Dr. Burke is one of Cincinnati’s most trusted resources concerning headaches in children.

Do children get headaches?

Yes. It is a normal thing to have a headache once in a while. And it is okay for a child to complain of a headache occasionally.

What may cause a headache?

Some headaches can come from a fever, from being tired, from too much stress, and even from too much excitement. Children may perceive head pain from real problems of the eye, ear, sinus, dental, or neck, but this kind of headache usually occurs with other symptoms.

Is an eye exam important if my child complains of headache?

Yes. Children with persistent or unusual headaches are encouraged to have an evaluation with your primary care doctor and by a pediatric ophthalmologist.

Do children have migraine headaches?

Yes, and more frequently than most people suspect.

What are migraines?

Migraines are really a complex neurological syndrome. The pain of a migraine is actually an abnormal neurological processing of routine information from the body’s sensory receptors. The pain of a migraine is actually a normal sensation referred to the brain and misinterpreted. The most common complaint of those that experience a migraine is head pain. Many also may be aware of unusual sensations, called auras, which occur just as the migraine episode is beginning.

What are migraine auras?

Migraine auras are unusual, but unreal, neurological sensations that may involve visual, auditory, smell, gastrointestinal, or peripheral sensations like tingling in the hands or feet. The description of these auras are often as if they were experiencing a true hallucination. The common visual aura “observations” are blurring of vision, flashes of light, zig-zag lines, and black or colored spots.

Do migraines run in families?

Yes. Migraines run in families – 70% will have a close relative (parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt, or uncle) who suffers from “sick” or “bad” headaches.

What if I suspect my child has migraines?

Although migraine complaints are common, not all headaches are migraine and not all headaches are benign. A complete evaluation by both your primary care specialist and a pediatric ophthalmologist is recommended.

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