Migraines at Work or School
The worst time to have a migraine is when you are at work or at school. Your performance decreases as you struggle to finish the day. There are some ways that you can attempt to prevent a migraine from rearing its ugly head.
- Be sure to eat your meal during your work or school day. Skipping meals may lead to migraines. Don't let a busy workday prevent you from eating regular meals, because skipping meals can lead to migraines.
- Food triggers should be avoided, such as:
- Aged cheese
- Processed foods
- Cured meats
- Yeast-containing baked goods
- Foods with monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- Stay hydrated by keeping a bottle of water close by and sipping it frequently.
- Avoid caffeine if you know it’s a trigger for you, even if you need it to stay alert.
- Get a good night’s rest.
- Keep stress at a minimal if at all possible.
- Get to know what your migraine auras are. Many people will get irritable or experience nausea or pain before the migraine hits. If you can, take a prescription medication to get it under control before it starts.
- If flickering of fluorescent lights brings on a migraine, you should get a floor or desk lamp and turn off the overhead light.
- Moving your computer monitor or getting a shield for it may help you so that you won’t be bothered by the glaring screen.
If you can tell when your warning signs of a migraine are making themselves known, you should intervene right away to see if you can stave off a full-blown migraine. You can try:
- Eating something
- Hydrate yourself
- If you can, get yourself in a quiet area and try to close your eyes long enough for the symptoms to go away
- Try some deep breathing to dispel any stress
- Go outside for some fresh air if you can
You will probably have to educate your employer and others about migraines. It isn’t considered just a “bad headache” anymore. Migraines are a disease just like diabetes or other conditions that need to be treated. If your employer can be understanding about it, you can make some adjustments to your work environment to keep migraines at bay. As a student, hopefully your instructor will be accommodating to your needs. Colleagues should be mindful and keep perfume and cologne to a minimal. You may have to take a break from the smoker’s area since cigarette smoke can aggravate migraines as well. Some of these people may not be supportive of your migraine condition, but you are doing your part to be as productive as you can be by creating a work environment to prevent these debilitating headaches.
If you are still having problems controlling your migraines, let your doctor know. Your doctor can develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.