Migraine Awareness in 2023

The Migraine Trust is an organisation dedicated to helping anyone in the UK affected by migraine. Migraine awareness is important, especially as stats show that 1 in 7 people in the UK live with migraine attacks. The Trust is the only UK migraine charity who:

  • Provide migraine awareness information
  • Offer support to people suffering with migraine
  • Fund and promote research
  • Campaign for awareness
  • Call for change

The Migraine Trust aims to eventually find a cure for migraine.

What is migraine?

Raising migraine awareness is key to ensure that people understand it is not “just a headache”. Migraine attacks can include symptoms such as:

  • Head pain
  • Sight issues such as flashing lights
  • Light, sound and smell sensitivity
  • Fatigue
  • Both feeling and being sick

Migraine attacks can last a few hours, or a few days, and there are two main categories of migraine. The most common is a migraine without aura which means there is no warning an attack is about to occur. The second is migraine with aura which means there are warning signs that commonly affect your sight.

For more information about the difference between a headache and a migraine, please see the link below:


Who gets migraine?

Statistics show that around 1 in 7 people suffer from migraine.

Managing your migraine

Keep a headache diary if you suffer from frequent attacks. This can help you to recognise triggers and, more importantly, aid your doctor in making an accurate diagnosis. Diary templates are available to download from The Migraine Trust website.

Exercise can both help to reduce attacks or trigger an attack. Make sure you choose the right type of exercise with the correct preparation. A warm-up prior to exercise can make a big difference.

Avoid migraine triggers. If you know that a certain type of food triggers a migraine attack, then avoiding it is a good idea. Tyramine, MSG, nitrates and aspartame are known to be triggers for a migraine attack. Caffeine could also be responsible.

Another factor is sleep. Try to adopt a regular sleeping pattern, as too little or too much sleep can trigger a migraine attack.

As you can see, there are many factors that affect migraine attack, and keeping a headache diary can help you to monitor and plot your migraine occurrences.

Raising migraine awareness will help millions of people in the UK who currently suffer from regular attacks. On November 22nd, 2023, there is an information event from The Migraine Trust, available free via Zoom. This will feature information about new treatments, as well as a Q & A session.


Migraine awareness in the workplace

Statistics confirm that over 43,000,000 days are lost each year from the workplace or school because of migraine. If you suffer from migraine attacks at work, your daily routine can be adversely affected, and several factors may be at play.

Stress and anxiety can cause migraine attacks to occur. Stress at work can have a detrimental effect on your sleep, eating habits and general wellbeing, with these all being potential triggers for migraine.

If you have an office-based job, you may find too much screen time is an issue. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have specific guidelines that should be followed when using Display Screen Equipment. Employers have a duty to ensure that DSE users are working within the guidelines and that they are providing the right equipment for their staff. If you use DSE frequently as part of your job, then your employer should be doing a number of things, including:

  • Analysing your workstation to reduce any risks
  • Providing information and training
  • Providing eyesight tests upon request
  • Making sure the correct controls are in place

Your employer should be made aware if your doctor believes that excess screen time is one of your key triggers. Although timescales are not confirmed, your employer should ensure you have organised or scheduled breaks to help prevent fatigue, eye strain, backache and limb issues.

Are migraine attacks covered by private medical insurance?

If you have private medical insurance, it is likely that frequent migraine attacks will be classed as chronic. Essentially, if this is the case, once diagnosed, the NHS will treat you for routine medication and monitoring. If your migraines were diagnosed prior to your policy starting, they are likely to be excluded as a pre-existing medical condition.

Your exclusion will depend on the type of underwriting you have chosen. Private medical insurance is designed to cover acute medical conditions. You can, however, sometimes find a policy that will cover an element of chronic condition treatment. Ask your broker to provide you with the necessary information if you need cover of this type.

A company cash plan could help in this situation because they do not exclude pre-existing conditions. Many of the benefits could help you with your treatment for migraine attacks:

  • Counselling for stress
  • Osteopathy or physiotherapy for physical symptoms
  • Reiki or aromatherapy to help with physical wellbeing and stress
  • Consultations and diagnostic testing to achieve an accurate diagnosis

Look at all your available options and increase your migraine awareness. This will, more importantly, help you to manage your symptoms.

Our team can help you find a great health insurance solution today.

The team at Ascend Broking group cannot help you with managing your migraine, but we can signpost you to the best places for help! Our experts can find you a great health insurance option for yourself, your family or your business. Having a good private medical insurance policy will not guarantee your recovery, but it will help you to access treatment fast. Whatever you are looking for, let us help you navigate the health insurance market. We want you to access the right policy first time, every time!

You can contact us via email, enquiries@ascendhealth.co.uk or via telephone, 01245 929129, whichever is most convenient for you.

We do not have a call centre and we are not affiliated to any insurer. Our advice is based on your requirements only. We will let you know at the start of your policy if there are any cover restrictions based on your pre-existing medical conditions and medical history.