Thursday 19 September 2019

Migraine 'more than a headache' for 700,000 sufferers

‘Stigma and prejudice’: 13,000 people get migraines each day. Stock image
‘Stigma and prejudice’: 13,000 people get migraines each day. Stock image
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

Most of the 700,000 migraine sufferers in Ireland face a continuous stigma that they are just over-reacting from a bad headache.

To mark Migraine Awareness Week, 100 people lined the Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin in solidarity with the State's one-in-seven sufferers.

Two in three believe the most common form of stigma they face is that they are over-reacting to a bad headache, according to the latest research.

It also revealed 13,000 people get migraines every day, while 70pc are most concerned about their quality of life being affected.

Working mother-of-three Ciara O'Rourke from Clonee, Co Meath, said migraine can be a crippling condition.

"Sometimes one of the hardest things to cope with is people seeing migraines as just headaches," she said.

"That's why this research is so important to raise greater awareness of the condition. I would ask people who don't have migraine not to jump to conclusions but to take the time to understand, just a little more, the impact of migraine for those affected by it.

"Equally, for those with migraine it is critical that they seek help to better manage their condition but also that they challenge preconceived ideas about migraine.

"Only then will we end prejudice and stigma toward the condition. As a busy working mother, migraine really has an impact on my home and professional life when it strikes.

"Thankfully I have extremely supportive family, friends and work colleagues who understand how devastating it can be," she said.

Clodagh Kevans, director of Teva Pharmaceuticals, said migraine is a debilitating condition.

"Our campaign aims to create a better awareness of the condition and encourage those with migraine to seek professional support," she said.

"Diagnosis and treatments are improving. Increasingly there is a greater understanding of the biology of the condition, and this is driving the development of new and emerging treatments," she added.

Irish Independent

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