A Migraine is a neurological condition that can bring about several symptoms. One of the most common symptoms of a migraine is intense headaches with a pulsing sensation. Some people who suffer from migraine attacks also experience dizziness, vomiting, nausea, numbness or tingling, difficulty speaking, as well as sensitivity to sound or light.
Having a migraine is already difficult to manage, but imagine dealing with migraine attacks while at work! It may take hours to alleviate a migraine, so productivity in the workplace will be sacrificed. This is a big deal when it comes to the overall economic output. As per the National Headache Foundation, U.S. industries lose up to $50 billion every year whenever employees take the day off because of migraines.
Migraines can attack anytime, even while you’re working. Pushing yourself to make it through the day, while experiencing one can be torturous to pull off. So how can you cope with migraines without losing sight of your career objectives?
Stay Away From Migraine Triggers
In this context, a trigger is any kind of an event or physical act that occurs before you experience a migraine attack. This can happen 6 to 8 hours prior to the episode. Indeed, it is important to be aware of your migraine triggers so that you can stop migraines from happening.
Identifying migraine triggers can be a bit of a challenge. One helpful tip is to keep a migraine diary. In it, you can jot down the activities you performed or what foods you ate before and when your headache came on. Don’t skip any details! Everything you document will contribute to your holistic understanding of what triggers your migraine attacks.
Some of the most common migraine triggers are the following:
- Bright, flickering lights
- Certain foods and drinks
- Certain smells
- Changes in your normal sleep pattern
- Changes in the weather
- Extreme fatigue
- Menstrual periods
- Skipping meals or fasting
- Too much caffeine or withdrawal from it
Inform Your Superiors About Your Condition
Managing health and career, when combined, can sometimes be complicated. Some workers opt not to disclose their medical conditions due to fear of losing their jobs. Migraines, for example, can be stigmatized, because some believe that they are akin to a glorified headache. It is understandable to have some hesitations in telling your employer about your condition. But, coming clean about it is the right thing to do.
Being honest about your condition is a chance for your employer to give you the right kind of support. In case your employer doesn’t understand how a migraine can interfere with your work, you may ask your doctor for a medical certificate and a note explaining the condition. At the end of the day, employers will appreciate your honesty when you inform them about your medical difficulties.
Create a Treatment Plan
Migraines are not necessarily predictable. That is why you have to be prepared on how to manage the pain wherever you are. Here’s a treatment plan you can follow if you suddenly get a migraine at work:
- Always bring your doctor-prescribed or over-the-counter medications with you.
- Drink water or an electrolyte-infused beverage, preferably coconut water.
- Apply a hot compress or ice pack (depending on what works better for you) on your forehead and the nape of your neck.
- Take a break and look for a dark, quiet place to rest.
- If all else fails, talk to your supervisor and take the day off.
Ask Your Doctor About Pain Management
Who else is the best person to help with your condition aside from your doctor? A specialist carries extensive knowledge about the condition and may have access to the latest treatments on how to stop a migraine effectively. S/he will also be able to check your symptoms, identify causes, and create a detailed treatment plan to improve your daily life.
To further assist you, your doctor will most likely ask you a lot of questions and require you to undergo a series of tests. This is done in order to determine the seriousness of your condition and recommend a pain management plan that is appropriate for you. Here are some of the possible questions you may encounter during your visit:
- When is the first time you had a migraine?
- How many times did you have migraines when they first started?
- How many times do you have migraines now?
- How long does your migraine attack last?
- Do you know what your triggers are? What are they?
- What are the symptoms you experience?
- Is there another family member who has migraines?
- What makes your migraine better and worse?
- What medicines do you take?
- Have you undergone a brain CT scan or MRI?
Lifestyle changes, like trying to quit smoking, may provide long term relief from Migraine attacks.
Migraine attacks occur so suddenly, that they can show up even while you’re in the middle of a busy workday. To cope with a migraine at work, you should learn what your triggers are and avoid them. Prepare a practical action plan you can follow to stop migraines whenever you feel them coming on. Don’t forget to ask your doctor for recommendations about pain management that will work best for you. Furthermore, inform your employer about your health condition, so that s/he can support and understand you better.
Some people have various misconceptions about migraines. For them, it’s just a recurring headache. If you’re one of those individuals who has no idea what a migraine is and you want to have a better grasp of the condition, visit Miosuperhealth for more information. We offer lots of interesting health and fitness articles to help you navigate daily life. Aside from learning everything about migraines, you can also get details about arthritis, spinal decompression, or frozen shoulder treatments. Start taking charge of your health now!