New Delhi, September 10 (SocialNews.XYZ) Migraine is a debilitating neurological disorder that is among the top 10 most common causes of years of disability worldwide. The main symptom of migraines is a persistent headache, along with symptoms such as severe pain on one side of the head or throbbing pain, sensitivity to light and noise, and nausea. Although it is a very common headache condition affecting around 15 percent of the adult population worldwide, it is still poorly understood and the most neglected.
In Delhi, about 25 percent of the population suffer from migraines each year.
Although migraine is an invisible condition, it can severely affect people in personal, professional, and social areas, thereby affecting overall quality of life and productivity. Working from home or the “new normal” has drastically influenced the lives of migraine sufferers – from poor concentration at work to missed work days. It has become even more urgent to ensure that individuals have the knowledge and tools to manage migraines effectively.
Dr. Debashish Chowdhury, Professor and Head of Neurology, GB Pant Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (GIPMER) and Incharge, Headache Clinic, GIPMER, New Delhi, said: “There is a lack of understanding among people of the severity of migraines. In a recent study we conducted, around 50 to 60 percent of migraine sufferers went undiagnosed despite having recurring headaches. Since migraines fall on a spectrum that ranges from infrequent or mild seizures to recurrent ones, many describe them as “just a headache.” With full working hours from home, coupled with fear of COVID-19 infection and difficulty accessing personal care, people avoid seeking medical help for the condition and instead attribute symptoms to related comorbidities like stress or depression. “
He continued, “Financial worries about job loss or wage cuts also contribute to exacerbated migraines, which have been more noticeable lately. The impact of migraines on quality of life has also reportedly worsened, especially for many migraineurs working in the health care sector in this area. ”Time.
Neglecting symptoms and failing to treat the condition can lead to migraines becoming chronic. A fundamental need is to recognize migraines as a serious disease with severe disability and to take a holistic approach to treatment. Early detection can be a critical factor in a smoother patient journey and an improved quality of life. “
Here are 5 ways to manage your migraines while working from home:
Identify risk factors and monitor the triggers
Migraines can start at any age but peak in the best of productive years. In addition, women are three times more likely to be affected than men, with prevalence peaking between the ages of 25 and 55.
Long hours of work from home, along with longer screen time, disrupted sleep schedules, and irregular eating habits can increase stress levels. In migraineurs, such changes can become migraine triggers and make their condition worse. Identifying personal triggers can help people manage their migraines better.
Make the right diet and lifestyle choices
Working from home can be tough, but a daily routine that optimizes your physical and mental health can help keep your migraines at bay. Eating healthy meals at appropriate times or eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day are linked to less frequent migraine headaches. Taking regular breaks from work can help you eat properly and relieve your eyes from excessive screen use. Lifestyle changes, including quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption, as well as maintaining optimal sleep habits and regular exercise, can be key to managing migraines. These also benefit migraine prevention and treatment.
Talk to an Expert
It is important to see a specialist if you have a severe headache that disrupts your daily routine. Many migraineurs hesitate to seek medical help. This can have various reasons – a lack of understanding of the severity of the migraines, a lack of time due to hectic working hours from home or, recently, a reduction in personal clinic consultations due to the fear of a Covid-19 infection. However, consulting a neurologist, including through teleconsultations, is a necessary step in diagnosing your condition and understanding the options available for acute and chronic management of migraines, including preventative treatment. With evidence-based information on the impact on migraine reduction, quality of life, and ease of use, neurologists can advise you on the most appropriate treatment option to prevent or reduce your migraine episodes.
Track Your Migraines
It’s a good idea to keep a journal (or download a migraine tracker app) to record the timing and severity of your migraines, symptoms, daily diet, exercise routines, and medications and side effects. This can help identify triggers and patterns. It can also lead to meaningful conversations with your doctor and help create a more holistic treatment plan that is tailored to your work schedule.
Seek support from your family, friends or colleagues
Living with migraines can leave one feeling helpless, desperate, and misunderstood. But talking to your friends and family can help them understand your condition better. Talking openly with your employer about your migraines is a good idea, especially to create a schedule of specific routine adjustments to mitigate the triggers. This can help you be productive and healthy while working from home. Employers can also take the initiative and organize employee wellness programs to raise awareness about migraines and how to effectively manage them and improve productivity in the workplace.
Migraine attacks can be a challenge. Making changes in your daily routine and actively communicating with your employer about your condition, after consulting a neurologist, can help you manage migraines better when you work from home.
(This article relates to: Sacco, S., Bendtsen, L., Ashina, M., Reuter, U., Terwindt, G., Mitsikostas, DD and Martelletti, P., 2019. European Headache Association guidelines on the use of monoclonal antibodies that act on the calcitonin gene-related peptide or its receptor for migraine prevention, The Journal of Headache and Pain, 20 (1), pp. 1-33.
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