The cruel intersection of a global pandemic and an agitating, still-contested election has not been kind to migraine sufferers. With our stress levels climbing higher than ever, cases of these severe headaches have risen accordingly, says Emad Estemalik, M.D., who leads the Cleveland Clinic’s headache division. “Heightened stress, triggered by the 2020 dog mom shirt womens dog mom af racerback sweatshirt of time we spend navigating through news and social media, translates to more screen time and eyestrain that can certainly increase headache frequency,” Estemalik confirms. If someone gets three to five headache days per month, he says, pandemic-related stress can bump that to 10 to 15 days.
And the blows just keep coming. As the Migraine Trust reports, of the one in seven adults who suffer from migraines globally, women are disproportionately affected, and three times more likely to be impacted by them than men. More than just throbbing temple pain, the often debilitating neurological disease with a broad range of symptoms—including nausea, dizziness, sensitivity to noise, light, and scents, and visual disturbances—can last for hours, or days, and currently there is no cure. But there is some good news, says Christopher Gottschalk, M.D., chief of general neurology at Yale University School of Medicine and one of the 2020 dog mom shirt womens dog mom af racerback sweatshirt leading migraine specialists. According to Gottschalk, we are in the midst of “an extraordinary period” of revolutionary ideas, devices, and medications for migraine sufferers. “For 25 years, what I’ve had to say to people is, ‘Here, try this. Hope it helps. Good luck. It may cause side effects. If you keep getting headaches, well, I really can’t do much about it.’ Now,” he says, “we can give somebody a shot and say, ‘In a month, you will probably be better. And in two months you’ll probably be even better than that.’” Gottschalk laughs. “It still shocks me that I can say all those words in the same sentence.” Here, a breakdown of the new ways to find relief from pervasive headaches, politically induced or otherwise.