Puberty is a time of many physical and emotional changes. If you read any of the information for teens about the human body, you will learn about some of the most common signs of puberty. Headaches are just one symptom of puberty that you may experience. These headaches can develop as a result of physical changes during adolescence, or they can occur when you have too much stress in your life. Learning how to deal with these headaches properly is important for maintaining good health.
Headaches may be due to various physical issues in teens, such as:
- Uncorrected vision problems
- Hormonal fluctuations
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Skipping meals
- Smelling strong odors
- Consuming too much caffeine
For many teens, the headaches caused by these physical problems are only temporary. If you tell a doctor about your headaches, he or she may instruct you to take ibuprofen, aspirin or acetaminophen. Your doctor may also recommend that you make some lifestyle changes. A change in diet can help you prevent headaches if your headaches are associated with certain foods or beverages.
Smoking cigarettes, listening to loud music and consuming foods with MSG are all lifestyle factors associated with headaches, so you may have to make some changes in these areas. It is also possible for some teens to experience migraine headaches. The Nemours Foundation reports that as many as 10 percent of all teens get migraines. If you have migraines, you may have to take prescription medication to control the symptoms. Making lifestyle changes can also help to prevent migraines.
Stress and Headaches
Stress is the pressure you feel when you react to certain situations. Teens deal with a lot of stressful situations in their lives. You may feel pressured to get good grades or perform well in a school recital. Problems with friends or at home can also contribute to stress in teens. Roni Cohen-Sandler, Ph.D. surveyed 3,000 middle school and high school students in the United States. She found that girls are 55 percent more likely than boys to say that they pressure themselves to do well in school. She also found that girls tend hide their stress instead of telling someone about it. If you experience stress-related headaches, your doctor might recommend seeing a counselor or using relaxation techniques to relieve stress.
Headaches and Lifestyle
Because their bodies are going through so many changes, teens may feel that they lack consistency with their health. Some teens feel that headaches limit their ability to enjoy spending time with friends, so it is important to address the problem before it gets worse. Frequent headaches may also make it difficult to fit in with peers as you may not feel up to participating in extracurricular activities when you have a headache.
As your body adjusts to new hormone levels, you may experience fewer headaches. In the meantime, it is important to take steps to prevent them from affecting your life. If you know that a specific food or drink triggers a headache, avoid consuming the item. Practicing meditation or getting a massage can help you release tension and prevent stress-related headaches. If your headaches develop as the result of muscle tension in your neck and upper back, work on improving your posture while you are sitting and standing. Reducing muscle tension can reduce the risk of headaches in some teens. As you adjust your lifestyle, keep a headache journal so you know if your efforts are working. This type of journal can help you identify headache triggers so you can avoid them.