Migraine has been a problem that tends to affect the personal and professional life of all those who suffer from it. However, the lack of awareness on the severity of the problem tends to result in the lack of seriousness on the part of those around.
Stating that one in seven people across the globe suffer from migraine, Dr T Vijay, Neurologist, Vijay’s Neuro Clinic, said, “In India alone, this figure is higher than 140 million people. However, despite such a high prevalence, migraine continues to be an underdiagnosed and undertreated disease here.”
Explaining its symptoms, he said, “It is characterised by recurrent attacks of moderate to severe head pain that is throbbing or pulsating and often strikes one side of the head, though both sides may ache. It is a complex neurological disorder that may be a result of a dysfunction of an area of the brainstem that is involved in controlling pain perception and sensory activity.”
It may be noted that migraine has been ranked globally as the seventh most disabling disease among all diseases and it is the leading cause of disability among all neurological disorders. “Medical advice is highly important when an individual is faced with the symptoms. With timely intervention and proper prescription, migraines can be successfully managed, and it becomes possible for patients to lead an almost symptom-free life,” he added.
Stressing on this need, he said, “Most of the times, when I assess my patients suffering with migraine, I also evaluate how their lives have been affected with the condition. Most of them complain about how the disease has impacted both the personal and professional aspects of their lives.”
However, the lack of awareness about the seriousness of the problem has resulted in many being unable to decipher the gravity of the issue and hence fail to understand why a patient is acting a certain way. “One of patients was suffering from sever bouts of migraine. He would not be able to attend classes as a result and his professors suspended him for his absenteeism. Migraine can prove to be very serious and it is important that the public understands that,” said Dr Gowri Nair, a Neurologist.
Stating that Migraines and chronic daily headaches are common in people who suffer from anxiety disorders, Dr Vijay added, “According to a 2009 study, Migraine headaches can precede the onset of mental disorders. Researchers found that 11 per cent of participants in the study had migraines and a variety of disorders including major depression, general anxiety disorder (GAD), dysthymia, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, panic disorder, substance abuse disorders, agoraphobia, and simple phobia.”
He therefore urged those suffering from migraine to confide in their colleague or family about the condition as that will help them better understand the problem. “Sleep well but do not oversleep. Getting seven hours of sleep daily is a good medicine for migraine.
A well-rested body is much more capable of handling stress and headache than a tired body. Take breaks and do not force your body to work on days you have a migraine attack. Besides, it is important that you keep your medicines handy, which you must use in case you sense danger.