Migraine: more than just a headache

New research to mark Migraine Awareness Week reveals gaps around awareness and understanding of migraine, as well as a stigma attached to the condition.01

100 people line the Samuel Beckett Bridge in solidarity with the 1 in 7 02 people suffering from migraines in the Republic of Ireland.

  • Visual demonstration marks the start of Migraine Awareness Week – a condition which impacts as many as 700,000 people living in the Republic of Ireland 03
  • Campaign focused on increasing public awareness of migraine, and differentiating the disorder from a “bad headache”: 2 in 3 migraine sufferers said that the most common form of stigma associated with migraine is that they are over-reacting to a bad headache 01
  • 70% of those with migraine are most concerned about their quality of life being impacted 01
  • Over half of people currently employed have either experienced a migraine at work or know someone who has 01
  • Only 2 out of 10 people are fully aware of and understand migraine 01

Clodagh Kevans, Director at Teva Pharmaceuticals said: “Migraine is more than just a headache but a debilitating condition, which is often poorly understood by the wider public. Our campaign aims to create a better awareness of the condition and encourage those with migraine to seek professional support.”

A hundred people lined Dublin’s iconic Samuel Beckett Bridge to promote public awareness and understanding of migraine, a neurological condition whose primary symptom is the onset of a typically severe, pulsating headache that is often accompanied by sensory disturbances and nausea.

The gathering, supported by Teva Pharmaceuticals Ireland (Teva), depicted the extent to which migraine impacts hundreds of thousands of Irish people.

1 in 7 people suffer from migraines in the Republic of Ireland 02, with the condition affecting 13,000 people on any given day – the majority forming part of the Irish workforce. 04 The bridge activation also marks the start of Migraine Awareness Week (1-7 September). Later this week, the International Headache Congress, attended by medical experts from around the globe, will take place at the nearby Convention Centre; it is the first time it has been held in Ireland.

Teva’s 1 in 7 migraine awareness campaign aims to educate the public as well as raise the profile of migraine and the extent to which it impacts on people living in the Republic of Ireland. Key findings from the research 01 include:

  • Almost 70% of migraine sufferers are concerned about their overall quality of life.
  • Nearly 50% are concerned about their productivity, and 20% are concerned about their family and relationships.
  • 2 in 3 migraine sufferers said that the most common form of stigma associated with migraine is that they are over-reacting to a bad headache.
  • 71% of sufferers have or know someone who has left work early or not finished a task in work due to migraine.
  • 36% of sufferers have left a job or reduced weekly hours due to migraine.

Ciara O’Rourke, a working mother who suffers from migraine, commented:

“Migraine can be a crippling condition. As a busy working mother, migraine, when it strikes, it really impacts on my home and professional life. Thankfully I have extremely supportive family, friends and work colleagues who understand how devastating it can be.

“Yet, sometimes one of the hardest things to cope with is people seeing migraines as just headaches. That’s why today’s research is so important to raise greater awareness of the condition. I would ask people who don’t have migraine not to jump to conclusions but to take the time to understand, just a little more, the impact of migraine for those affected by it.

“Equally for those with migraine is it critical that they seek help to better manage their condition, but also that they challenge preconceived ideas about migraine. Only then will we end prejudice and stigma toward the condition”, added Ms. O’Rourke.

Commenting, Neurologist Dr. Martin Ruttledge, from Beaumont Hospital said: “Migraine is a complex condition with a variety of symptoms, the main feature of which is a painful headache but can also include disturbed vision, sensitivity to light, sound or smells, or vomiting and nausea. Migraine attacks can be severe for the sufferer. It’s important to highlight the extent to which migraine affects people in Ireland and to encourage them to seek professional advice and support.”

Commenting, Clodagh Kevans, Director at Teva Pharmaceuticals, said: “Migraine is more than just a headache but a debilitating condition, which is often poorly understood by the wider public. Our campaign aims to create a better awareness of the condition and encourage those with migraine to seek professional support.

“For people living with migraine, diagnosis and treatments are improving. Increasingly there is a greater understanding of the biology of the condition, and this is driving the development of new and emerging treatments that help prevent migraine.”

To read more about the findings from the public survey on migraine carried out exclusively in Ireland please visit teva.ie/migrainepublicsurvey. If you, or someone you know suffers from, or are concerned about migraine and need support or advice, please talk to your Doctor or Pharmacist.


Original Teva Ref: IE/CPE/18/0013(3)b
Date of preparation: September 2019


References

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    Consumer Survey, undertaken by Amarach Research, of a representative sample 1,000 adults, on behalf of Teva Pharmaceuticals Ireland, March 2019

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    Migraine: Diagnosis and Management from a GP Perspective 10 December 2018 & Population of ROI (2018), www.cso.ie April 2018

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    Migraine: Diagnosis and Management from a GP Perspective 10 December 2018 Authors: Dr Mary Kearney Dr Martin Ruttledge Ms. Esther Tomkins. Page 6: https://www.icgp.ie

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    Migraine Ireland ‘Daily Attacks’ https://migraine.ie/supports-for-migraine/; Last accessed July 2019

Date of preparation: December 2020
Reference: COB-IE-NP-00028

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