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Headache experts seeing a 20% increase in migraines during the pandemic

Whether COVID-19 is the root of your head pain or another ailment, there are ways to fight the frequency if you've been suffering from headaches and migraines.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Experts say they're seeing a 20% increase in migraines during the pandemic, due to an increased level of financial stress in addition to many parents having to act as a teacher while still working. 

"The pandemic has been a perfect storm for the increase in migraines," Dr. Charisse Litchman, MD, FAHS said. 

Dr. Litchman, a neurologist and headache expert with Nurx, said they have developed a new treatment via telemedicine following patient demand. 

It allows patients to meet with a provider, be virtually examined, and come up with a plan together to treat headaches and migraines. 

It's worth noting, Nurx does predominately cover women's health by providing accessible birth control and believes "it's not just about preventing unplanned pregnancy, but upholding personal liberty. Your body. Your choice. It's that simple." That's according to their website

That aside, Dr. Litchman said, so many of their patients have reported an increase of suffering from headaches and migraines since the pandemic. 

In addition to that, she also believes telemedicine is here to stay even after COVID-19 is in our past. 

“In the country, we are seeing about a 20% increase in the number of migraines that people are suffering from," Dr. Litchman said. "You have to keep an eye out to make sure that there isn’t something else going on because headaches are occurring in about 18% of people who have COVID.” 

Whether COVID-19 is the root of your head pain or another ailment, there are ways to fight the frequency if you've been suffering from headaches and migraines more lately too.

Dr. Litchman said many times people are "not drinking enough." People may be drinking more coffee instead of water to kick the headaches. Additionally, screen time has been increased for many, triggering headaches and migraines. 

WCNC Charlotte's Rachel Lundberg asked the neurologist if the popular ring lights like the ones below are causing headaches and migraines. 

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Closeup of circular neon LED lamp at white background. Popular modern light for make-up and beauty portraits

Many people use ring lights to shoot YouTube videos or enhance the appearance of their Zoom meetings. Anchors and reporters broadcasting from home often even use them as their sole lighting. 

Dr. Litchman responded with, "without a doubt". 

They, too, are another factor to blame for an increase in headaches and migraines.

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Circle lamp, digital camera and monopods in office of professional blogger

As far as home remedies go, here are the big takeaways: 

  1. Take a break — step away from things and give your eyes and mind time to rest.
  2. Drink more fluids, and not just coffee.
  3. Use blue-blocking filters or tools for electronic devices.
  4. Seek help if you need it. You can not fight frequent migraines alone — you need a planned approach.