This is affecting 39 million men, women and children in the U.S. and 1 billion worldwide. Everyone either knows someone who suffers from migraine, or struggles with neurological disease migraine themselves.
Most people don’t realize how serious and incapacitating migraine can be.
Migraine is much more than a bad headache.
For many sufferers, migraine is a chronic disease that significantly diminishes their quality of life.
Migraine disproportionately affects women.
Migraine affects kids, too.
Migraine is a public health issue with serious social and economic consequences.
In spite of the vast prevalence of migraine and its serious effect on individuals, families and the economy, research into the causes and treatment of migraine is severely underfunded.
People who suffer from chronic migraine use a combination of acute, preventive, and complementary treatments to try to control or lessen the incessant incapacitating pain. Depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances are common for those with chronic migraine, as are many other co-morbid conditions, such as bipolar disorder, arthritis and hypertension. About 88% of chronic migraine sufferers have at least one additional chronic comorbid condition. Over 20% of chronic migraine sufferers are disabled, and their overall quality of life is greatly diminished. The likelihood of disability increases sharply with the number of co-morbid chronic conditions.
Although there are many contributing factors to the progression from episodic to chronic migraine, medication over use is the most common. Over-the-counter and prescription drugs can cause overuse headaches. Overuse involves using pain killers, triptans, or certain other medications more than 2-3 days per week, week after week and month after month. This can create a headache-worsening pattern that results in more headaches and the need to take more medicine. Not only is the pattern itself harmful, but while in this cycle, treatments that were once effective often doing work. The only way out of this cycle is to stop the pattern of overuse, which should always be done under a doctor’s care.
Everyone either knows someone who suffers from migraine or struggles with migraine themselves. It is the third most prevalent illness in the world – 12% of the population, including 18% of American women, 6% of men, and 10% of children – has migraine. Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. households includes someone with migraine.
Migraine can be extremely incapacitating. It is the sixth most disabling illness in the world. Every 10 seconds, someone in the U.S. goes to the emergency room complaining of head pain, and approximately 1.2 million visits are for acute migraine attacks. While most sufferers have attacks once or twice a month, more than 4 million adults have chronic daily migraine, with at least 15 migraine days per month. And many have a migraine just about every day.
In addition to the attack-related disability, many sufferers live in fear knowing that at any time an attack could disrupt their ability to work or go to school, care for their families, or enjoy social activities. More than 90% of sufferers are unable to work or function normally during their migraine attacks.