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Migraines – Far More Than a Bad Headache

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

More than 37 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches, also known as vascular headaches. Unlike a regular headache, migraine headaches are debilitating, with extreme levels of sharp pain in the head and often in the ears or eyes.

Some patients experience extreme changes in their vision, which are known as ocular migraines. Most migraine headaches involve nausea and light sensitivity. These headaches last anywhere from four to seventy two hours. For some, stress triggers an episode, while others find that certain foods or exposure to certain chemical compounds trigger the headaches.

There is a general lack of understanding by non-migraine sufferers about the severity and impact of these vascular headaches. People are often stigmatized by employers and family members who do not comprehend the level of pain that they experience during these events. Unlike other disorders, the person does not always look like they are sick while experiencing a migraine headache.

The intensity of the pain and other symptoms make it impossible for the person to concentrate or think clearly. Sufferers often seek a quiet and dark place where they can try to get some relief.

Migraine sufferers miss work and social activities, and often are drained and exhausted after the headache does finally pass. Treatments for the migraine can be almost as debilitating as the headaches themselves. Certain drugs make patients too tired to drive or work. Others don’t feel confident taking the Triptan class of medications, which work by promoting constriction of blood vessels and blocking pain pathways in the brain. They are concerned about the possible side effects, particularly for patients at risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Anti-nausea drugs are frequently prescribed to treat the overwhelming nausea that often accompanies migraine headaches. These too can lead to side effects and need to be prescribed with care. Opiates and steroids are also used to treat migraines, but they are used only when all other options have been exhausted.

If you suffer from migraines and the episodes make it impossible for you to perform the material tasks of your occupation, you may have considered filing for a long-term disability insurance claim. These types of claims are particularly challenging because when an individual is not in the throes of a vascular headache, they are typically fine and can function very well. The problem is, it is impossible for the individual to anticipate when the migraine will strike or how severe it will be. For someone who can stop what they are doing and take a break or halt working altogether while the headache is in progress, it is possible to continue working. But an occupation that requires a high degree of concentration, focus and clarity will be extremely challenging for an individual while they are suffering from the intense pain of a vascular headache.

The unpredictable nature of migraine headaches makes it extremely challenging for individuals to maintain a full work-load. If you or someone you love suffers from migraine headaches, there may be a point in time when you are considering filing for disability benefits. This particularly challenging condition requires the skillful handling of an experienced disability claims attorney who can help navigate filing a claim from the start or fighting when a claim has been denied.

If you need help, don’t wait. Call our office today at 877-LTD-CLAIM (877-583-2524).

Jason A. Newfield

Written By:

Jason A. Newfield - Disability Insurance Attorney

Jason Newfield is a founding partner of the disability insurance law firm Frankel & Newfield. He has spent the majority of his legal career advocating for the rights of disabled workers. He has lectured other professionals, worked on a Federal Advisory committee, and published many articles in the field of disability insurance claims and litigation.

Learn more about Jason | See Jason’s Publications



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