Have you ever been at work when you suddenly experience an excruciating head? You’re not alone. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraine headaches are the 6th most disabling illnesses in the world, causing 90 percent of sufferers to be unable to work or function normally during their migraine episodes. This results in a collective loss of 113 million work days that cost employers $13 billion each year. While inconvenient, the good news is migraines can be managed. If you or someone you know suffers from chronic workplace migraines, here are some things to consider.
Being Diagnosed with Chronic Migraines
If you find yourself regularly suffering from an increased number of headaches on the job, you may be suffering from chronic migraines. You can help determine your condition by keeping a “migraine journal” and documenting the scenarios and environmental conditions when they strike. Additionally, it may be helpful to seek medical attention from your primary care physician or a pain specialist to officially diagnose your condition.
Upon diagnoses, it’s important to educate your co-workers, particularly your boss on your condition. Although the American with Disabilities(ADA) does not particularly address migraines, employers should provide reasonable accommodations to workers who suffer from chronic and debilitating headaches.
Making your Work Migraine Friendly
In addition to letting your co-workers and superiors know of your condition, you too can take a proactive approach to managing workplace migraines on the job by taking these simple steps:
- First, it is important to be in control of your environment. Replace fluorescent bulbs with warmer light.
- Raise your computer monitor, so your neck doesn’t have to be strained to read the computer screen.
- Maintaining a healthy diet throughout the day may also help improve migraines. Drink plenty of water and limit caffeine intake. While small doses of caffeine are okay, too much can be a trigger.
- Eliminate as many strong perfumes or odors from your working area. The chemicals found in these types of products are common causes of migraine headaches.
- Lack of movement or overexertion can also be culprits for migraine headaches. While not enough exercise can decrease energy levels, too much exercise or overexertion may lead to a lack of sleep and overstraining of the body and eyes while on the job.
As frustrating as they are, it’s important to take care of yourself if you suffer from migraine headaches. For more tips on pain management or to consult an Summa pain specialist, visit Summa Pain Care or call 623-776-8686.
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