Children suffer from headaches every day. Do you know "When a headache is not Just a Headache?"
Consider consulting your physician if you or your child have any of the following symptoms:
- A severe headache that happens suddenly
- A headache that wakes your child up in the middle of the night
- A headache that happens while waking in the morning
- Headaches last for an extended period of time such as days to weeks
- A sudden onset of severe headache precipitated by physical exertion
- A headache that follows a head injury
- A headache that happens with high fever, stiff neck or rash
- A headache that causes double vision, dizziness, slurred speech or numbness
- A headache that causes balance problems, difficulty walking
- Described as "The Worst Headache of your Life" - unlike any other you have had before
Types of Headaches
A migraine is a throbbing, intensely painful headache, usually beginning on one side of the head. It is sometimes preceded by distinct early warning symptoms, collectively called an aura. Incapacitating pain may last for up to two days, and the frequency of episodes may vary from several times a week to once every few years.
Symptoms of a Migraine Headache:
- Severe, throbbing pain, usually on one side of the head, lasting up to two days
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensitivity to light
- Early warning symptoms (aura): temporary blind spots, blindness or dizziness, numbness on one side of the face, weakness of an arm or leg, and severe fatigue
Cluster headaches are characterized by sudden, intense, stabbing pain occurring on one side of the head, centering around one eye. They tend to occur repeatedly, night after night, in periods or "clusters" of several weeks or months at a time. Pain can appear one to three hours after falling asleep, during the phase of sleep characterized by rapid eye movement (REM). Cluster headaches may be chronic, lasting for several years.
Symptoms of a Cluster Headache:
- Steady, intense pain around one eye, lasting from 30 minutes to two hours
- Pain may spread to affect one entire side of the head
- Nasal blockage followed by profuse watery nasal discharge
- Bloodshot watery eye or droopy eyes
- Swollen cheeks and flushed face
Tension headaches, or stress headaches, are the most common type of headache in adults. These type of headaches are presumed to be the body's response to stress in a person's life, although the stress cannot always be identified. Tension headache symptoms may overlap with migraines.
Symptoms of a Tension Headache
- Steady pain or pressure in the scalp, temples, or back of the head. Pain may be dull, intense, sharp, and persist for hours at a time
- Pain or pressure that may feel like a constricting band encircling the head
- Unlike migraines, which typically begin on only one side of the head, the tension headache involves both sides of the head
- Also unlike migraines, tension headaches do not cause nausea and vomiting or sensitivity to light
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