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In recognition of Migraine and Headache Awareness, the National Headache Foundation announced findings from its Perspectives from People with Migraine survey, which highlights experiences of people with migraine disease, the tradeoffs made to manage their disease with current therapies and the impact of the disease on daily life.

“Migraine disease is so much more than a headache. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has impacted our world, stress and anxiety, which are major triggers for people with migraine disease, are at an all-time high.” said Mary Franklin, executive director of the National Headache Foundation.

“We must strive to understand and educate about the impact of this disease on not only physical well-being; but also, emotional and mental health,” “Every person living with migraine has a different experience and we want all to feel confident in their treatment choices; but also know that there are others who understand the real impact of the disease.”

Almost all responders felt misunderstood and feared they were a burden to family, friends, and colleagues.
– Nearly all (93%) people agreed that those who don’t suffer from migraine don’t understand the severity of the disease
– More than half (54%) report feeling like a burden to family, friends, and co-workers because of their disease
– More than half (53%) say they modified career plans and aspirations due to the impact of migraine

The survey also sheds light on the emotional and mental burden of the disease. Over three-quarters (77%) of responders said they were not able to do the things they wanted to because of migraine attacks. Responders reported the following due to a migraine attack at least once a week:
– 42% were unable to exercise or participate in physical activity
– 37% feel less productive at work or school
– 28% feel less able to take care of their children
– 25% avoid sexual intimacy

The survey was funded by Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd. According to Vlad Coric, M.D., chief executive officer of Biohaven, “By supporting this research with the NHF, we hope to better understand the tradeoffs people with migraine make every day living with this invisible disease, so we can continue to invest in resources and treatment options that address their unmet needs.”

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