It is a myth that there is still a common belief that migraine is a simple headache. This disease destroys the daily life of many patients - experts argue. They add that in the case of migraines, a painkiller is not enough, it needs appropriate treatment.
The claim that migraine is a common headache that can be treated with a simple painkiller is the most repeated superstition. It is also quite common to believe that it is a triviality, often an excuse that due to it, sick leave should not be issued. Meanwhile, migraine is a serious neurological disease of the brain. It suffers from 300 thousand. Poles - according to the report of the National Institute of Public Health-National Institute of Hygiene "The social significance of migraine from the perspective of public health and the health care system".
"I have often heard from others that I am exaggerating, I should pull myself together: + Take a pill and it will surely pass +. It is very harmful, but perhaps the worst thing is that some patients do not find understanding also among their loved ones. Meanwhile, the pain is often so strong that I do not have the strength to get out of bed, get dressed, not to mention working, ”says Magdalena Bednar, who has been struggling with chronic migraine for about 15 years.
Experts also convince about it. They point out that the diagnosis of migraine is not only about finding the ailments described by the patients. The diagnosis of this disease is based on the international clinical criteria of the Headache Classification Committee of the International Headache Society. Any neurologist can distinguish it from other types of headache.
“The diagnosis of chronic migraine cannot and is not based solely on the subjective feelings of the patient. We have the appropriate international diagnosis criteria (ICHD-3) at our disposal, which make it possible to diagnose a patient with migraine without any doubts ”- emphasizes Magdalena Boczarska-Jedynak, MD, PhD, neurologist, president of the Prevent Foundation.
The specialist points out that depression and Parkinson's disease are diagnosed with similar objective methods. “Patients also use diaries to record their symptoms and their severity each day, which allows them to gauge the number of days with headache or migraine pain. Our knowledge and experience as neurologists allow us to make the right decisions, determine the treatment path and check its effectiveness ”- he adds.
There are two main forms of migraine: episodic and chronic. The latter is the most troublesome as it is associated with a headache lasting at least 15 days a month, including at least eight days with migraine pain. For many patients, it means six months of life with great pain. And these are often young people who are excluded from social, professional and family life by the disease.
Migraine is one of the root causes of disability caused by neurological diseases. It causes ailments such as nausea and vomiting, hypersensitivity to sound and light, as well as to noise and touch. The headache is throbbing, throbbing, hard to bear. It may happen that the patient feels it bilaterally or alternately. Usually, however, it is concentrated on one side, around the forehead, temples, and also around the eye.
“This pain requires the patient to lock himself in a dark, quiet room, isolate himself from other people, even from his family. Every slightest rustle, music playing, movement, touch make this throbbing pain in the head intensify, so every member of the household is forced to remain silent, ”explains Magdalena Bednar.
During a migraine attack, the patient is unable to perform his professional duties and may even have difficulty commuting. He should not travel by public transport alone, let alone drive a car. In addition, he often suffers from other diseases such as insomnia, anxiety disorders, depression, obesity and hypertension.
It is very important to treat migraines properly, with therapies adjusted to each patient. Usually, headache remedies will not stop the migraine attack. In some patients, anti-epileptic drugs, antihypertensive drugs and antidepressants are helpful. However, they are not always effective and accepted by patients due to side effects. Some of them stop treatment, exposing themselves to even greater ailments.
The president of the Polish Neurological Society, prof. Jarosław Sławek. “The medications we use today in the prophylactic treatment of migraine are not working. They are ineffective and often poorly tolerated by patients. A particular challenge for doctors is the group of chronic migraine patients with comorbid depression, as it sometimes happens that they cannot take antidepressants, as these can cause headaches. One disease precludes treatment of the other. For many patients who cannot take oral medications, we have nothing to offer, ”he says.
He points out that until recently there were no medications designed to treat migraine, neurologists used those used in other diseases. “However, we have already registered modern drugs intended for patients suffering from migraines. These are monoclonal antibodies that show high efficiency and safety and are well tolerated by patients, and botulinum toxin. For those suffering from chronic migraine that prevents them from living normally, it is a great hope for a better tomorrow. We hope that they will soon be in the drug program, and we, doctors, will finally be able to relieve our patients, ”adds the president of the Polish Neurological Society.
According to the report "The social significance of migraine from the perspective of public health and health care system", in 2018 a total of over 95,000 people were registered. days of sick leave due to sick leave issued to persons diagnosed with migraine. Indirect costs related to the absenteeism and presenteeism of this disease are estimated at approx. PLN 6-8.5 billion. (PAP)