Migraines differ in symptoms and severity. Typical symptoms include:
Symptoms tend to occur suddenly, although some headaches may be preceded by a period of fatigue or mild nausea. Migraines are often severe enough to interfere with schoolwork and social activities. One report estimates migraines in children are responsible for more than 325,000 school absences each year. Migraines also tend to recur, sometimes on a fairly regular basis. Sometimes, only the visual symptoms occur, without accompanying pain. These are called ocular migraines.
A lot of research has been conducted regarding the cause of migraines, and most medical researchers agree migraines are caused by a combination of vascular and nervous system issues. Sometimes, migraines can occur spontaneously, but often they’re triggered by a stimulus like a certain type of food, a specific smell, bright lights, large or noisy crowds, or a stressful event. Illness and lack of sleep can also trigger migraines in some people, and having a family history of migraines also increases the chances of having the headaches.
One of the best ways to treat a migraine is to determine what triggers it, if possible, and then try to avoid the trigger. For instance, children who have a lot of anxiety may be more likely to feel the effects of stress. Learning techniques to manage stress or counseling may help reduce anxiety and decrease the likelihood or the severity of migraines. Migraines caused by sensitivities to foods may be prevented by identifying the food that’s causing symptoms and then eliminating it from the child’s diet.
Many children and adult patients who suffer from migraines find their symptoms abate more quickly when they’re able to retreat to a quiet, darkened room to rest. Medications are also available to treat pain, nausea, and other symptoms and some medications can help lessen the frequency of migraines. Drs. Dela Cruz work closely with their patients to develop customized treatment plans for their unique symptoms.