Chances are a migraine has caused you to miss work or leave work early or made you unable to function while at work. When a migraine strikes, it can be nearly impossible to focus on anything. You may feel guilty about how your migraines affect your job performance and your relationship with coworkers and managers. Or you may have been afraid to tell them that you have migraines. Yet the key to managing migraines and work is communication.

It’s important to let coworkers and managers know about your condition and educate them about it. Here are some ideas for initiating communication.

Educate your coworkers. Those who don’t suffer from migraines often don’t have any idea how debilitating the pain can be. Ask your doctor for pamphlets about migraine to share with coworkers. Tell managers that you are working with your health care provider to keep your migraines under control.

Be honest. Acknowledge that your migraines can be disabling and that it is frustrating for you to miss work. Let coworkers know that migraines affect all aspects of your life, and that you miss out on leisure activities as well as work when a migraine hits.

Keep communication open. Talk with your coworkers and managers about how you will handle missed time from work. Perhaps you can work from home, make up hours when you feel well or set up a system with a coworker to cover important tasks for one another when one of you is absent.

Join a migraine support group. It may help you to talk with others who have migraines about how they handle their work situations. You can find a list of support groups at the National Headache Foundation website, or check with a local hospital.

Dealing with migraines is difficult enough without keeping it to yourself at work. You may find that talking openly about them will make work less stressful for everyone.

Medical Reviewer: [Chang, Alice MD, O'Brien, Chris RN, MPH] Last Annual Review Date: 2008-03-24T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright: Copyright Health Ink & Vitality Communications

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Migraines always strike with little warning.