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How To Deal With A Migraine At Work

Set Up Medication Procedures

Tips for Dealing with Migraines at Work

If you and your child’s doctor decide that medication may be needed at school, you’ll need to make sure any permission forms are completed and that there’s a supply of medications on hand. These medications must be submitted with clearly written instructions about what symptoms should prompt administration and how the medication should be given .

Make sure you check back with the school during the year to maintain the school’s supply of your child’s medicines.

When To Consider Talking To Your Boss Or Teacher About Your Migraines

Some people get migraines often, while others get them every once in a while. If you only get migraines occasionally, you might not need to involve your teacher or boss. On the other hand, if you are using up all your sick days, failing at your job, or falling behind in school because of migraines, it might be time to ask for accommodations.

Begin this process by talking to your provider. Explain that your migraines are causing you major problems at work or school. Ask if theres anything else you can do to prevent or treat them. If there isnt, your boss or teacher might need to make changes in your work or school day to accommodate your migraines.

Sample Workplace Situations And Solutions

An administrator who works in a cubicle setting was experiencing Migraine attacks that were triggered by the noise level she was located in a high traffic area by the copy machine. The employer accommodated this employee by moving her to an area with less traffic and providing a sound machine.

A teacher experienced menstrual Migraine attacks each month, aggravated by bright classroom lights and loud students. Her principal allowed her to dim the lights on those days she was at the highest risk and brought in a teacher’s aide 1-2 days each month to relieve her when she needed to rest for a few hours in a dark room.

A computer programmer found his Migraine attacks were triggered by the noise level in his cubicle and the overhead fluorescent lighting. As an accommodation, his employer provided him with a noise-canceling headset, disabled the fluorescent light above his cubicle, and provided natural task lighting.

A human resource representative had Migraine attacks several times a month, which prevented her from working. As an accommodation, the employer provided unpaid flexible leave after all of her paid leave was exhausted.

An accountant had Migraine attacks about twice a week, which prevented him from coming to work. As an accommodation, the employer allowed this employee to work from home when he had an attack. If his pain was too severe to work from home, the employee was allowed to use comp time.

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How To Get Rid Of Migraine At Work

Taking pain medication, avoiding triggers, and having a solid support system can help a person get rid of a migraine episode at work or at least reduce their migraine symptoms.

Migraine is a neurological condition that can cause moderate-to-severe pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light or sound.

Sometimes, people can stop the progression of a migraine episode and continue working. However, there may be some days when it is necessary to go home.

Read on to learn more about stopping the progression of a migraine episode at work and to get some tips for coping with and preventing episodes.

One of the main symptoms of migraine is a headache, and this can be the most debilitating symptom when trying to work. For many people, the first line of defense against the pain is medication.

People can try the following options.

Tips For Balancing A Career And Frequent Migraines

Can I Exercise With A Migraine

Nothing can ruin a workday quite like a migraine. You may barely be able to get anything done, and you may end up having to go home or call out completely before the day gets started. About 76% of people who have migraines say that their condition has a detrimental impact on their ability to be reliable due to missed days of work and poor attendance records. Another 27% say that having migraines has a bad impact on their career as a whole.

To make matters worse, people who dont have migraines have no idea how horrendous the pain can be. Wrong assumptions that youre slacking on job or unreliable because of just a headache can damage your professional reputation and career as a whole. Managing work and migraines may be tough, but it is often doable with a bit of guidance. Heres a look at some tips to help you balance your career and frequent migraines.

Prevention, when possible, is ever-important.

Most people who struggle with frequent migraines have certain migraine triggers. It can be difficult to pinpoint your triggers in an uncontrolled environment. However, if you keep a headache journal to document migraine days, you may be able to uncover your own triggers while at work. It could be something as simple as the lighting, the noise in the workplace, certain smells, or even stress. For example, some people who have migraines cant handle bright fluorescent lighting common in offices or constant changes in light levels.

Preparation can make all the difference.

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Tips On Dealing With Your Job While Dealing With Migraine

As you well know, migraine attacks dont usually happen at the most convenient times. They seem to only occur when you absolutely have to function. And it can be even more difficult when you have to go to work 5 days a week.

How do you deal with migraine and still have a positive work experience?

I know this may seem like a daunting task. As someone with migraine, I can truly relate. Its hard enough to deal with my migraine symptoms at home, let alone holding down a job while dealing with my migrainesymptoms!

Can Migraine Be Worse During Menopause

If your migraine headaches are closely linked to your menstrual cycle, menopause may make them less severe. As you get older, the nausea and vomiting may decrease as well. About two-thirds of women with migraines report that their symptoms improve with menopause.

But for some women, menopause worsens migraine or triggers them to start. It is not clear why this happens. Menopausal hormone therapy, which is prescribed for some women during menopause, may be linked to migraines during this time. In general, though, the worsening of migraine symptoms goes away once menopause is complete.

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How To Avoid Migraines At Work

More important than treating migraines once they come on is avoiding episodes to begin with, says Diamond. That means taking steps to adjust your work routine and office environment as much as possible in order to mitigate the specific factors that prompt episodes.

Ultimately lifestyle plays a role, and so we talk about the migraine brain being more irritable, says Diamond. It doesnt like change. Establishing solid routines and sticking to them can be an important factor in avoiding migraines, she says. That means waking up and going to sleep at a regular time every night, staying hydrated, keeping daytime naps relatively short and not skipping meals.

Some people who experience migraines may want to avoid fluorescent lighting, as bright light can trigger their headaches. So can strong odors for some patientsso if a colleague uses strong-smelling perfume or aftershave that triggers your symptoms, that might call for a respectful conversation between co-workers.

You might not be able to change everything about your work environment to avoid migraines, but its important to adjust what you can control to make episodes less likely to occur.

How Can I Tell If I Have A Migraine Or A Sinus Headache

5 Ways To Cope With Migraines At Work | TIME

Many people confuse a sinus headache with a migraine because pain and pressure in the sinuses, nasal congestion, and watery eyes often occur with migraine. To find out if your headache is sinus or migraine, ask yourself these questions:

In addition to my sinus symptoms, do I have:

  • Moderate-to-severe headache
  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to light
  • If you answer yes to two or three of these questions, then most likely you have migraine with sinus symptoms. A true sinus headache is rare and usually occurs due to sinus infection. In a sinus infection, you would also likely have a fever and thick nasal secretions that are yellow, green, or blood-tinged. A sinus headache should go away with treatment of the sinus infection.

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    What Is An Aura

    An aura is a group of sensory, motor and speech symptoms that usually act like warning signals that a migraine headache is about to begin. Commonly misinterpreted as a seizure or stroke, it typically happens before the headache pain, but can sometimes appear during or even after. An aura can last from 10 to 60 minutes. About 15% to 20% of people who experience migraines have auras.

    Aura symptoms are reversible, meaning that they can be stopped/healed. An aura produces symptoms that may include:

    • Seeing bright flashing dots, sparkles, or lights.
    • Blind spots in your vision.
    • Numb or tingling skin.

    Can Stress Cause Migraines

    Yes. Stress can trigger both migraine and tension-type headache. Events like getting married, moving to a new home, or having a baby can cause stress. But studies show that everyday stresses not major life changes cause most headaches. Juggling many roles, such as being a mother and wife, having a career, and financial pressures, can be daily stresses for women.

    Making time for yourself and finding healthy ways to deal with stress are important. Some things you can do to help prevent or reduce stress include:

    • Eating healthy foods
    • Being active
    • Doing relaxation exercises
    • Getting enough sleep

    Try to figure out what causes you to feel stressed. You may be able to cut out some of these stressors. For example, if driving to work is stressful, try taking the bus or subway. You can take this time to read or listen to music, rather than deal with traffic. For stressors you can’t avoid, keeping organized and doing as much as you can ahead of time will help you to feel in control.

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    Communicate With Loved Ones

    Itâs equally important to be upfront about migraines with your friends and loved ones, even though not everyone may understand it. Erin says:

    âMy advice would to be as honest as possible within your comfort level. My friends have come to understand the severity of my migraines, although they didnât at first.â

    And for those who donât understand it? You have to trust that they want whatâs best for you.

    âI do not worry anymore about whether someone believes how debilitating a migraine is,â Catie explains. âI know how I am feeling.â

    When Should You Consider Getting Treatment

    Cluster Headache Relief

    Diamonds research group at the Diamond Headache Clinic suspects that around 40 million Americans experience migraines, and she says that only about 55% of them have actually discussed their symptoms with a doctor. Over-the-counter medications can work for some, but for those with chronic migraineswhich the International Classification of Headache Disorders defines as headache occurring on 15 or more days per month for more than three months, which, on at least eight days per month, has the features of migraine headacheDiamond says it may be worth visiting a specialist.

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    I’m Pregnant Can My Migraines Still Be Treated

    Some migraine medicines should not be used when you are pregnant because they can cause birth defects and other problems. This includes over-the-counter medicines, such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Talk with your doctor if migraine is a problem while you are pregnant or if you are planning to become pregnant. Your doctor might suggest a medicine that will help you and that is safe during pregnancy. Home treatment methods, such as doing relaxation exercises and using cold packs, also might help ease your pain. The good news is that for most women migraines improve or stop from about the third month of the pregnancy.

    I Get Migraines Right Before My Period Could They Be Related To My Menstrual Cycle

    More than half of migraines in women occur right before, during, or after a woman has her period. This often is called “menstrual migraine.” But, just a small fraction of women who have migraine around their period only have migraine at this time. Most have migraine headaches at other times of the month as well.

    How the menstrual cycle and migraine are linked is still unclear. We know that just before the cycle begins, levels of the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, go down sharply. This drop in hormones may trigger a migraine, because estrogen controls chemicals in the brain that affect a woman’s pain sensation.

    Talk with your doctor if you think you have menstrual migraine. You may find that medicines, making lifestyle changes, and home treatment methods can prevent or reduce the pain.

    Also Check: Painless Migraine Dizziness

    Be Open & Upfront About Your Condition Especially In The Workplace

    While Catie, 29, used to suffer through her migraines at work, she has since learned to be open and upfront with her co-workers and supervisors about her pain. Not only have her managers been understanding, sheâs also found other colleagues who suffer from migraines who understand what sheâs going through. With openness and honesty, she finds her supervisors will allow her to cut the workday short or not even come into the office if she has a migraine when she first wakes up.

    âFor my job, I need to be fully functioning to avoid making any mistakes. If I have a migraine and am not functioning at my highest, I will ask to leave.â

    If you’re having trouble finding the right words to tell a supervisor about your migraines, you can find some tips and a template in this article.

    Whats A Migraine What Does A Migraine Feel Like

    Migraine Triggers and How to Deal with Them

    A migraine is a common neurological disease that causes a variety of symptoms, most notably a throbbing, pulsing headache on one side of your head. Your migraine will likely get worse with physical activity, lights, sounds or smells. It may last at least four hours or even days. About 12% of Americans have this genetic disorder. Research shows that its the sixth most disabling disease in the world.

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    When Should You Head Home

    Migraines dont always resolve quickly, and sometimes it can be important to know when to call it quits on a work day if an episode isnt getting any better. Some people can tell when a migraine is here to stay based on the level of pain, or other factors, like nausea or light sensitivity. In those cases its important to go home get a quick nap and rest to get ready for the next day, instead of sticking around and making things worse. That is, of course, assuming youll be able to get home safely in a car or on public transportation. Otherwise, you might have to see about calling in a favor to get a ride from a friend or family member. If you suffer from regular episodes, try to have a talk with your employer ahead of time so they know you might have to leave work early unexpectedly sometimes.

    And when you do get back to work, Diamond stresses that its equally important not to overload yourself right away. When a patient misses a day because of a migraine or theyre behind because of a migraine, they get more anxious and concerned about finishing what they need to finish, and that doesnt help the whole process, she says. Instead, try to ease back into your work and keep from getting too anxious, as excessive stress could trigger another episode.

    How To Help An Employee With Migraines

    If you have a good worker who happens to have migraines, how can you provide the support he or she needs to be able to continue working for your company? Here are a few suggestions:

    • Provide good healthcare options and encourage migraine patients to pay extra for the best plan. This will help ensure the employee gets the best care at the least overall expense.
    • Provide an alternate work environment on migraine days to help employees miss less work. If bright lights, the sound of other workers, and strong smells make the employees migraines worse, you may be able to increase productivity by providing a fragrance-free, quiet, and dark work space at the office. Or you may be able to offer the employee a means to work from home on certain days when an attack hits.
    • Be understanding. Migraine patients function best when they know they are understood. If you give the impression that migraines are not a real health problem or that the employee should be able to just press through it, that will only add to stress levels and stress always makes migraines worse.
    • Consider a job change. Before letting a hard-working employee go, consider moving him or her to a less stressful position that may result in fewer migraine episodes.

    These are just a few ideas of ways to deal with having employees with migraines. Since about 12% of adults get migraines, you are likely to face this situation over and over again in the future even if you have not had to do so already.

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    When Should I Seek Help For My Headaches

    Sometimes, headache can signal a more serious problem. You should talk to your doctor about your headaches if:

    • You have several headaches per month and each lasts for several hours or days
    • Your headaches disrupt your home, work, or school life
    • You have nausea, vomiting, vision, or other sensory problems
    • You have pain around the eye or ear
    • You have a severe headache with a stiff neck
    • You have a headache with confusion or loss of alertness
    • You have a headache with convulsions
    • You have a headache after a blow to the head
    • You used to be headache-free, but now have headaches a lot


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