You wake up to get ready for work and notice it while you’re brushing your teeth: The dark spots in your vision that herald an oncoming migraine. By the time you’re done in the shower, you’ve started to feel the dizziness. Within an hour, you know you’ll be curled up in the fetal position with splitting headache pain, fighting nausea and trying to block out the sound of the neighbor’s dog — every distant bark will be like a knife in your brain. You certainly won’t get any work done like this. But whether or not you feel comfortable calling in sick could depend more on your employer than on your symptoms.
Many Workplaces Don’t Take Migraine Seriously
While most people won’t get in trouble for calling in sick with a migraine once or twice, for those with chronic migraine, they may find that an employer’s lack of understanding could quickly turn their health issue into a problem at work.
Recent research by charitable organizations found that two out of three migraine sufferers said that their employer doesn’t understand migraines and how they affect employees. In fact, the poll of over 2,000 adults, many of whom suffer migraines regularly, showed that 70% of people don’t even know that migraine can be classified as a disability. In fact, migraine is ranked as the twelfth most disabling disorder in the United States, with more than 90% of sufferers unable to function normally while experiencing an attack.
Since migraine affects significantly more women than men, gender may play a factor as well. It’s becoming more widely recognized that women’s pain is often treated as less serious than men’s, which may lead to the overall dismissal of illnesses that primarily affect women.
Could Your Migraines Be TMJ-Related?
If your workplace isn’t supportive of your struggle with migraines, all hope is not lost. Once you have a diagnosis, a medical professional may be able to provide information to your employer to communicate the seriousness of the disorder, and confirm that when a migraine strikes, you may be completely unable to work. Make sure you understand your protections under the FMLA and other federal and state laws.
Of course, even if your employer is understanding, losing work days due to migraine isn’t pleasant and can make doing your job difficult, particularly if migraines often force you to cancel meetings or miss deadlines. That’s why finding an effective migraine treatment is such a top priority for most migraine sufferers.
While migraines can be triggered by many things, if your migraine is related to TMJ, there is light at the end of the tunnel: A neuromuscular dentist can relieve pain and related symptoms, including migraine, with treatment. To learn if TMJ might be responsible for your headache problems, check out these six signs.
Call (803) 781-9090 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with an experienced TMJ dentist right here in Columbia, SC. Your TMJ-related migraines don’t have to stop you from your work and your life!