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Some parents of teenagers may tell you that having a teen can be a headache, but it’s easy to forget that teens are going through a rough time, too. The teenage years are some of the most difficult in anyone’s life, as the onset of physical and emotional maturity can create some major changes. Teenagers are just beginning to understand who they are, where they fit into the larger world, and how they can take control of their lives. Among their studies, their social development and their physical changes, teenagers have more than enough reasons to develop headaches. It’s estimated that nearly 30 percent of adolescents experience chronic migraine headaches, and that’s not counting headaches that are not as severe or recurrent.
With the amount of daily stress teenagers experience, it’s no wonder that headaches are so common. That’s why it’s important for parents of teens to understand some of the typical causes of headaches for teenagers and how they can help their teens avoid them. Although many teens suffer from chronic migraine headaches that may require medications, many headaches are caused by easily avoidable triggers. For example, a lot of teens experience headaches as a result of not getting enough sleep each night. Sometimes, headaches can be triggered by food allergies, so avoiding certain foods can bring relief. Other times, headaches may be the result of pressure caused by the emergence of wisdom teeth, and extraction can be an effective solution.
Parents who want to help their teens through the pain and stress caused by headaches should review the accompanying guide, created by Omaha Oral Surgery. It lists some of the most common headache triggers for teens and tips for relieving them. Follow it, and you may be able to make raising your teen a little less painful for both of you.
Common Causes And Helpful Tips
- Stress: Teenagers are going through a tumultuous time, and many have difficulty coping with the stress. Allowing teens some alone time or encouraging them to take a break from their studies or extracurricular activities once in a while can help.
- Food: Certain foods or ingredients, such as caffeine, dairy products or MSG, can trigger headaches. Ask your teen’s doctor to perform an allergy test to identify which foods may be triggering his or her headaches, so your teen can avoid them.
- Environment: A change in the weather or atmospheric pressure can bring on headaches in some people. These headaches usually can be treated successfully with over-the-counter medications. Or, consider moving to a different climate, if that’s feasible.
- Sensory stimuli: Some headaches can be triggered by bright flashing lights, harsh noises or strong odors. Once the trigger is identified, avoiding these stimuli is the best way to prevent those headaches.
- Wisdom teeth: The emergence of wisdom teeth in teens can be extremely painful. Having them extracted can help resolve that issue as well as prevent future orthodontic problems.
- Dehydration: Teens who participate in strenuous physical activity, such as sports, may put themselves at risk of dehydration. Not drinking enough fluids can cause blood vessels to constrict, which may trigger headaches. Making sure teens are always properly hydrated during such activities can help prevent these headaches.
- Not enough sleep: Teens are less likely to get a good night’s sleep than when they were younger, as they begin to assert their independence more. Encouraging your teens to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night is important for their overall health as well as preventing headaches caused by lack of sleep.