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Are migraines really a common illness and potential disability?


In last week's post, this blog covered the Social Security Administration's Listing of Impairments. Specifically, it discussed conditions like migraine headaches and the fact that, just because that particular condition is not included on the Listing of Impairments, does not mean that a person suffering from migraines won't qualify for Social Security Disability benefits for illness. But how big of a problem are migraine headaches, and can they really render a person disabled when it comes to working?

Based on data from the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention Study, tens of millions of people in the United States suffer from migraines. In fact, the World Health Organization has rated migraines as the third most common disease in the world.

Migraines are not only a common illness, but they also can take a heavy toll on a person who has them. For this reason, the WHO classifies them as the eighth most burdensome illness in the world. A migraine is much worse than just a regular headache and they can cause terrible pain and suffering. Migraines can last for days and can cause severe pain and nausea in addition to other symptoms, like increased sensitivity to sound, light and odors.

When a person suffers from migraines, they may not be able to function normally and participate in everyday activities like going to work. Moreover, in between migraines, the person can have anxiety about when the next attack will come, and migraines can lead to other mental issues like depression.

Medication does exist to treat chronic migraines and, like other illnesses, people can help combat them by living a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and a sensible diet. However, even medicine and good health may not be enough to keep migraines from having a major impact on a person's life.

People in the Houston area who suffer from chronic migraines should understand their options for medical treatment and care. But they should also know that if the illness renders them unable to work and earn a living, they may be able to qualify for SSD benefits to help with everyday bills and medical expenses.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Reducing the Burden of Migraine," Dawn Buse, Accessed on June 28, 2016

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