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Date of last update: 9/9/2017.

Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: Headaches in 9 year old.

 mol5896 - Sun Dec 11, 2005 6:19 pm

My 9 year old son has been having strange head and tongue sensations. He says that he gets a pain in the upper right side of his head (towards the top) and little behind his ear. That's the best I can describe it. He says this pain then heats up and while this is happening he says that he feels like a hole opens up in his tongue. These symptoms last a few seconds and are gone. He also says that he has been getting these for a long time maybe since he was 7 or 8. He can't remember exactly when they started. He says this only happens once or twice a month sometimes every couple of months. Recently he has been getting headaches he says across his forehead right above his eyebrows. I took him to our pediatrician and she what she called a very extensive neurological exam on him and said that she found nothing abnormal. My fear is a brain tumor but she says that she sees nothing that would suggest that that is the cause and she doesn't see any reason to run out and get a brain scan however she did recommend making an appt with a pediatric neurologist which I did. He won't be seen until Dec. 22. I am still terrified. Can you rule out a brain tumor from just a neuro exam? What if it is in early stages? If big enough to be causing headaches would it affect you neurologically also? Also, would symptoms of a brain tumor come and go. Wouldn't they be constant because the tumor is always there? I am losing sleep and worrying about this so much. It's all that I can think about. I am scared to let my son out of my site for fear that something will happen to him. Please answer. Maybe I just need some reassurance.
 Dr. Heba Ismail - Fri Dec 16, 2005 2:16 pm

A brain tumour does not usually symptomatize in the fashion you've described.
First of all, it is very unlikely for a tumour to manifest over 1 or 2 years.
Early manifestations of a brain tumour in children is usually in the form of behaviuoral changes. Later, the pressure inside the head builds up gradually and the child starts vomiting, especially in the early morning, has blurring of vision, and a severe headache that could awaken the child at night. This headache also characteristically is worsened by coughing or straining, and relieved by vomiting.
A brain tumour could also manifest in the form of neurological deficits such as squint or paralysis.
It's a good thing you've taken your child to the doctor. I'm sure she knows what she's doing.
The headache you're describing sounds like a migraine, but there are many other causes for a headache.

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