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Children's Health

Headaches and nose bleeds

06/22/2006

Question:

My ten year old son has been having headaches now for the past six months, usually when he doesn`t get enough sleep the night before. All he wants to do is take a shower and sleep and he is usualy fine afterwards. I haven`t been too concerned about them until recently, chaulking them up to him needing more sleep than he has been getting. Lately though, he has started to have nose bleeds along with the headaches. This worries me, esp with a family history of aneurysms on both sides of the family. I`m wondering if there is something more going on and if i should be very concerned about the headaches now that his nose is bleeding along with it. Thanks in advance

Answer:

Thank you for your question about headaches in kids. This is a very frequent problem and quite frustrating for kids and parents. Please see you doctor to discuss the amount and intensity of the headaches because their may be treatment available. Headaches can occur for many different reasons. Allergies, migraines and problems with vision are three of the most common reasons. Migraines in adults are described as one side of the head, problems with light or noise, pounding and sometimes vomiting. Kids sometimes will have very few of theses typical signs with migraines. Stress, too little sleep, not enough sleep, periods, and certain foods can all trigger migraines. The treatments can be discussed with your doctor and depend on the child's age and how frequent they are. Allergies are often associated with chronic runny nose, headaches, watery itchy eyes or itchy throat and sometimes more frequent bloody noses. Symptoms may vary depending on how much exposure someone gets. For example it is worse if you are allergic to grass and you go mow the lawn. There are many good treatments for allergies including changing behaviors and home environment, antihistamines and nasal steroids. Aneurysm would not be a major concern with a child with headaches even with a family history, but other serious problems can cause bloody noses so please see your doctor.

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Response by:

Allison A Macerollo, MD Allison A Macerollo, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University