Migraine is a debilitating neurological disease, ranking consistently among the top 10 leading causes of years lived with disability, worldwide. The main symptom of migraine is an enduring headache, along with symptoms such as severe pain on one side of the head or throbbing pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea. Despite being a very common headache disorder that affects roughly 15 percent of the adult population worldwide, it remains inadequately understood and most neglected.
In Delhi, approximately 25 per cent of the population suffers from migraines, every year.
While migraine is an invisible condition, it can severely impact individuals across personal, professional and social domains, thus affecting the overall quality of life and productivity. Work-from-home, or the 'new normal,' has drastically impacted the lives of people suffering from migraines from an inability to concentrate at work to missed workdays. It has become even more urgent to ensure that individuals have the understanding and tools to effectively manage migraines.
There is a lack of understanding amongst people about the severity of migraines. In a study we recently conducted, about 50 to 60 per cent of migraineurs were undiagnosed, despite recurrent headaches. Because migraine falls on a spectrum, ranging from infrequent or mild attacks to recurrent ones, many pass it off as merely a headache'. With busy work-from-home schedules, paired with fear of contracting COVID-19 infection and difficulty in accessing in-person care, people are avoiding seeking medical help for the condition, instead attributing symptoms to associated comorbidities, such as stress or depression."
He continued, "Financial worries due to job loss or salary cuts also contribute to aggravated migraine attacks, which is more noticeable recently. The effects of migraine on one's quality of life also reportedly worsened, particularly for many migraineurs working as essential healthcare workers at this time.
Symptom neglect and failure to treat the condition can lead to migraines becoming chronic. A fundamental need is to recognize migraine as a serious condition with severe disability and adopt a holistic treatment approach. Early detection can be a key enabler of a smoother patient journey and an improved quality of life."
Here are 5 ways to manage your migraine while working from home:
Identify Risk Factors and Monitor Triggers
Migraines can begin at any age but tend to peak during one's prime productive years. Moreover, women are three times more likely to be affected than men, with prevalence peaking between the ages of 25 and 55 years.
Long hours of working from home, along with longer screen times, disrupted sleep schedules and irregular eating habits can increase stress levels. For migraineurs, such changes can become migraine triggers, exacerbating their condition. Identifying personal triggers can help individuals manage their migraines better.
Make The Right Choice for Diet and Lifestyle
Working from home can be hard, but a daily routine that optimizes your physical and mental health can help keep your migraine at bay. Eating healthy meals at appropriate times or consuming small, frequent meals throughout the day are associated with less frequent migraine headaches. Taking breaks from work at regular intervals can help you eat right and reduce eye strain owing to excessive screen use. Making modifications to your lifestyle, including smoking cessation and reduced alcohol consumption, and maintaining optimal sleeping habits and exercising regularly can be key to manage migraines. These also benefit migraine prevention and treatment.
Talk to An Expert
It is important to consult a medical specialist when you are experiencing severe headaches that disrupt your daily routine. A lot of migraineurs hesitate to seek medical help. This could be due to several reasons lack of understanding of migraine severity, lack of time due to hectic work-from-home schedules, or recently, due to a reduction in-person clinic consultations owing to the fear of Covid-19 infection. However, consulting a neurologist, even via teleconsultations, is a necessary step to diagnose your condition and understand the available options for acute and chronic management of migraine, including preventive treatment. With evidence-based information on effects across migraine intensity reduction, quality of life and ease of use, neurologists can guide you on the most suitable treatment option to prevent or reduce your migraine episodes.
Track Your Migraines
It is a good idea to maintain a diary (or download a migraine tracker app), to record the time and severity of your migraine attacks, symptoms, daily diet, exercise routines, and medications and side effects. This can help identify triggers and patterns. It can also prompt meaningful conversations with your doctor, contributing to a more holistic treatment plan, personalized to suit your work schedule.
Seek Support From Your Family, Friends or Colleagues
Living with migraines can make one feel helpless, distressed and misunderstood. But talking to your friends and family will help them understand your condition better. Having an open conversation about your migraine with your employer is a good idea, particularly to work out a schedule, with specific routine adjustments to mitigate triggers. This can help you be productive and healthy while working from home. Employers can also take the initiative -- arranging wellness programs for employees to raise awareness about migraines and how to effectively manage them at work and enhance productivity.
Migraine attacks can be challenging. Changes to your daily routine and active communication about your condition with your employer, after consulting a neurologist, can help you better manage migraines as you work from home.
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New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) A group of 23 MPs from the Rajya Sabha met Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Mansukh Mandaviya seeking the ministry's immediate intervention to provide treatment to eligible patients diagnosed with Group 3 (a) rare genetic conditions, like Lysosomal Storage Disorders (LSDs).The Parliamentary group also submitted a memorandum to Mandaviya, drawing his attention to the urgent need for prioritisation of treatment for patients diagnosed with Group 3(a) rare genetic conditions. "Despite the notification of the much-awaited National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2021 in March this year, these patients continue to be at grave risk due to the lack of any sustainable funding mechanism for treatment," the MPs said."We would like to draw your immediate attention towards the need to prioritise treatment for at least the ultra-rare diseases -- treatable conditions which have an even lesser prevalence as compared to others; and for which the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved therapies are available in India," the memorandum stated, requesting the Union Minister to: (a) Extend the Umbrella Scheme of Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) to all Group 3 (a) patients with treatable conditions, and (b) Transfer the unspent funds from the previous years' budgetary allocation to provide treatment for eligible patients diagnosed with treatable conditions."Several countries, including the developing economies like Brazil, Argentina, Algeria, and Egypt, have robust reimbursement mechanisms in place (often 100 per cent) for dealing with rare diseases, or have earmarked funds out of their healthcare budgets, specifically for these purposes," the members wrote, explaining that unlike diabetes or any other common ailment, the number of rare disease patients is very small. "Without any support from the government, parents of these children are left with no option but to look on in despair, despite the availability of approved therapies in India," the statement said.Led by Fauzia Khan and her party colleague from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Vandana Chavan, the memorandum was signed by MPs from several states, including Maharashtra, Kerala, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Rajasthan and Gujarat, to name a few."While we welcome the Government of India's efforts to mobilise funds through crowdfunding and involving corporate India and the PSUs, this process may take some time. Through this joint representation, we would like to draw your immediate attention to the condition of close to 200-odd eligible patients -- diagnosed with Group 3(a) disorders -- whose lives are at risk owing to the long delay in providing support for treatment," they stated.--IANSmiz/dpb
New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Monday said all spa operators have to abide with conditions imposed in the order passed by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) for their re-opening amid the Covid pandemic.As Delhi government counsel cited the July 24 order, issued by the DDMA containing strict conditions for re-opening, a bench of Justice Rekha Palli insisted that spa operators have to abide by these. "They have to." According to the latest unlock guidelines, the DDMA has allowed spas to open from July 26, but all their employees have to be fully vaccinated or undergo RT-PCR test fortnightly. The court made this observation during the hearing pleas to reopen spas, which have been shut since the beginning of the lockdown in the capital against the backdrop of second wave of Covid.It emphasised that it is needless to say that all spa operators will abide by the conditions set out in the order, as it disposed of the petitions after taking note of Delhi government counsel's submissions and also made it clear that it would refrain from getting into the details of the conditions imposed upon the spa operators.The Delhi Wellness Spa Association, in its plea, had submitted that Delhi government's decision to not open spas was arbitrary, unlawful, and unwarranted. It argued that all similar activities, such as gym and salons, have been allowed to open but spas are yet to be permitted to begin their operations.Last week, the court had said it expected the Delhi government to take a final decision on re-opening spas. It asked the government to consider the centres can be permitted to start functioning subject to conditions amid the pandemic.On July 5, the court had sought reply from Delhi government and the Centre on the plea filed by owners of two spa centres, alleging excessive delay in issuing guidelines to reopen spa centres. The court had sought explanation from the Delhi government as to why spas were not permitted, against the backdrop of the January order which directed the reopening of spa centres closed during the first wave of the pandemic.--IANSss/vd
Washington, July 13 (IANS) The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) added a new warning on the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, saying the jabhas been linked to a serious but rare side effect called Guillain-Barre syndrome.Guillain Barre syndrome is a neurological disorder in which the body's immune system damages nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis, Xinhua news agency reported citing the FDA as saying.The syndrome has occurred in some people who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the FDA in a letter on Monday. In most of these people, symptoms began within 42 days following injections of the vaccine, it added.The chance of having this occur is very low, the agency said.About 100 preliminary reports of Guillain-Barre syndrome have been detected in vaccine recipients after the administration of 12.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson jab in the US, The Washington Post quoted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as saying in a statement.Of these reports, 95 were serious and required hospitalization, and one had dead.The cases have largely been reported about two weeks after vaccination and mostly in men, many aged 50 and older, according to the CDC.Johnson & Johnson said on Monday it has been in discussions with the FDA and other regulators about rare cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome.The chance of having this occur is very low, and the rate of reported cases exceeds the background rate by a small degree, the company said in a statement. --IANSksk/
New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) Eleven individuals who received the AstraZeneca-Oxford Covid-19 vaccine have developed a rare neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome, clinicians in India and England have reported in two separate studies.The studies, published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Annals of Neurology, describe an unusual variant of Guillain-Barre syndrome characterised by prominent facial weakness. All the eleven cases were among people who had received that vaccine 10-22 days earlier.Seven cases were reported from a regional medical center in Kerala, India, where approximately 1.2 million people were vaccinated with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine till April 22. The cases occurred within two weeks of the first dose of vaccination."Six out of the seven patients progressed to areflexic quadriplegia and required mechanical ventilatory support," said Boby Varkey Maramattom, from the Department of Neurology, Aster Medcity, Kochi, Kerala."The frequency of GBS was 1.4 to 10 fold higher than that expected in this period for a population of this magnitude. In addition, the frequency of bilateral facial weakness, which typically occurs in less than 20 per cent of GBS cases, suggests a pattern associated with the vaccination," he added.Four cases were reported from Nottingham, England, in which approximately 700,000 people received the same vaccine. These were characterised by bifacial weakness with a paraesthesias variant of GBS occurring within three weeks of vaccination with the Oxford-AstraZeneca SARS-CoV-2 vaccine."This rare neurological syndrome has previously been reported in association with SARS-CoV-2 infection itself. Our cases were given either intravenous immunoglobulin, oral steroids, or no treatment," said Jonathan Rhys Evans, Department of Neurology, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, UK."If the link is causal it could be due to a cross-reactive immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and components of the peripheral immune system," wrote the authors of the report from England.While the benefits of vaccination substantially outweigh the risk of this relatively rare outcome (5.8 per million), the research groups stressed that clinicians should be alert to this possible adverse event and look for this rare neurological syndrome following administration of Covid-19 vaccines."We suggest vigilance for cases of bifacial weakness with paraesthesias variant GBS following vaccination for SARS-CoV-2 and that post-vaccination surveillance programmes ensure robust data capture of this outcome, to assess for causality," Evans said.--IANSrvt/dpb
New Delhi, May 19 (IANS) Goggle researchers have showcased an AI-powered dermatology assist tool that will help you understand whats going on with issues related to your bodys largest organ: skin, hair and nails.The AI-powered tool is a web-based application that Google hopes to launch as a pilot later this year, to make it easier to figure out what might be going on with your skin. "Once you launch the tool, simply use your phone's camera to take three images of the skin, hair or nail concern from different angles. You'll then be asked questions about your skin type, how long you've had the issue and other symptoms that help the tool narrow down the possibilities," said Peggy Bui, MD, Product Manager, Google Health.The AI model analyses this information and draws from its knowledge of 288 conditions to give you a list of possible matching conditions that you can then research further.For each matching condition, the tool will show dermatologist-reviewed information and answers to commonly asked questions, along with similar matching images from the web. "The tool is not intended to provide a diagnosis nor be a substitute for medical advice as many conditions require clinician review, in-person examination, or additional testing like a biopsy. Rather we hope it gives you access to authoritative information so you can make a more informed decision about your next step," But said during the Google I/O Developer Conference late on Tuesday.The company also shared new AI research that aims to improve screening for one of the top causes of death worldwide: tuberculosis (TB) that infects 10 million people per year.To help catch the disease early and work toward eventually eradicating it, Google researchers have developed an AI-based tool that builds on its existing work in medical imaging to identify potential TB patients for follow-up testing. In a new study released this week, the Google team found that the right deep learning system can be used to accurately identify patients who are likely to have active TB based on their chest X-ray. "By using this screening tool as a preliminary step before ordering a more expensive diagnostic test, our study showed that effective AI-powered screening could save up to 80% of the cost per positive TB case detected," said Google.The AI-based tool was able to accurately detect active pulmonary TB cases with false-negative and false-positive detection rates that were similar to 14 radiologists. This accuracy was maintained even when examining patients who were HIV-positive, a population that is at higher risk of developing TB and is challenging to screen because their chest X-rays may differ from typical TB cases."Later this year, we plan to expand this work through two separate research studies with our partners, Apollo Hospitals in India and the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ)," the company informed.--IANSna/