Migraines: The Neurological Disease that Affects 12% of Us

migraine month

June is National Migraine Awareness Month and an opportunity to recognize a neurological disease that may have more crippling effects than many realize. Though some may dismiss migraines as simply headaches, the reality is they are much more serious.

We All Know Someone Who Suffers from Migraines

12% of the population suffers from migraines representing 1 in 4 US Households according to the Migraine Research Foundation. Because migraines are so common (2nd leading cause of global disability) it is likely you know someone in your life who suffers from migraines.

Migraines are not known to be hereditary in a direct sense. However, more than half of those affected by migraines also have someone else in their family who suffers from migraines.

Impacting all aspects of life

Migraines can also have a serious impact on our workforce. A staggering 90% of individuals who experience migraines face difficulties working while a migraine is going on. This is often due to the common symptoms that come along with migraines including “visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch/smell, and tingling or numbness in the extremities or face” (according to the Migraine Research Foundation). As those who suffer from migraines know, these incidents do not come and go quickly – they often last 4 to 72 hours.

Migraine Trust reported that in the United Kingdom, an estimated 43 million work or school days are lost each year because of migraines.

Women are Most Commonly Affected

28 million women in the United States experience migraines and suffer from chronic migraines at a far more frequent rate than men – accounting for 85% of all chronic migraines. A chronic migraine patient is often defined as someone who suffers from 15 or more migraine incidents a month.

This is further shown by the fact that 1 in 4 women will have at least 1 migraine in their lifetime. Boys are more commonly impacted by migraines as children, on the other hand, in adulthood women are 3 times more likely to suffer from migraines than men.

What Should You Do if You Are Suffering From Migraines?

If you have been suffering from migraines for years, you likely have some strategies to deal with your pain. Common strategies include going into a dark room or blocking out noise. Migraine treatments are available, if you have never explored these options, consider looking into them by contacting your medical provider to see what treatment options could be available to you.