New Delhi | Jagran Brand Desk: If there is one most common pain, that is a headache. Almost all of us have suffered a headache at some point of time in our lives. However, most people avoid taking pain medication only to not cause panic or worry to their near and dear ones. Despite awareness about maintaining overall health, especially during the pandemic, the need of the hour is to tackle headache pain rather than bearing it silently. We must consider headache as any other pain and engage medical aid because it can have long-term implications on your health. Untreated headaches can advance to chronic daily headaches with health risks like anxiety, insomnia, depression, and migraine. Scroll down to read about a survey done to analyse the awareness and impact of headaches on the public in metro and suburban cities.

We all know how common a headache is, but do you know that The World Health Organization considers headache a disorder? Yes, recurrent headaches are classified under the disorder of the nervous system category by WHO. People who ignore headaches but get them often are at risk of developing headache disorders like migraine, tension-type headache (TTH), cluster headache, and medication-overuse headache (MOH). Considering the potential dangers of hiding pain, and to lead the conversations in culture on headaches with young adults, Bayer Pharmaceuticals Private Limited surveyed 10,004 people aged 22-45 years across 14 states and 24 cities to analyse the percentage of the population that suffers from headaches, its frequency and how many of them turn to headache medication for relief. The results are astounding as it was found that people do not take headaches seriously and continue with their life without any aid. The results reveal other hard hitting factors as the cause of headaches for a significant proportion of the population. Vani Malik, Lead Editor, Health Jagran spoke with Sandeep Verma, Country Head, Bayer Consumer Health, India to know more about this survey and Saridon’s aim to restamp their leadership and become the first line of defence for headache:

Q: What is the idea behind the campaign, ‘Sardard Chupao Nahi, Mitao’?

Mr Sandeep Verma: This is a campaign initiated by Saridon (a product of Bayer Consumer Health), whose prime focus is to make people understand the need to treat headaches rather than hiding it. India has recorded the highest number of incidences of headache per person in the world! On the contrary, the usage of headache medicine in India is the lowest in the world. This shows that a majority of people do not take medication for headaches. The most common reason for this is the resilience that we are taught since childhood, and it resonates with ‘live with pain as there is no need to aid small pains’. This campaign was initiated to project Saridon as the first line of defence for headaches and make people aware of the dire need to aid headaches with headache medication instead of hiding the pain.

Q: Why do people not take headaches seriously?

Mr Sandeep Verma: Over 47% of people do not take headache medicine which depicts their casual behaviour towards headaches. The whole idea of doing this survey was why consumption of headache medications is less despite the incidences being the most in India. There are different types of headaches, and undoubtedly most of them are general stress-induced headaches that you can get rid of easily. Despite taking pain medication to avoid worrying near and dear ones, and tend to opt for other alternatives like a cup of tea or strong coffee to get away with a headache thinking it to be momentary discomfort.

Q: Which demographic need more awareness regarding headache medication and relief?

Mr Sandeep Verma: Through the survey, we targeted varied cohorts such as gender, age group, occupation and geographic segmentation:

* Age Factor- 42% of 22-35 years-old Indians living in urban areas have a headache once a week or more often vs 41% of people aged between 36-45 years.

* Gender- women are found to get more stress-induced headaches and more often as compared to men

* Geographic segmentation- Among top four metros, Delhi emerged as stress capital amongst tier-1 cities followed by Mumbai. Surprisingly, the survey found that tier-2 cities had higher levels of stress as compared to tier-1 cities.

Q: Did you find any link between headache and covid-19 pandemic during the survey?

Mr Sandeep Verma: The pandemic has badly affected our physical, mental and psychological health. From stress to reduced immunity to emotional challenges, COVID-19 has made our lives miserable. Stress levels had gone up significantly during the first wave of covid and lockdown imposed for months. This has undoubtedly caused a steep rise in cases of headache amongst people of all age groups and genders. Our survey was conducted after the second wave, and so there are no comparable results. However, participants have mentioned that due to increased stress, anxiety and fear of coronavirus infection, they certainly have increased episodes of headache. Both frequency and intensity of headaches rose, which depicts how headaches have become an integral problem for the masses.

* 84% Urban Indians (participants of the survey) said that they have felt stressed in the last year

* 82% of respondents (22–35-years age group) claimed that they were stressed in the last one year
In addition to this, 42% of 22-35 years-old Urban Indians have a headache once a week or more often vs. 41% of 36-45-year-olds

* 44% of those who were stressed among the 22-35 year age group agreed that their stress level has increased after the pandemic

* 48% of those who were stressed among 35-45-year-olds said that their stress level has increased after the pandemic

Q: What are the top headache-causing factors that you come across the course of the survey?

Mr Sandeep Verma: During the survey, the team also identified different factors that cause headaches. It helped find out the risk factors and how different scenarios triggered a headache. One of the interesting finding is that ‘Women suffer more headaches and more frequently than men, as told by Mr Sandeep Verma. As per the data collected during our survey, about 91% of women and 84% of men suffer from headaches. Besides, here are some of the major headache-causing factors that you must know about:

1. Stress- When you are stressed, you are highly likely to get a headache. Stress is the most prominent factor causing headaches. But men and women get affected differently, including those working professionals, here are some statistics:

* 65% women experienced headaches due to stress as compared to 56% of men

* 63% of full-time working women experienced headaches due to stress as compared to 56% of men working full time

* 92% of working women who had a headache in the last year claimed an increase in stress leads to an increase in headaches

2. Financial Problems- Financial problems were the biggest cause of stress. Lately, a lot of people have undergone financial crisis that has severely impacted their quality of life and made them prone to illnesses including headaches.

3. Relationship & Family Conflicts- The lockdown period was tough as everyone was locked in their houses with or without their loved ones. While the positive aspect of this situation brought people together to spend more time in close proximity, on the other hand it also led to episodes of family conflicts and turmoil in relationships which contributed towards elevating stress levels leading to headaches.

Q: How are you planning to present Saridon as the first line of defence for headache?

Mr Sandeep Verma: Selfcare medication for pain management in India is at an initial stage right now. The first step that Bayer Consumer Health is going to take is towards eradicating or busting the myths that are surrounded in terms of self-medication. Besides, we are also looking forward to encouraging people to act and not give in to the pain. So that they can live a more productive life. Headache might look like a small thing but it can leave a strong impact on productivity. When you have a headache, you won’t focus on your work and deliver the best performance. Headache is a distraction that hampers your productivity, and so, you must act upon it immediately. This is when Saridon comes to your rescue.

Q: Do you have any plan to prevent misuse of Saridon which is common with OTC medicines?

Mr Sandeep Verma: Self-medication is needed, but certain risks need to be addressed or conveyed to the users. Even though Saridon is an OTC medication, its misuse is prohibited because it can act adversely. Due to lack of information, consumers lack encouragement to use OTC medications. Only if they are provided with the right information they can get used to treating such minor issues through self-care medication and not hide the problem. Thus, our main aim is to educate the masses about the usefulness of Saridon and teach them how to use it correctly.

Final Message by Mr Sandeep Verma, Country Head, Bayer Consumer Health, India

Do not hide your pain. You may not want to bother your loved ones but you must take care of your health and address the problem for relief. When you get a headache, take a Saridon and your pain will go away. Neither it would reflect on your face, nor it would cause inconvenience to your near and dear ones. Sardard Chupao Nahi, Mitao. The objective of this campaign is to help you get rid of headaches and so that you enjoy your life pain-free.

(Note:- The article is written by the Brand Desk)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan