Headaches in Teenagers: Symptoms, Causes & Relief
With the rise of technology in recent years, children have a very different upbringing and childhood to the generations before them, and family life today is very different from a few decades ago.
Whether they are doing their homework on the family computer, checking their social networking sites on their phone or playing games on their tablets, handheld devices like these are keeping our kids entertained for hours on end. But did you know these electronics could be causing them to suffer from headaches?
Looking at screens for a long time without a break could be causing eye strain, which can cause headaches. Remind your teenager to take regular breaks to rest their eyes.
Another issue that could be causing your teenager to suffer from headaches could be a lack of sleep. it’s not unusual for our teens to stay up late watching the television or talking to their friends but it is very important at that age to get a sufficient amount of sleep. When we sleep, our body is able to rest whilst our brain sorts through all of the information that it has taken in throughout the day. When kids don’t get enough sleep, they could suffer from headaches so it is important they get between the minimum recommended eight to ten hours of good sleep.
Food & drink
Food and drink may be another cause of headaches among teenagers. Whilst some things, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) or caffeine are well-known triggers among most people, food triggers can be different for everyone. To work out what foods trigger headaches for your teenager, it can be helpful to ask them to write a food and drink diary noting down what they have eaten before a headache starts. After a few weeks, you should start to see if the same things appear again and again which you can then cut out of their diet.
Skipping meals altogether is another reason for headaches to occur, as it means their body’s blood sugar levels will drop.
Not drinking enough and becoming dehydrated is a possible cause of headache so it’s important to drink enough water throughout the day.
There are ways to try to combat headaches in teenagers with a few small lifestyle changes, but if a headache does hit and your teenager needs relief one option is to try a pain reliever such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. If symptoms persist, it's best to seek medical advice from your doctor.
This article is for general information only and not intended as a substitute for medical advice. All information presented on these web pages is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. In all health-related matters, always consult your healthcare professional.