Children too suffer from both sinus and migraines. Parents usually don’t pay much attention to headaches in children assuming that they are just normal.

Your child got pain in the forehead and cheeks with a runny and stuffy nose. For you, it means your child has a sinus headache – but, in most cases, it may or may not. Nasal congestion, watery eyes along with throbbing headaches can also be due to migraines.

Sinus headaches and migraines share common symptoms

Sinus symptoms may occur along with migraine symptoms in some children. According to research studies, about 30% of children who suffer from migraines may have at least one sinus symptom – watery eyes or nasal congestion. Owing to this reason, migraine in children is often undertreated due to misdiagnosis – which means, a self-diagnosis of migraine is most unlikely in children.

Migraine is often the most misdiagnosed type of headache in children. Almost 90% of children are misdiagnosed to have sinus headaches – in reality, they actually had migraines.

Migraine and sinus headaches: common symptoms

Both migraine and sinus headaches can cause

  • Pressure in the facial muscles, cheeks and forehead
  • Watery eyes
  • Stuffy nose
  • Runny nose

Typical symptoms associated with migraine

  • Sensitivity to sounds, smells and lights
  • Blurred vision, dizziness and fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Low appetite
  • Vomiting

How do I know if my child’s headache is a migraine or sinus headache?

The biggest question here is being a parent how do you know whether your child has a migraine but not a sinus headache. Don’t get carried away by facial pressure and pain and nasal congestion – just go beyond this and look for the other signs associated with your child’s headache – such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to sounds, lights and perfumes, and strong odors, stress, and weather changes. All these are common triggers for migraines. Many parents often get confused with a change in weather and their child’s headache and relate it with a sinus headache, but, on the contrary, weather change is a strong migraine trigger.

Let us go a step further and ask yourself a few questions pertaining to your child’s symptoms associated with headaches.

The following are a few of those questions:

  1. How disabling were your child’s headaches in the past few weeks or months?
  2. Do the headaches interfered with your child’s performance in school, his or her ability to function properly, involve in activities, and so on?
  3. Did your child miss school and playful activities due to headaches in the past few weeks?
  4. Did you ever notice your child feel nauseated when he had headaches?
  5. Does your child become sensitive to lights and loud sounds and smells during the episodes of headaches?

Still, confused whether it is a migraine or sinus headache?

If you answer “yes” to at least two to three of the above questions, migraine is the most likely cause of your child’s headaches. If you answer “yes” to four to five of the above questions a migraine diagnosis is almost certain.