Children’s Headaches Rarely Linked to Vision Problems – Ophthalmologists Agree

April 10th, 2017

A common assumption is that headaches in children might be related to poor vision. Often times, children who complain of headaches (as well as visual issues) are referred to pediatric ophthalmologists.  It is estimated that 25% of pediatric patients who see an ophthalmologist for headaches meet the diagnostic criteria for migraine. The percentages were the same for male and female patients.

In addition to head pain, during a migraine attack, some children may experience blurred vision, perception of jagged lines, or partial loss of vision. Ophthalmologists should remain cognizant of the prevalence of pediatric migraine and consider it in pediatric patients complaining of migraine symptoms.

Opthalmic migraines much more commonly (but incorrectly) called “ocular migraines” by laypeople are painless, temporary visual disturbances that can affect one or both eyes and may last only 20 – 30 minutes. If the visual disturbance is followed by a throbbing one-sided headache, it is referred to as “migraine with aura” (classic migraine) and the visual disturbance is called an aura rather than an ocular migraine. A migraine without a visual disturbance is called a migraine without aura (common migraine). ocular/opthalmic migraines are believed to have the same causes as migraine headaches.  Unfortunately a visit to the eye doctor may not help much in terms of how to treat or prevent ocular migraines as the vision symptoms that accompany ocular migraines are not related directly to the eyes but rather to the migraine activity in the brain.

Children’s Headaches Rarely Linked to Vision Problems
Regarding headaches… In a study conducted by pediatric ophthalmologists at Albany Medical Center in New York State, researchers reviewed medical records of children under age 18 who were seen at the clinic between 2002 – 2011 and all had received complete eye examinations. The findings showed there was no significant correlation between children’s frequent headaches and a need for vision correction.  “We hope our study will reassure parents that in most cases, their children’s headaches are not related to vision or eye problems…” said Zachary Roth, MD, an ophthalmologist who led the research team.

What to Do if a Migraine Diagnosis is Made
If a diagnosis of migraine is made, before referring out to a pediatric neurologist, ophthalmologists may want to place pediatric patients on supplements that many pediatric neurologists recommend to maintain normal cerebrovascular function. The ingredients of high dose Riboflavin (Vit-B2), Magnesium and Feverfew are listed in the American Academy of Neurology guidelines for migraine prophylaxis.

MigreLief and MigreLief-NOWConsider Children’s MigreLief (age 2-11) and MigreLief-NOW (age 2-adult) for All Types of Migraines

The triple therapy ingredients in the non-prescriptional nutritional supplements Children’s MigreLief (age 2-11) or MigreLief-Original (age 12-adult) are a great place to start if your child is experiencing chronic migraines.  To provide fast-acting nutritional support for periodic migraines or headaches, MigreLief-NOW is a good option to be taken “as-needed.”  For more information visit MigreLief.com or email healthadvisor@migrelief.com