Suffering a migraine can be pretty debilitating on the best of days but suffering one at work can leave your panicky and anxious due to the inconvenience of the situation. However, it’s important to remember that these things can happen and you just need to know how to manage the situation. Dr Giuseppe Aragona, GP and Online doctor for Prescription Doctor offers his tips for managing symptoms and preventing future ones from occurring.
⦁ Keep hydrated and cut down on caffeine
Keeping yourself hydrated whilst at work is one of the best things you can do to help prevent any migraines or headaches from occurring. When your dehydrated this can contribute to any triggers for migraines as your brain and body is missing vital hydration and paired with the strain of concentration, this could cause an attack. You should also cut down on your caffeine intake throughout the day as this can also be a contributing factor to migraine symptoms.
⦁ Take regular screen breaks
If you have a busy desk job chances are you won’t be taking your eyes off the screen all day, this can cause eye pain and strain which can then lead to migraines. You should ensure you take a number of small breaks a day to have a break from the screen, you may also want to have an eye test to ensure you do not need glasses or increase font size on the screen if this appears to be a problem. Turning the brightness down on the screen may also help.
⦁ Have medication on hand
Having migraine medication is a good idea if you suffer frequently with migraines as there’s nothing worse than being at work and suffering an attack. The best medication would be Sumatriptan as it works quickly and is effective. If you do not have this, paracetamol or ibuprofen should work fine.
⦁ Reduce work stress
If you have excessive work stress this won’t help in keeping migraines at bay, as the pressure and stress of your job could mean that you are more likely to suffer an attack. Try to reduce any work stress but passing jobs onto your team or colleague’s, take regular breaks from work that is becoming stressful and work on something else which will not take up as much of your concentration.
⦁ Stay away from harsh lighting
The lights in an office can often be quite harsh which can lead to eye pain and then a migraine. When you do suffer with a migraine the best thing to do is to lie down in a dim or dark room and of course this is quite difficult at work, if you can find a spare room to take 20 minutes to try and ease pain that would be advisable, at least until the pain killers kick in.
⦁ Alert colleagues and your boss
Alerting your boss and colleagues that you are about to suffer an attack, (as most people who experience migraines will be able to tell when one is about to occur) is a good way to ensure they know this ahead of an attack, and that they can help you with anything you may need. This also allows them to take over any jobs or meetings you had planned in the afternoon.
⦁ Get plenty of fresh air
If you work in a particularly hot and stuffy office, getting outside and fresh air in your lungs and blood is advised as this should help to keep any migraine symptoms at bay. If you can take a full lunch break outside as well as other breaks throughout the day where you can get outside this would be beneficial. If you are having migraine symptoms, you should try and get some fresh air right away.