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How will the doctor diagnose my child's headache?

ANSWER

Your child’s doctor will examine your child and ask questions about the headaches, including the type of pain, how often they happen, and if anything makes them better or worse. You and your child will need to be as specific as possible.

Usually, the doctor can make a diagnosis based on this information. Sometimes, a CT or MRI is needed to give the doctor more information. These imaging tests create detailed pictures of the brain that can show any problem areas that could cause headaches.

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic.

National Reye's Syndrome Foundation.

National Headache Foundation: “Children’s Headache Disorders.”

American Migraine Foundation: “Migraine in Children.”

HealthyChildren: “Natural Therapies for Children with Chronic Headaches,” “Headaches: When to Call the Pediatrician.”

UpToDate: “Patient Education: Headache in Children (Beyond the Basics).”

Migraine Research Foundation: “Migraine in Women.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 16, 2019

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic.

National Reye's Syndrome Foundation.

National Headache Foundation: “Children’s Headache Disorders.”

American Migraine Foundation: “Migraine in Children.”

HealthyChildren: “Natural Therapies for Children with Chronic Headaches,” “Headaches: When to Call the Pediatrician.”

UpToDate: “Patient Education: Headache in Children (Beyond the Basics).”

Migraine Research Foundation: “Migraine in Women.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 16, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

How will I work with my doctor to develop a treatment plan for my child's headache?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.