What is included in patient education about pediatric headache?

Updated: Jan 02, 2019
  • Author: J Ivan Lopez, MD, FAAN, FAHS; Chief Editor: George I Jallo, MD  more...
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Answer

Reassure the parents and the patient that the headache process is benign and not progressive. Review with them the headache pattern; associated symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and photophobia; and the benign nature of the physical examination (including funduscopy).

An imaging study can be reassuring to the family. This simple, but crucial, review will help to alleviate stress and worry, which may contribute to the patient's symptoms and the anxiety of the parents. Realizing that the pain, although unpleasant, is not life-threatening often allows the patient and parents to apply healthier coping strategies.

Parents and patients need to be aware that migraine headaches may be a lifelong condition and that they should expect that the headaches will reappear at some time during the patient’s lifetime, especially during situations of increased stress such as puberty, marriage, or change of job.

Reinforcing good health hygiene is another important educational step; sleep hygiene is particularly required.

For patient education information, see the Headache and Migraine Center, as well as Causes and Treatments of Migraine and Related Headaches; Migraine Headache in Children; Migraine Headaches, Vision Effects; and Migraine and Cluster Headache Medications.


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