Migraine Symptoms in Children

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Migraine symptoms can be a disruptive part of any child’s life, and unfortunately, they are relatively common among children. Migraine attacks occur in about 10% of children ages 5 to 15 and in nearly one-third of teenagers. Migraine can cause children to miss school or extracurricular activities and can impact their overall enjoyment of life.

Relief from migraine symptoms may be within reach for your child.

At Norton Children’s Neuroscience Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, we believe your child deserves to be migraine-free and feel like they can be a kid again. We are the leading provider of migraine care for kids in Louisville and across Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Our multidisciplinary team, which includes neurologists and psychologists, leads with expertise and compassion to help treat children with migraine.

We will work together to determine what’s causing your child’s migraine symptoms and create a treatment plan that minimizes the risk of migraine attacks. We offer a variety of treatments tailored to each child’s individual needs. These include some of the latest approved treatments to help prevent migraine, plus preventive and rescue medications.

Migraine can be caused by different factors, including genetics and lifestyle. We will conduct a thorough medical history and exam, and continue to evaluate your child at regular visits to monitor their migraine attacks and quality of life.

Migraine Symptoms in Children

Migraine symptoms usually are more severe than a routine headache, and can include dizziness, nausea, and sensitivity to light, noise or smells. Most migraine attacks last from 30 minutes to several hours; some can last a couple of days.

For many children, migraine pain is strong enough to miss school, sports or work until the migraine subsides. Physical activities can make the pain worse, and some kids who try to continue with their usual routine during a migraine may become nauseous and vomit.

Migraine symptoms in kids are very similar to symptoms in adults, and since a tendency toward migraine may be passed from parent to child, parents already may know some of the signs.

In the Louisville and Ohio Valley area, where seasonal allergies are common, those who experience migraine sometimes dismiss the condition as sinus headaches. Mistreating migraine can lead to worse attacks, and early treatment — especially during childhood — often provides greater relief.

Sometimes migraine attacks come with warning signs. Kids and teens may notice feeling “not right” a few hours or days before a migraine attack. They might crave different foods or feel thirsty, irritable, tired or even full of energy.

Some kids experience migraine with “aura” — this migraine symptom starts just before the headache and lasts up to an hour. An aura can include:

  • Visión borrosa
  • Seeing spots, colored balls, jagged lines or bright flashing lights
  • Tingling in a part of their face or body

When Is a Migraine an Emergency?

Headaches can be a condition on their own or a sign of something else, called a secondary headache. Headaches could be a symptom of an underlying condition that needs advanced treatment and should be brought to a health care provider’s attention right away.

Migraine rarely is associated with a serious or life-threatening disease, such as infection or stroke. Reasons to seek immediate medical attention include:

  • Thunderclap headache – A headache that is severe within a few minutes of onset
  • Positional headache – A headache that changes significantly depending on whether the child is lying down or standing up
  • Headache that starts after a trauma or whiplash (sometimes as minor as a sneeze or cough)
  • Headache that wakes the child from sleep at night
  • Headache associated with other symptoms, such as weight loss, fever or rash
  • Headache with neurological symptoms that affect a part of the body, such as weakness or paralysis
  • Changes in thinking or speech during a headache

¿Por qué elegir el Norton Children’s Neuroscience Institute?

  • El Norton Children’s Hospital Comprehensive Epilepsy Center es un centro de epilepsia de nivel 4, la clasificación más alta disponible de la Asociación Nacional de Centros de Epilepsia. El Norton Children’s Hospital ha tenido esta designación desde 2013.
  • Somos los primeros en Kentucky y entre los primeros del país en usar la neuroestimulación en un paciente pediátrico.
  • La atención de neurología regional está disponible para niños en Kentucky y el sur de Indiana. Viajamos a clínicas en Bowling Green, Campbellsville, Corbin, Elizabethtown, Frankfort, Owensboro y Paducah, Kentucky y Evansville, Indiana. También realizamos varias visitas de telemedicina cada semana.
  • Los especialistas del Norton Children’s Neuroscience Institute, afiliado a la Facultad de Medicina de la UofL, usan tecnología de punta para tratar la epilepsia, las convulsiones incontrolables y los tumores cerebrales profundos en niños que, en el pasado, no habrían sido candidatos para la cirugía, que incluye:
    • Visualase: tecnología que permite a los neurocirujanos realizar una cirugía de ablación con láser guiada por resonancia magnética. Menos de dos docenas de hospitales pediátricos en los EE. UU. ofrecen esta tecnología.
    • Surgical Theater: tecnología de realidad virtual que crea una vista inmersiva en 3D del cerebro de un paciente, lo que permite que los neurocirujanos, el paciente y la familia vean el interior del cráneo y el cerebro para comprender mejor la afección y el impacto de los posibles procedimientos. El Norton Children’s Hospital es el primer hospital de la región en usar esta tecnología.
  • Ofrecemos clínicas multidisciplinarias dedicadas a tumores cerebrales, traumatismos craneoencefálicos, espina bífida, lesiones y trastornos craneofaciales, epilepsia, distrofia muscular, espasticidad, dolor de cabeza/migraña, autismo y trastornos neurocutáneos.
  • Nuestro programa craneofacial multidisciplinario fue el primero que se creó en el Medio Oeste.
  • Ofrecemos una clínica de neurogenética para evaluar y tratar a niños con síndromes neurogenéticos.
  • Contamos con un programa de neuropsicología que se especializa en la evaluación de niños y adolescentes con diversas afecciones neurológicas, médicas y del neurodesarrollo, incluidos tumores cerebrales y epilepsia.
  • Las instalaciones de neurología para pacientes ambulatorios en el centro de Louisville están equipadas para realizar electroencefalogramas (EEG) en el consultorio y servicios de laboratorio en el mismo edificio, lo que crea un entorno optimizado y centrado en la familia.
  • Ofrecemos la primera clínica de la región para tratar a niños con trastornos neurológicos inmunomediados.

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