Headache at work

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

According to the most recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 3.5 million Americans miss work each month due to an injury, illness, medical problem, or doctor’s appointment. While missing work cannot often be avoided, absenteeism does have an impact on the economy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that missed work due to illness and injury costs employers over 225 billion dollars a year.

Stress, back pain, depression, diseases such as diabetes, and minor illnesses such as the flu, are all common health issues that cause employees to miss work. One more reason thousands of Americans call in sick every day is due to a debilitating type of headache called migraine.

Millions of Americans Suffer with Migraines

More than 38 million Americans are plagued with migraines, which means that 13 percent of the country’s population gets these painful headaches. About 11 million migraine sufferers say they consider their headaches to be a moderate to severe disability. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), migraines, which can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours, rank as the 19th most common reason for disability.

People who don’t get migraines might say that calling a migraine a disability is an overstatement, but these headaches are completely debilitating. Not only do they cause severe throbbing pain, they cause other symptoms as well including nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, dizziness, and blurred vision. In order to combat migraines, many Americans take prescription drugs. In fact, those who get migraines take twice as many prescription drugs as those who don’t get them. Along with medications, getting adequate bed rest and restricting activities are necessary in order to fully recover from a migraine. For some, migraines are so severe they end up in the emergency room.

The Impact of Migraines on the Work Force

Up to 91 percent of those who suffer with migraines say that getting one has forced them to call in sick and 51 percent of them say that migraines cut their work productivity in half. According the most recent statistics, missed work due to migraines costs the United States up to 17.2 billion dollars a year in loss of productivity.

Unfortunately, the cause of migraines aren’t completely understood. People who get migraines learn to recognize the thing that triggers their headaches. Some of these triggers include incandescent lighting, stress, eyestrain, skipped meals, caffeine, and lack of sleep. For working Americans, it is a vicious cycle when they miss work because their triggers are work-related.