Migraines At Work – A Guide For People In The Workplace


Migraines are a common headache disorder with a wide range of possible symptoms. They can be debilitating, but they’re also highly treatable. If you have migraines and work in an office environment, there are steps you can take to help yourself stay healthy while at work. This guide will help explain how work-related migraines affect people in the workplace and offer suggestions for how employers and employees alike can help those who suffer from these disabling headaches on the job.

Work-related migraines

You’ve probably heard of a migraine before, but what exactly is it? Migraines are intense, disabling headaches that cause pain on one side of the head and have other symptoms like nausea and sensitivity to light or sound.

People with migraines often can’t go about their daily tasks as they usually would because the pain is so severe. In fact, many people who suffer from migraines find themselves unable to work at all. And for people who do work while experiencing migraines—whether they have an episode at work or not—it can take several days off from work just to recover from these debilitating headaches.


If you’re an employer, it’s important to understand what migraines are and how they can affect your employee. A good place to start is by understanding the signs of a migraine. While you might think it’s just a headache, there are other indicators that someone may be having problems with their migraines:

  • They appear tense or agitated
  • They have trouble focusing on one thing at a time (i.e., they jump from task to task)
  • They make mistakes with simple tasks like adding numbers or sending emails

These signs can indicate that someone is experiencing problems with their migraines—and if left untreated for too long, these problems could become serious enough that they can interfere with work performance and productivity.

What your employer can do to help you

Your employer can help you in many ways. They should:

  • Give you time off to recover.
  • Provide a quiet place to rest, or allow you to go home if that’s what is needed.
  • Provide information about your condition and treatment options, such as providing resources or information sheets on migraines and disability rights.

What you can do to help yourself

You can take some steps to help yourself.

  • Take regular breaks from work, even if it seems like you don’t need them. The worst thing you can do is ignore a migraine and try to push through it. If you are having trouble concentrating or are feeling nauseated, take a break for awhile and relax somewhere quiet (preferably with the lights turned down).
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. You may not feel thirsty when you have a migraine but dehydration can make your symptoms worse so try to drink plenty of fluids each day.
  • Get plenty of sleep every night and make sure that your bedroom is dark and quiet so that it’s easier for your body to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. If possible, combine this with relaxation exercises such as yoga or meditation before bedtime as these have been shown to be helpful in relieving stress which can trigger migraines in many people

Migraines are hard but knowing what you’re dealing with and taking steps to help yourself will make it easier.

Migraines are hard, but you can get through them. To help yourself, you should take steps like telling your employer about your migraines and asking for accommodations. Your employer should be understanding and supportive of your needs as an employee with migraines.

It’s important to note that not everyone who gets headaches understands how debilitating they can be—and more importantly, how much work is involved in managing them. The following are a few things employers need to know:

  • Migraines affect the way people think and behave throughout the day due to their symptoms—not just during the headache itself
  • People with migraine may have trouble concentrating on their work because they’re dealing with other symptoms (like nausea)
  • A lot of time off from work can lead to financial problems if a person doesn’t plan ahead


Migraine headaches can be debilitating, but we hope that this article has given you some insight into what to do when a migraine hits at work. It’s important to know what your employer can do for you and how they can help make your life easier. You should also know about the steps that you can take on your own so that when the time comes for action, it will be easy!

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