Question: What Kind Of Headache Causes A 12 Yr Old To Wake Up Every Other Morning With Pain In Forehead?
Asked by Mother of chronic child headache sufferer
My child has had headaches for years which we thought were sinus issues. He had sinus surgery in March and seemed to be better for a few months, but now the frequency and intensity is back every other day. His ENT now thinks he might be having migraines, but they don't fit the classic syptoms. Does this kind of headache fit in the migraine spectrum? Do I go to a headache specalist or a neurologist? I am desperate to find relief for him so he can enjoy his childhood.
Answer: Most of what people think are sinus headaches are actually Migraines. Sinus problems generally cause headaches only when there is infection present. You can read more about this issue in Sinuses Giving You a Headache? It's Probably a Migraine.
In a great percentage of cases where people awaken with a headache or Migraine, a sleep problem is the trigger. It can be too much, too little, disrpted, or poor quality sleep. Many of these people don't even realize there's a problem with their sleep. This is something else to discuss with your sons doctor.
The only symptom you mention is a headache. In general, the diagnostic criteria for the daignosis of Migraine requires other symptoms as well. You can read about the four possible phases of a Migraine attack and their possible associated symptoms in Anatomy of a Migraine. Is there any family history of Migraines, "sick headaches," or "sinus headaches?" This is a question that doctors should be asking you when working to diagnose your son.
Some neurologists do well treating Migraine; other's don't. You can find some pediatric Migraine and headache specialist here -- Migraine and Headache Specialists. If there's one close enough to you, you could start with a specialist. If not, you could consult a neurologist and see how things go first.
Hope this helps,
You should know
Answers to your question are meant to provide general health information but should not replace medical advice you receive from a doctor. No answers should be viewed as a diagnosis or recommended treatment for a condition.