Work from home increases migraine among working professionals

Published on October 28, 2021 by

No fixed hours and excess workload increases migraines among working professionals.


Bangalore: Neurologists say there has been an increase in migraine among patients by 40% in the city compared to the pre pandemic years.

Dr Subhash Gowda, neurologist at Fortis hospital said, “During pandemic there has been an increase in migraine patients by 30 to 40% at least. In two days, you can say I have seen about 15 to 20 patients.”

A migraine episode is a type of headache which can last for several days. There are several causes for migraine such as hormonal changes, stress, anxiety, and the intake of certain medications. However, due to the pandemic, work from home has become a catalyst to this problem.

Neurologists also say that one of the major causes of migraine is spending long hours in front of the computer. The lack of breaks and proper ventilation inside the house is another reason.

Working professionals feel that frequent headaches reduce the efficiency of their work. They complain about their inability to concentrate on their work for long hours. It also effects their sleep cycle.

Jijesh RG, who suffers from migraines said, “The headaches sometimes get so severe that I have no option but to excuse myself from office despite working from home. There have been days when I could not sleep even after I was so tired because my headache was too severe.”

Experts say that it is possible to take a break when working in office but not when working from home. Moreover, excessive stress while working from home is a major contributing factor in an increase in the number of migraine cases.

Dr Manas Panigrahi, professor of neurology in Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences said, “When they work from home it is not an 8 hour job, it has become a 16 hours, 24 hours job so the effective duration of work has increased in work from home and exposure to the radiation of the screen has also increased.”

A study by National Center for Biotechnology Information showed that there was an increase of 59.6% of migraine patients who reported an increase in the number of migraines they suffered from. Experts also say that too many distractions during work from home is another reason that leads to an increase in the number of cases.

Hence, it is important to take frequent breaks during work to cope with the stress and prevent frequent migraine attacks.

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