Migraine is a type of recurring headache that involves blood vessels, nerves, and brain chemicals. Sensations called auras may come before a migraine. Auras can include visual changes or numbness and tingling. There are two types of migraines:
- Migraine occurring with an aura (formerly called “classic”)
- Migraine occurring without an aura (formerly called “common”)
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Migraine headaches can affect a child’s performance in school, relationships with friends and family, and other factors in a child’s life.
The precise reason that a child is susceptible to migraines is unknown. Factors that may play a role include:
- Genetics and environmental triggers
- Changes in a nerve that serves as a major pain pathway
- Imbalance in brain chemicals, like serotonin
Factors that can trigger a migraine include:
- Physical exertion or too little physical activity
- Too much sleep or too little sleep
- Missing a meal
- Motion sickness from traveling
- Overuse of pain medicines
- Being overweight
- Certain foods such as chocolate, citrus fruits, dairy, processed meats, or fried foods
- Certain environmental triggers such as flashing lights, odors, loud noises, or weather changes
Last reviewedSeptember 2013by Kari Kassir, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.