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    Pediatric Migraine - What can parents do?

    Dr.VARSHA MANOHAR

    PEDIATRICIAN AND PEDIATRIC NEUROLOGIST

    Pediatric migraine is more than just a simple headache. It can disrupt a child's daily life, affect their academic performance, and social interactions.

    What are the migraine symptoms in children?

    • .Pounding or throbbing headache affecting both sides of the head
    • .Nausea and /or vomiting
    • .Dizziness
    • .Difficulty focusing
    • .Sensitivity to sound
    • .Sensitivity to light
    • .Loss of appetite
    • .Abdominal pain

    What causes migraines in children?

    The exact cause of migraines is unknown, but they are thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Common triggers for migraines in children include:

    • .Stress
    • .Lack of sleep
    • .Skipping meals
    • .Dehydration
    • .Certain foods and drinks, such as chocolate, caffeine, and artificial sweeteners
    • .Changes in hormone levels, such as those that occur during menstruation

    What are the types of migraines in children?

    Two main types of migraines affect children and adolescents:

    • .Migraine without aura
    • .Migraine with aura

    What is an aura?

    An aura is a warning sign that a migraine is about to begin. An aura usually occurs about 30 minutes before a migraine starts. The most common auras are visual and include:

    Blurred or distorted vision.

    Blind spots.

    Brightly colored, flashing, or moving lights or lines.

    Other auras may include changes in the ability to speak, move, hear, smell, taste, or touch.

    How is migraine treated?

    Lifestyle changes. Keeping healthy, regular routines can help prevent or reduce the frequency and severity of migraines:

    • .Healthy diet. Eat three regular meals each day at consistent times. Avoid heavily processed foods, which tend to contain more additives artificial colors, and sweeteners. Avoid skipping meals.
    • .Drink plenty of water and other healthy beverages to stay hydrated.
    • .Getting enough sleep each night- at least 8 hours of sleep daily. Make sure TVs, cell phones, tablets, and other media devices are turned off an hour before bedtime since they can interfere with sleep.
    • .Exercise regularly
    • .Listen to soft music
    • .Managing stress.
    • .Maintain headache diary- this will help to assess frequency and also to avoid triggers.
    • .Acute medications- these drugs help during a migraine attack which includes Non steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines.
    • .Preventive medications-There are some medications that when taken daily can help reduce the severity and/or frequency of migraines. These include flunarizine, amitryptilline, topiramate.
    • .Riboflavin (vitamin B-2), coenzyme Q10 and magnesium supplements may decrease the frequency of migraines.

    Red flag signs-

    Headache that wakes the child from sleep

    Headache is associated with neck stiffness, vision problems, hearing problems, confusion, and loss of balance.

    If you notice these symptoms, consult a pediatric neurologist immediately.

    Conclusion-

    It is very painful to see your child suffer from headaches. Hence an early and accurate diagnosis can help to start the right treatment and help the child to lead a happy life.