Succeeding at Work
Don't Suffer in Silence

Migraine can’t stop you from being a highly valued and successful employee. There are many things you can do to prevent migraines from interfering with your work and career and, at the same time, you can minimize the impact of your migraines on your colleagues. You’ll find some useful suggestions for how to go about this below.

Like most women today, you may work outside the home. Unfortunately, even in 2005, the workplace may be unsympathetic to migraine sufferers. Over one-third of women have reported that they face greater obstacles at work due to migraines than male sufferers.

Out of more than 3,000 migraine sufferers: 1
• 90% have experienced a migraine at work
• 82% said migraines made it difficult for them to work or to interact with colleagues

Most migraine sufferers are forced to miss work occasionally. All in all, it is estimated that at least 150 million workdays are lost each year due to headaches.2 Most people who suffer from migraine are aged between 25 and 55, the peak working years. 3,4

Women with migraines should join forces with their doctors to develop the most effective treatment plan. One of the best things you can do is follow your migraine treatment plan exactly as prescribed: it is important that you do not delay taking your medicine. If you treat your migraine early, it is less likely to escalate: relief can be achieved more promptly.

Office Survival Strategies

•  Try to make sure you work in a comfortable environment: one that’s ergonomic and friendly to a migraineur
•  Check the office for triggers: for instance, does it have fluorescent lighting? Sit by a window if possible. Ask for a non-glare computer screen.
•  Don’t sit for hours in front of the computer screen: get up and walk around
•  If using a headset triggers your migraines, look for alternatives such as using speaker phone somewhere that won’t disturb your colleagues
•  Ask for a work station free of airborne irritants, such as someone else’s perfume
•  Use ear plugs if your workplace is noisy
•  Learn relaxation techniques for stressful situations
•  Take advantage of flexi-time if possible
•  Save easy tasks for “migraine days”
•  Work from home if possible
•  Volunteer for extra work or help out a colleague when you feel well



1. Female Patient, 2004.
2. Cady.Diagnosis and treatment of migraine. Accessed at, 1/3/2006.
3. Lipton RL. The burden of migraine: a review of the cost to society. Pharmacoeconomics 1994. 6(3):215-221.
4. Peroutka SJ. Drugs effective in the therapy of migraine. In: Goodman LS, Gilman A, Rall TW, Nies AS, Taylor P, eds. Goodman & Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. 9th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill: 1996: 487-496

Top of page



Taking Action
Improve Your Self-Esteem
Home Life
Partnering with Your Healthcare Provider

Take Our Survey
Register Today
Home Page