Where migraines occur is just as important as when and why they happen. Most people would prefer to deal with a migraine at home on a weekend afternoon than on Wednesday morning at work.
The Migraine Research Foundation has studied the impact of migraines in the workplace, and the numbers are simply staggering. Billions of employers’ dollars lost, more than 110 million missed workdays, untold project re-schedules – and those are just the macro-level effects of migraines at work.
But what about the individual worker – you? Let’s look at migraines from a micro-level perspective – specifically, how they impact employees from a personal standpoint, and what can be done to reduce pain and accelerate recovery.
Staying Above Water at the Workplace: How to Handle Migraines
Here are some things to consider that will help you manage migraines at work. About 9 of every 10 people who suffer from migraines are unable to perform properly on the job, which is totally understandable. How can you become part of the rare 10% of people who can manage migraines at work?
These methods involve both preventative measures and real-time, “as-it-happens” treatment.
- Stay hydrated. Even slight levels of dehydration can cause migraine headaches. It’s a good idea to drink plenty of water while you’re in the office. And look at it this way – frequent trips to the water cooler will help keep you connected with other employees.
- Communicate your issue. If you suffer frequent migraines during the work week, let your immediate supervisor know, along with co-workers you’re involved with on a day-to-day basis. This not only creates greater awareness about migraines, but it’s also a great way to reduce stress (and possible future migraines) by getting it out in the open. If missed work is required, your team members will understand why, instead of second-guessing your toughness or commitment.
- Keep your meds accessible. People that manage to function with migraines at work keep plenty of effective medication at their desk. So, make room among your pens, paperclips, and files for ibuprofen, migraine pills and whatever else helps relieve pain. Bonus tip: set regular reminders in Microsoft Outlook (or your company’s calendar system) and your smartphone to regularly restock your migraine medication supply.
- Control your environment as much as possible. If your overhead lights are too bright, talk to your co-workers or maintenance representative and see if it’s possible to dim them. If you need a quiet place to unwind and regroup for recovery, see if an empty conference room (preferably one without windows) is available. If ice is essential for your migraine treatment, look into installing a compact combination refrigerator/freezer unit in your office. Set up your surroundings for successful migraine prevention and treatment.
- Realize you have a Plan B. Actually, there are abundant options to help you deal with migraines at work – plenty of Plan B’s exist! Work-from-home arrangements can help, and never forget that migraine patients are also entitled to certain disability protections (provided your condition is frequent and severe enough). Talk to your employer and do some extra research – solutions might not be readily apparent, but they’re out there; you just have to look (or ask)!
Proven, Professional Migraine Treatment – Visit The Migraine Institute Today!
If you’re having trouble dealing with migraines at home, work, or anywhere in between, The Migraine Institute can help. From courteous care to cutting-edge surgical procedures, The Migraine Institute is Southern California’s leading migraine treatment center.
To learn more about The Migraine Institute, please visit their website, call their office at 310.657.2203, or schedule an appointment today. The institute’s in-house migraine experts can help you with questions about Botox treatments, pain management, migraine solutions and more!