Migraines in teenagers – The typical lifestyle of today’s teenager is a potential melting pot of migraine triggers: video games, flashing images, loud sounds, irregular eating patterns, junk food, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, exam stress and anxiety can all trigger attacks, as can spending too long slumped in front of TV and computer screens.
And with today’s technology putting computers in pockets, it is almost impossible to avoid many of these triggers – most teens have them at their fingertips at every waking hour of the day.
If your teenager is prone to experiencing migraines, you may already have discussed potential triggers in their diet and might even also have made changes to their sleep and exercise patterns.
But if they are still suffering attacks, it could also be worth looking at other areas of their lifestyle to see if there are further changes that could have a positive impact.
Spending time away from TV, computer and mobile phone screens is essential for wellbeing.
It can remove many triggers such as lights and sounds, but can also help to reduce stress and anxiety that they can provoke: texting, social media and online gaming can be abused as bullying forums, while spending too much time online or watching TV or browsing the web can mean that there is no time for physical exercise and real social or family interaction. All of this can lead to stress, anxiety and isolation.
While you may feel you have little control over your teenager’s lifestyle, there are small things you can do to improve their wellbeing and reduce migraines in teenagers. Encourage them to take regular breaks from technology, such as joining the family for dinner, spending time on a hobby (away from the computer), or taking part in sport or exercise.
Lead by example and go on family walks or bike rides, and keep their routine on track by sticking to regular meal and sleep times.