How do the signs and symptoms of migraine in children vary by age group?

Updated: Jan 31, 2018
  • Author: William C Robertson, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Amy Kao, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Manifestations of migraine may vary according to patient age, as follows:

  • Infants may present with only episodic “head banging”

  • Preschool children often have episodes involving an ill appearance, abdominal pain, vomiting, and the need to go to sleep; they may exhibit pain by irritability, crying, rocking, or seeking a dark room in which to sleep

  • Children aged 5-10 years typically have bifrontal, bitemporal, or retro-orbital headache; nausea; abdominal cramping; vomiting; photophobia; phonophobia; a need to sleep; migraine facies; tearing, swollen nasal passages; thirst; edema; excessive sweating; increased urination; or diarrhea

  • Older children may experience increasing headache intensity and duration; a pulsating or throbbing character to the headache; and a shift to a unilateral, temporal location


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