoid dehydration, especially if you have vomited
- Rest in a quiet, dark room
- Place a cool cloth on your head
- Avoid smoking or drinking coffee or caffeinated drinks
- Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages
- Try to sleep
Over-the-counter pain medicines, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin, are often helpful when your migraine is mild.
Your health care provider may have prescribed medicines to stop a migraine. These drugs come in different forms. They may come as a nasal spray, rectal suppository, or injection instead of pills. Other medicines can treat nausea and vomiting.
Follow your provider’s instructions about how to take all of your medicines. Rebound headaches are headaches that keep coming back. They can occur from overuse of pain medicine. If you take pain medicine more than 3 days a week on a regular basis, you can develop rebound headaches.
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Visual Disturbance Of Migraine Is Short
The visual disturbances of migraine generally last less than an hour, most commonly 10-30 minutes. Sometimes they only last seconds. They may or may not be associated with a headache, and some individuals only experience the visual symptoms without headaches. The visual symptoms usually start before the headache but may occur during the headache.
To complicate the issue, migraine may change throughout life. The character of the headache may change, and the visual symptoms may change. The most common pattern is for the headaches to become less severe or even go away, with episodes of visual aura persisting. Some people only experience migraine-related visual symptoms, often without headache, starting at age 50 or later.
Who Is At Risk For Abdominal Migraine
Abdominal migraines mostly affect children, with the first episode occurring between 3 and 10 years old. Most children seem to outgrow the condition, though abdominal migraines in adulthood are just starting to be studied. A child with a family or personal history of migraine headache has an increased chance of developing abdominal migraine.
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The Five Phases Of Migraine
1.Thefirst phase of migraine is called the prodrome.During this phase, lights may begin to appear brighter, change in mentalprocess, fluid retention, irritability, or craving certain foods. Thesesymptoms and more can signal the beginning stage of migraine.2. Thesecond phase is called the aura. Thisis where a change in the brain chemistry occurs. This nervous system disruptioncan last from minutes up to about an hour. Vision changes can occur or seeingspots in front of the eyes, and weakness in extremities. It has now been foundthat this is not a constriction in blood vessels as once thought, but adisruption in brain chemistry.
3. The third phase is called the headache phase. This is where the pain and intensity take place. The pain may be pounding or on one side of the head. The nervous system becomes even more sensitive to light and sound. The muscles in the back of the neck, and upper back become tense and painful and more sensitive to touch. Mobility within the neck and jaw can become limited as well. The severity of this phase can last from 4-72 hours.
4. Thefourth phase is the resolutionphase. Often times, migraines will be resolved with sleep, but can also lingerfor 1-3 days. Vomiting is common in children who suffer with migraine, and thiscan sometimes stop or at least lessen the pain. I will say, that in my case, the vomiting did not always lessen the pain.
Healthy Sleeping Habits: Remember These Tips To Relieve Headaches In The Morning
Tension headaches brought on by the way you sleep are more common than most other forms of morning headache, so it can be beneficial to try adjusting your bedtime habits as a first-line home remedy.
- Use fewer pillows, ideally just one or two.
- Sleep on your front or back, not the side, since this leaves your neck bent during the night.
- Try wearing a mouth guard to avoid grinding teeth in your sleep.
- Have a light snack and glass of water before bed.
- Set and maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
If you typically suffer from a headache in the morning, try some of the options listed above. As always, speak with your doctor first.
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What Are Some Migraine Risk Factors And Triggers
Some things make you more likely to get migraine headaches . Other things may bring on a migraine .
Common migraine risk factors include the following:
- Family history: You are much more likely to have migraines if one or both of your parents had migraines.
- Sex: Women are more likely than men to have migraines.
- Age: Most people have their first migraine during adolescence, but migraines can start at any age, usually before age 40.
Common migraine triggers include the following:
- Food and drink: Certain food and drink may cause migraines. Dehydration and dieting or skipping meals may also trigger migraines.
- Hormone changes: Women may experience migraines related to their menstrual cycles, to menopause, or to using hormonal birth control or hormone replacement therapy.
- Stress: Stress may trigger migraines. Stress includes feeling overwhelmed at home or work, but your body can also be stressed if you exercise too much or dont get enough sleep.
- Senses: Loud sounds, bright lights , or strong smells may trigger migraines.
- Medicines: Certain medicines may trigger migraines. If you think your migraines might be related to your medicine, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medicine.
- Illness: Infections, such as the cold or the flu, may trigger migraines, especially in children.
Foods that may trigger migraines:
- aged, canned, cured, or processed meat
- aged cheese
- soy sauce
Resetting The Brain From Rebound Headache
Q. I have a 25-year-history of severe migraine. The frequency of attacks increased from two to four migraines per year to about two per month after I was in an auto accident in 1981 .
In the last year the migraine pain has become constant and I am taking the narcotic Nubaine in order to function. My neurologist believes this daily dosage is causing rebound headache and is working with me to go off of it. I have tried by myself and the pain I go through is terrible. Six days without the medication was the most I could tolerate.
How can I know that going off of Nubaine, should I be able to, will stop the chronic daily pain I am experiencing? Should rebound be the problem, how long will it take for my pain receptors to function well enough to free me from the need for Nubaine? I am taking Topamax as a preventive and it may be working, but the Nubaine may be masking its effectiveness.
A. There is not a lot known about the mechanisms involved in rebound or medication-overuse headache. Nubaine is not a very commonly used medication in headache, so there is even less known about it.
Not all daily migraine is due to overuse of medication, but the majority of times this seems to be the main factor in the conversion of an episodic migraine pattern into a daily migraine. The severe headaches that occur for the days you are off of the Nubaine do suggest that you are having rebound headaches.
Robert Kunkel, M.D.Cleveland, OH
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Aura Phase: Strange Feelings Start
About 1 in 3 to 1 in 4 people with migraines get an “aura” that begins before the headache or starts along with it. It may not happen with every headache, though.
An aura can include:
Changes in vision, such as:
- A flickering, jagged arc of light. It may have a complicated shape. It usually appears on the left or right side of your vision. Over a few minutes, it may get bigger.
- A blind spot in your field of vision. This problem — combined with the flickering lights — can make it hard to drive or focus your eyes on small objects.
- You might “see” images from the past or have hallucinations.
These symptoms may continue to get worse over the next several minutes.
Skin sensations. You might feel tingling or “pins and needles” in your body during an aura. It may also cause numbness. These feelings often affect the face and hands, but they can spread out across the body. They may continue to expand over the next several minutes.
Language problems. You may have a hard time communicating with others. Symptoms may include:
- Trouble expressing thoughts when you speak or write
- Trouble understanding spoken or written words
- Trouble concentrating
Are Severe Morning Headaches Associated With Other Symptoms
Certain illnesses, like meningitis or brain cancer, can manifest with headaches alongside other symptoms. Seek medical attention immediately if your headache is accompanied by:
- Difficulty seeing or
- A stiff neck.
If your morning headaches seem to be getting worse than usual, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Also, the sudden emergence of a big, stabbing, or otherwise debilitating headache should always be investigated.
On the less-severe side of the scale, headaches accompanied by stuffiness or flu-like symptoms may be just a mild infection that has given you a sinus headache. Cluster headaches also sometimes happen with a watery eye or runny nose, but only on the same side of the face as the pain.
However, if youre waking up with a headache and nausea, it could be a migraine. Migraines often, but not always, present with trademark visual auras as well as other visual distortions, as well as slurring of speech, or one-sided tingling and weakness. Sensitivity to light and sound are also symptoms.
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Community Experiences Of Migraine And Head Pain
While head pain on one side of the head is common, Migraine.com advocates write about their experiences on coping with all kinds of pain from various migraine symptoms. There is also an emphasis on explaining to others that migraine is way more than head pain. Since migraine is often considered an invisible disease, pain awareness and the invisibility of pain is a popular topic for people to commiserate over. Our advocates’ articles on managing chronic pain can be found here.
How Do You Know If You Have A Migraine Or Another Type Of Headache
The only way to be sure what kind of a headache you have is to see a doctor, but you can help your doctor make a diagnosis by keeping tabs on your symptoms with a headache diary.
You should record things like:
- what your headache feels like
- what other symptoms come along with it
- how long your headache pain and other symptoms last
- how often your headache strikes
A doctor can take a cohesive look at your headache patterns, your family history, and the results of any required tests and examinations to help you figure out what kind of headache you haveâso you can get treatment.
So how can you tell if you have migraine attacks versus a different type of headache? Without the help of a doctor, it can be difficult to tell the difference between, say, chronic migraine, and another serious condition. Thatâs why itâs important to talk about your condition with a doctor.
The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.
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What Are The Four Stages Or Phases Of A Migraine Whats The Timeline
The four stages in chronological order are the prodrome , aura, headache and postdrome. About 30% of people experience symptoms before their headache starts.
The phases are:
It can take about eight to 72 hours to go through the four stages.