Do Migraines Have an Impact on Work?

There has been a great deal of controversy regarding migraines and work. Everyone from the Department of Labor to individual employers has an idea about how much time migraines cause employees to take off work and how much money is lost each year because of these debilitating headaches.

In a survey of large employers released by the non-profit Midwest Business Group on Health, 91 percent of respondents recognize that migraine headaches impact productivity. Most of these employers also stated that they have not gauged how much money is lost because of absences from work due to migraines and they don’t know how well their health plans are managing migraines for their employees who have to deal with them.

The National Headache Foundation (NHF) has come up with some figures estimating that U.S. industry loses $50 billion per year due to absenteeism, lost productivity and medical expenses caused by migraine headaches, especially chronic ones.

. “Migraine is a serious, neurological, chronic condition that non-sufferers often view as only stress-related and easily treated. The reality is that it results in lost productivity and causes significant disruptions to migraine sufferers’ work and personal lives, according to Larry Boress, MBGH President and CEO.

According to the NHF, nearly 30 million Americans — or one in eight workers — suffer from migraine, which is often accompanied by a variety of symptoms, including sharp throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head, nausea or vomiting, visual disturbances and sensitivity to noise and light. With the help of a health care provider, migraine headaches can be effectively managed and patients can identify and alleviate their symptoms with an appropriate treatment regimen.

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