'Sometimes it's hard to even speak' - TD Maria Bailey on the debilitating misery of migraines
The misery of a migraine can be so debilitating that sufferers struggle to speak, according to Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey, who is among the 700,000 Irish people living with the condition.
Sharing her experience with parliamentary colleagues to mark National Brain Awareness Week, she said: "With so many Irish people impacted by migraine, I felt it was really important to increase awareness of the condition among my colleagues.
"While Leinster House is filled with politicians who can directly influence policy in terms of improving healthcare services, it is also a workplace where many politicians and staff are likely affected by migraine.
"Migraine can be a really debilitating condition, and even doing basic tasks like speaking can be a struggle when an attack is at its peak," she said.
"Today's event is about learning more about the condition and improving our knowledge.
"But it is also to get the message out that by staying on top of your condition, knowing the triggers and doing the basics right in terms of sleep, diet and exercise - supported by medicines if required - it is possible to better manage your migraine," said the Dún Laoghaire TD.
Patrick Little, of the Migraine Association of Ireland, said there needs to be more neurologists and specialist nurses recruited to reduce waiting times.
He called for the accelerated rollout of the national clinical programme for neurology, which would provide a roadmap for services in Ireland.
"Almost three years on, the progress towards its implementation has been slow," he added.