Migraines blight county’s economy

NDET 4-9-12 RKH 5 Migraine sufferer Anna.
NDET 4-9-12 RKH 5 Migraine sufferer Anna.

A Chesterfield businesswoman says migraines have blighted her working life - as new figures reveal the cost of the condition on the county’s firms.

Anna Melton, 38, of Wingerworth, who runs her own PR agency, first started suffering from migraines when she was a teenager – and they came back with a vengeance when she was pregnant with her first child.

She said: “People think they are just bad headaches, but they’re not.”

“Sometimes it got so bad that I’d fill the sink with cold water and plunge my head in there for as long as I could bear – anything to get some relief from the pain,” she added.

Changes to her diet, recommended by her midwife, along with painkillers, have enabled the mum-of-two to manage the condition better.

Dr Richard Bull, a GP at Gosforth Valley Medical Centre, added: “Migraines can and do have a massively detrimental effect on people’s lives. They can be socially disabling too because regular headaches cause patients to miss work or school, or even lapse into depression.”

Businesses in Derbyshire lost £14.6 m last year after migraines forced 910 people a day to take time off work, according to NHS North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group and the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce.

This is the equivalent of 229,000 people a year. George Cowcher, caief executive of DNCC, said: “As these figures show, migraines can have a significant impact not only in the workplace but also on the local economy.”