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Are Migraines Affecting Your Career?

June 12, 2013

Every day, migraine sufferers struggle the consequences of their symptoms. Migraines can cause full body pain, light sensitivity, nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. These chronic headaches approach and leave in four phases; each phase brings about a distinct type of pain.


When the first signs of an approaching headache appear, full migraine relief is often hours or even days away. While individuals often have personal treatment plans to manage the pain, migraine headaches can still disrupt a family outing, gym workout, school day, or work.

One of the biggest concerns plaguing people who struggle with migraines is how the disabling pain will affect their careers. Do you share this concern? Are you aware of the negative affect migraines can have on your work?

What if I Get a Migraine at Work?

Two common fears associated with migraines are this: “What if I get a migraine at work?” or “What if my migraines are so frequent that I can’t keep a job?”

While there may not be a lot you can do to stop a migraine, there are some ways to cope with chronic headaches so that they do not negatively affect your career.

When it comes to migraines and employment, it is best to be proactive.

Once you are aware of migraine triggers, you can do your best to avoid actions, behaviours, and elements that may bring on attacks and hinder your work or home life. This also means, do not wait to treat migraine symptoms until it is too late.  As soon as the pain hits, or you sense a headache coming on, seek out a remedy that has worked for you before.

Tips for Combating Migraine Symptoms at Work:

– Stick to a routine diet. Eat at certain times every day so you do not experience hunger. Going hungry can trigger a migraine.

– Drink lots of water and remain hydrated. Avoid dehydrating substances, like drinking coffee and eating salty foods.

– Setup your work environment in a way that diminishes direct light from fluorescent bulbs. For example, if there are bright lights that shine on you all day long, it will benefit you to ask for a new workspace.

– Don’t be afraid to take short breaks away from your office area. Get up, stretch, and move around. This will get your blood flowing.

– Find ways to deal with stress so job chaos doesn’t lead to migraines.

Above all else, if you suffer from migraine headaches, be sure that you share this information with people in your office setting. Try not to make it a big deal, as many people who suffer from migraines fulfil and exceed their work responsibilities every day. At least, if your superiors and colleagues are aware that you have attacks from time to time, they may understand if you need to leave work early or call in sick.

You know your body better than anyone. Be sure to create an environment that is healthy for you, stick to a routine that your body appreciates, and communicate your needs in respectful and responsible ways. When you do these things, you won’t have to worry about how migraines affect your career.


*Please note: All research for this article is compiled from direct and third party sources. Mention of programs, organizations and companies does not imply support of The National Benefit Authority.  Pictures are for creative purposes only; they are not intended to sell or promote products for the NBA and belong to the accredited individual, organization or company.

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