Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Migraine Management: It's More than a Bad Headache

Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, a leading drug manufacturer conducted a poll about migraines and how they affect employees and businesses. The report indicated that there are at least 15 million men and women in the United States who have gone to work with migraine or experienced an attack at work. In addition, an original investigation by the American Medical Association about the economic burden migraine poses to the U.S. business sector indicates a loss that amounts to as much as $13 billion per year due to missed work days and impaired work function. If you feel that migraine is negatively impacting your work, here are some tips on managing it in the workplace:

1. Let the office know about your condition.

It won't do to keep your migraine a secret from your boss, your colleagues, and the company doctor. Aside from it being a necessity when you apply for company-sponsored health insurance, informing them that you suffer from migraine lets you form a support network that can attend to you in case a migraine attack at work becomes an emergency. You also create understanding and awareness of the disorder which can help the company implement precautionary measures that can help prevent developing migraine in other employees.

2. Be proactive.

Being proactive is necessary in having a rewarding career but it is also important if you want to manage your migraine. Instead of seeking medical attention only when migraines attack, make it a point to talk to your doctor about the condition in general. You can ask your doctor for tips on managing migraines, about available new treatments for the disorder, and other measures you can take to keep the pain at bay especially at work. You have a better chance of managing your condition by taking a more active approach in its treatment.

3. Make your working environment as migraine-proof as possible.

Flickering bright office lights can trigger migraine in some people as do loud noises. Identify migraine triggers in the workplace and make your workstation as migraine-proof as possible. For example, if noises trigger your migraine, you can wear headphones that play nature sounds or soothing music while at work. If this is not permitted, you can ask your boss if you can be stationed far from the office lunchroom or the copier machine. If lights are the problem, talk to your boss about taking the lights out of your workstation and using a subdued lamp instead. You can also keep some anti-stress objects in your cube such as a mini Zen fountain or aromatherapy oils.

4. Come to work armed with your pain medications.

If your doctor has prescribed an anti-migraine or pain medication for you, keep some inside your desk drawer at work so you can be ready when you feel a migraine attack coming. Costs of double stocking shouldn't be a problem since there are many reputable online pharmacies that sell low cost pain relief drugs on the Net. A nasal spray or an orally disintegrating tablet that melts in the mouth might be a more suitable option at the office as they can be taken discreetly and without fluids.

5. Practice a healthy lifestyle.

Exercising regularly and observing a balanced diet can help keep migraines at bay. A healthy lifestyle is also key in treating migraine as some of its most common triggers include lack of sleep or rest, fatigue, sugars, carbohydrates, excessive caffeine, and nicotine. Avoiding or minimizing your exposure to these triggers can help treat and prevent migraine attacks.

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Kristine Anne Gonzaga is a content writer and researcher who specializes in health topics and health-related issues. She delights in finding tips and ideas on simple and practical health care and sharing them through her writing.

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