Handling a migraine attack at workplace

Headache has become the word used as commonly as sleep or rather more.

Published: 27th June 2019 06:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th June 2019 06:36 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Headache has become the word used as commonly as sleep or rather more. These days, the number of people who frequently get sound sleep is lesser than that of those who frequently get headaches. One major form of headache is migraine that affects people currently. Migraine is but a headache of extremely varying intensity, which results in extreme sensitivity, pain and nausea. It is often accompanied by light and sound sensitivity, throbbing pain usually on one side, pulsing sensation, nausea and vomiting.

If a person is hit by migraine at home, he/she can still manage to turn off the lights, get on the bed and lie in silence with eyes closed until the feeling subsides. But during work hours at office, it is usually not possible and one has to deal with the pain unless you can leave the office. Majority of those who suffer from migraine state that they cannot operate well enough during a migraine attack and since pain is invisible, it is often hard for the workmates to imagine the extent of the severe pain.

Below are a few tips that can help you tackle migraine at work if you get one:

Manage your stress level: Stress has been a major trigger for migraine and a hectic day combined with deadlines, peer pressure, work load, difficult supervisors sometimes at work often leads to stress and in turn to migraine.

Speak to your reporting head: Migraine certainly affects your performance at work; therefore, it becomes important that you let your boss stay aware of your condition so they can understand your situation instead of questioning your work. Carrying a note from your doctor for your manager or HR will also help.

Be prepared: You must have a plan if in case you are likely to have a headache. Have a plan ready regarding your work in the office as well as your commute back home. 

Breakaway: Take a break for few minutes through the day in intervals to meditate and relax your mind and take in fresh air.

Lower the triggers: When migraine hits, minimise the lights, lessen the noise and get away from strong smells if possible.

Reduce eyestrain: Turn down the brightness on your system’s screen. Put away your phone for some time.
Find your relaxing corner: Locate an unused conference room if possible or a space where you can lie down in the dark till the migraine subsides.

Keep an anti-migraine kit: A kit containing pain-relievers, anti-nausea tablets, cold pack, etc can come in handy.

Stock up on snacks: Make sure water and some healthy snacks are always within your reach to avoid dehydration and hunger. Keep your protein and sugar levels steady through the day.

The author is consultant neurologist, Columbia Asia hospital, Hebbal

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