Board-certified pediatric neurologists offer care for adolescents suffering from stress-related, cluster and migraine headaches
MAYWOOD, Ill. – Headaches can take a serious toll on a child’s quality of life by limiting participation in social events, play, sports and school-related activities.
Between 4 to 10 percent of children suffer from migraine headaches each year, according to the American Headache Society.
“Headaches in children are a fairly common problem and physicians continue to see and treat a steady stream of children with them,” said pediatric neurologist Dr. Eugene Schnitzler of Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill.
Fortunately, in most cases the causes of childhood headaches are usually no cause for alarm, Schnitzler said. Children can get headaches from stress, anxiety, inadequate sleep, vision problems, caffeine or food sensitivities. To help pinpoint the cause, Loyola has opened a clinic that is exclusively devoted to treating children with headaches.
“The clinic is for children who are having very frequent headaches that aren’t getting better with rest or over-the-counter pain medication,” said Schnitzler, who will direct the clinic along with pediatric neurologist Dr. Christopher Inglese and Dr. Sandra Pinilla.
Schnitzler and Inglese are both board-certified neurologists who are experienced in researching treatment of headaches in children.
Nutrition referral, psychological and psychiatric consultations and ophthalmology evaluations are also available. In addition, as part of a top academic medical center, the clinic offers access to the latest in research and clinical trials. Children seen at the clinic have access to the latest diagnostic testing available, including MRI, CAT scan, EEG/EMG, PET scan, epilepsy monitoring and sleep studies.
Schnitzler said parents should be aware of signs indicating that their children’s headaches may be something more serious and demand medical attention, including:
• Headaches that occur every day and tend to be worse in the morning, especially if accompanied by nausea or vomiting. The pain doesn’t have to be severe.
• Headaches that occur in tandem with convulsions, seizures and problems with vision and coordination.
• When a child without a history of headaches suddenly comes down with a severe headache. These children should be quickly seen at an emergency room or by a family doctor.
• Headaches caused by an injury to the head. If the pain is persistent and accompanied by vomiting, it could indicate the child has had a concussion. A medical professional should see the child as quickly as possible.
• Headaches that are accompanied by a stiff neck or fever. This could be a sign of meningitis, an inflammation and infection of the tissue lining the brain and spinal cord. These children should also be quickly seen at an emergency room or by a family doctor.
The clinic cares for children suffering from stress-related, cluster, migraine and other types of headaches from 8:30 to 11 a.m. every Friday at the Loyola Outpatient Center, on the campus of Loyola University Medical Center, 2160 S. First Ave., Maywood. To make an appointment or for more information, call Angelia Ware, (708) 216-3180.
Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus, Loyola University Hospital, is a 569-licensed-bed facility. It houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children’s Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 264-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.