Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Migraines & Headaches Health Center

Font Size

Frequent Migraines Affect the Whole Family

Web survey suggests the condition influences marriage, parenting and family dynamics

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Barbara Bronson Gray

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- When a spouse, partner or parent has chronic migraines, the whole family suffers, a new study found.

The research discovered that most chronic migraine sufferers report that their severe headaches have a big impact on family relationships, activities and sexual intimacy.

The results were not surprising to lead study author Dawn Buse, a clinical psychologist and director of behavioral medicine at Montefiore Headache Center in New York City. "I hear firsthand about the tragic effect that chronic migraine has on every aspect of people's lives, including work and home life."

Still, Buse wanted to quantify the degree to which families were affected.

People who don't experience migraines or have family members with the condition don't understand how it can affect the entire family, Buse said. "It's very important to bring this data to light, to show that chronic migraines are burdensome and difficult, not only for the people who live with it but also for the people they love."

Chronic migraine is defined as having migraine headache 15 or more days a month, according to the researchers. A migraine is a recurrent throbbing headache that typically affects one side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea and disturbed vision. About 38 million people in the United States have migraines, and between 3 and 7 million have chronic migraine, Buse noted.

For the study, the researchers partnered with survey company Research Now to find study participants with migraine. The study included nearly 1,000 people, including 812 women, who met the criteria for chronic headache. Those people and their spouses and children answered web-based questionnaires.

People with chronic migraines said they often feel worried, guilty and sad about how their condition affects those they love, Buse said.

Almost 75 percent of chronic migraine sufferers in the study said they thought they would be better spouses if they didn't have chronic migraines. And almost 60 percent said they felt they would be better parents without the illness.

What's more, most people with migraines said they feel guilty because their headaches make them more easily annoyed or angered. Chronic migraines also made people opt out of activities on a family vacation, or even cancel or miss a vacation.

Today on WebMD

Business woman with hand on face and eyes closed
What aura looks like, triggers, and more.
woman with migraine
Get the truth about migraines.
headache in the bedroom
Keep headaches from ruining your sex life.
woman with hands on head
Test your knowledge of triggers, types, and more.
woman with migraine
drinking coffee
Migraines Headaches Basics
acupuncture needles in woman's back
Tired young man
spraying perfume
man with a headache
headache in the bedroom