Remote Work Isn't Working for Americans with Migraine

Methodology: This study was conducted in August 2020 with a sample size of 478 and a margin of error of 4.28% at the 95% confidence level.



For Americans suffering from migraine, excessive screen time can significantly contribute to the frequency of migraine attacks. The recent COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated this problem as millions of workers have been sent home to work remotely.

Remote workers are spending many more hours per week in front of various screens than they did in the office, and not just for work. Computer screens have become the only portal into work. Former in-person meetings have become video conferences, and even texts and phone calls are being replaced by video calls to help keep business relationships alive. And, there are no longer co-workers nearby to take breaks with.

Moreover, screen time has also increased during personal time as well with more video calls with family and friends, homeschooling of kids, or bing-watching favorite TV shows during quarantine.

Across America, daily average screen time has increased dramatically in 2020.

Axon Optics, a global leader in developing eyewear to help people with symptoms of migraine and light sensitivity, recently commissioned an independent study of nearly 500 U.S. workers to better understand how the COVID-19 crisis and the shift to remote work has impacted the health of millions of American workers who suffer from migraines. This new study from Axon Optics shows how migraines are disturbing not just the professional lives of remote workers, but also their personal lives.

What are Migraines?

Migraine is a neurological condition that can cause multiple symptoms. Frequently characterized by intense, debilitating headaches, the symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, difficulty speaking, numbness or tingling, and sensitivity to light and sound.

Migraine attacks can last for hours to days, and the pain can be so severe that it interferes with daily activities.


Here's What We Found

Work is increasingly more difficult


Nearly 40% of workers with migraine say they get more frequent headaches working remotely because their screen time has increased


Over 60% of people with migraine want to return to work because it means less screen time than working from home


Over 90% of workers with migraine are getting migraines up to 50% more often due to working from home


68% of people with migraine prefer working from home because they can control their lighting


24% of people with migraine say they have lost a job because they couldn’t perform their duties due to headaches


35% of people with migraine have attended a remote meeting from bed because of a headache

In case parenting wasn't hard enough...


Over 40% of people with migraine say headaches separate them from their kids more than technology does


53% of parents say they cannot care for their kids the way they want due to migraines


Nearly 60% of parents say they feel guilt for missing kids’ events like recitals, graduations, sports etc due to migraines


59% of parents say they would be a better parent if they didn’t suffer from migraines

People's perceptions of migraine are often flawed


56% of people with migraine feel misunderstood by non-sufferers


21% of non-migraine sufferers think that migraines aren’t as painful as people with migraine say they are

What do people without migraine think it's easy to do with a migraine?


52% think it’s not hard to go to lunch with friends


47% think it’s not hard to shop for groceries


53% think it’s not hard to ride a bike


41% think it’s not hard to do household chores

People without migraine don't get it: Some say that people with migraine fake pain to get out of:


Going to work


Household chores


Having sex

Migraine puts a huge strain on relationships


1 in 4 migraine sufferers say headaches have put a strain on their marriage


15% of brides with migraine were miserable on their wedding day because they were fighting a migraine episode


48% of men with migraine say they have cancelled a first date because they were fighting a migraine episode


43% of women with migraine say they have cancelled a first date because they were fighting a migraine episode


18% have lost friends due to migraines

More painful and challenging than most realize

How do migraine headaches compare?


24% say a migraine is more painful than pinching a finger in a door


21% say a migraine is more painful than a cavity


17% say a migraine is more painful than a sprained ankle


15% say a migraine is more painful than getting kicked in the groin


On average, you would have to step on a lego 140 times to equal the pain of 1 migraine


53% of people with migraine say they have struggled to safely operate a car during a migraine episode


23% of people with migraine would rather get COVID-19 than get a severe migraine


50% of people with migraine would rather get punched in the face than get a severe migraine


47% of migraine sufferers say their quality of life is diminished because of headaches, but only 42% are aware that eyewear can help

Relief comes in different ways


55% of people with migraine have used natural, drug-free migraine relief


51% of people with migraine have prescription medication to treat migraine


54% of migraine sufferers want to test CBD, but only 29% have


65% of migraine sufferers keep their blinds closed even during the day to avoid light triggered migraines