If you do not suffer from headaches or migraines, it is a pretty easy assumption to say that you know someone or have a family member who suffers from chronic headaches or migraines. June is recognized as National Headache & Migraine Awareness Month (MHAM) with activities and events planned to build greater awareness, educate the public and non-sufferers, and reduce the stigma associated with migraines and headache disorders. The theme set for MHAM in 2017 is “The Art of Migraine and Headache Management” to illustrate how personalized treatments are for those who are suffering. It is also important to note that no one is immune to headaches or migraines, even children who deal with lower self-esteem, depression, and social anxiety from their battles with headache disorders.
Though most people have an occasional or have had at least one headache, more than 30 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches. A migraine is a neurological condition where an individual will suffer from moderate to severe headache pain that can last for hours to several days. Women are three times more likely to suffer from migraines than men, and most sufferers are afflicted between the ages of 30 to 60 years old. Let’s take a closer look at data that demonstrates how debilitating migraine headaches can be:
- Each day, almost 430,000 people are unable to work due to having a migraine.
- Migraines cost American workers 157 million lost workdays annually adding up to $31 billion, yes billion in absenteeism, lost productivity, and medical expenses.
- 90% of migraine sufferers report they are unable to function during a migraine and 33% are confined to bed rest for those days.
That eye-opening data and the toll that the pain and debilitation of headaches and migraines have on those who suffer are the catalysts behind MHAM efforts. All month long, organizers of MHAM events are asking supporters to wear purple to show support for advocacy, awareness, education, and research.
Just as a migraine and headache trigger are different for individuals, there are as many varieties of treatments to alleviate the symptoms. Some common triggers may include stress, hormones, reaction to preservatives in foods, sleep disturbances, alcohol, and excessive caffeine. The treatments recommended by most doctors’ start out with medication, therapy, dietary changes, regular exercise, and biofeedback.
Please take the time to stay informed about MHAM activities and participate in social media awareness events by following and using #headacheawareness or #migraineawarenss hashtags, and visit Facebook sites including Migraine.com and National Headache Foundation.
Help us spread awareness and understanding by sharing your headache and migraine stories in the comment section below. Do you suffer from distinct triggers? Do you have any non-conventional remedies for alleviating the impacts of migraines and headaches? Help others with your story. You can also drop us a line and join the discussion on our Facebook page.