When kids complain of headaches, especially when working on their homework, parents usually plan a visit to an eye doctor. But, the latest research by scientists from the Albany medical Center in NY found that it is very seldom that the headache in kids is caused by the need for glasses. Instead of an eye doctor, frequent headaches require a visit to your kid’s pediatrician.
What causes headaches in children?
All the same causes that cause headache in adults can affect children as well: migraines are often inherited by one or both parents; earache and sinus pain cause very painful headaches. Stress is the most frequent culprit. Too much play can end up in a headache due to dehydration.
Not the eyes
What the scientists from Albany found in their examination of 160 children who visited their eye doctor because of frequent headaches is that 75 percents of them did not have any problems with their eyes. Even those kids who required new glasses did not get relief from the headaches.
While eye problems are seldom causing headaches in kids, regular eye checkup is very important, especially in children under the age of seven. A problem much more serious than headaches called amblyopia, strabismus or lazy eye can cause a loss of vision if not treated in time.
What is “lazy eye”?
Because children under seven are neurologically immature, any problem with one eye will cause their brain to simply stop using that eye, until it is permanently lost. The problem can be successfully treated if detected in time. Unfortunately, many parents are still ignoring lazy eye in their kids until it is too late. According to the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, more children lose their vision because of amblyopia or strabism than any other cause combined.
What about headaches?
While most pediatricians suggest that headaches in kids will go away on their own, finding the cause goes a long way towards helping your kid to get relief. Your pediatrician will eliminate problems with ears or sinuses, and you can find out if the kid is under particular stress by having a nice talk. Sometimes a hug, a bit of help with homework or problems with schoolmates, or even a cup of hot chocolate will do much more than any pain killer.