Migraines and Quality of Life: Understanding the Debilitating Effects

June is declared to be the Migraine Awareness Month, which serves as a great opportunity to raise awareness about migraine and help break the stigma surrounding it.

Migraine is a common neurological condition that causes a throbbing, pulsing headache on one side of your head alongside a variety of symptoms.  It is one of the most disabling conditions worldwide as per the WHO (World Health Organization).

For the second consecutive year, the Emirates Neurology Society (EMINS) and Emirates Headache Chapter, are collaborating with Pfizer to conduct a nation-wide awareness campaign to educate the public about Migraines and to help undiagnosed or misdiagnosed patients get the help they need.

Migraine is a disease that does not get diagnosed easily, and this can be attributed to the lack of awareness about the condition among healthcare providers, who often dismiss the complaints of migraine patients telling them it’s “just a headache”. This has resulted in misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of so many patients, who continue to struggle with migraine symptoms without receiving adequate treatment.

Mrs. Manahil Reda, a migraine patient from KSA, speaks about her lengthy journey towards achieving her diagnosis. Going from one clinic to the other, juggling through doctor’s appointments and lots of painkillers, Manahil only received the correct migraine diagnosis after living with the condition for ten whole years.

“I have lost ten years of my life because of doctors who underestimated my complaints and never took them seriously’’, states Manahil in her testimonial, highlighting the gaps in diagnosis and emphasizing on the need for awareness campaigns across healthcare providers to improve the diagnosis process of migraine.

Migraine is more than just a headache, it is a cluster of symptoms that accompany a painful, frequent headache that could last for days. Some of these symptoms include nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and loud noises. These symptoms directly interfere with the patient’s life on so many levels.

 ‘’After I started my treatment, my life completely changed. My social life, my personal life, and even my career. ‘’ stated Manahil. She sends a message to all patients who are experiencing frequent and unusual headaches to seek help immediately, so they can get the treatment they need without going through the same lengthy process she went through.