Pain Advice Understanding Pain

Published on 22nd May 2017

Edited on 22nd May 2017

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Article 8 - Headaches in teenagers

With the rise of technology in recent years, children growing up after the millennium have a very different upbringing and childhoods 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 ever consider that these electronics could be causing them to suffer with headaches and migraines?

Looking at the screens for a long time without a break could be causing eye strain and the bright lights behind the screen are well known headache triggers. Remind your teenager to take regular breaks to rest the eyes[1].

Sleep

Another issue that could be causing your teenager to suffer with head pain could be a lack of sleep. We know most of the time, our teens like 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 with headaches the next day so it is important that they get between the recommended eight to nine hours of good sleep on school nights[2].

Food & Drink

Food and drink may be another cause of headaches among teenagers. Whilst some things, such as aged cheese 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 common cause of headache so it’s important to drink enough water throughout the day.

There are lots of ways to try to combat headaches in teenagers through 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 symptom persist, it's best to seek medical advice from your doctor.

Always read the label.


UK/N/1216/0077m

[1] https://www.verywell.com/is-working-at-my-computer-causing-my-headaches-1719432

[2] http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Childrenssleep/Pages/teensleeptips.aspx

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