Prather Pediatric and Allergy Center - Ask Doctor Brent

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Category: Lagniappe - a little extra

Headaches are common in many patients and can be caused by the following things:
1. Referred pain from the sinuses, tension headaches (caused by neck tension, stress), or migraines (pulsating usually on one side of head, sometimes nauseated and weak).
In adults you manage headaches in the following manner:
A. sinus headache: treat with antihistamines and decongestants, nasal steroids, nasal antihistamines (Astelin), cold compresses, rest. If continued headaches with yellow or green nasal discharge see doctor for evaluation of sinusitis.
B. tension headache: ibuprofen 2 tablets every 4 - 6 hours as needed for headaches, warm bath with Epson salt, heat and massage to neck area several times daily.
C. migraines: avoid trigger (wine, alcohol, aged cheese, chocolate, caffeine, artificial sweetners). Take ibuprofen 2 tablets every 4 - 6 hours, take immediately when headache starts, apply cool packs to forehead, lay down in dark room (migraine meds - Frova, Imitrex)

Childhood headaches are very common. They are usually benign (not serious) and can be triggered by different things - stress, allergy exposure and smoke, heavy perfumes. Avoid exposure, take allergy medicines, avoid foods they are allergic to.

Migraine - head hurts different places, pale looking, headache often improves after sleeping.
Headaches in children caused by stress can be relieved by gentle massage, ibuprofen every 6 hours, warm bath, and sleep.
Migraine headaches can be treated with ibuprofen every 6 hours as needed for headache (at home and at school), Periactin for prevention of headaches (prescribed by doctor), rest, light massage, avoid triggering foods (chocolate, caffeine, cheese, etc.)

**** Keep ibuprofen at school to prevent school absences.