Migraines are waiting for you like velociraptors in the tall grass? What to do when you are victim of huge headaches after only a few hours in front of the computer?
Headache and screen time go hand in hand. This is the new pathology of the digital native . There are explanations for this: it is our new practices of working on screen and our new use of technologies.
If you often have headaches and want effective solutions, we give you a little help to remedy it.
In this article :
- Screen-related situations and pathologies
- Migraine problems related to screens
- Solutions to avoid headaches
Screen-related situations and pathologies
For several decades, digital technologies and the use of personal computers have changed our daily lives . At work, we work for hours in front of a computer station.
INSEE specified a few years ago that in 30 years (from 1986 to 2016), the time spent by the French in front of a screen had gone from 2 hours and 47 minutes to almost 8 hours (not counting the use of the telephone ).
What does this change about our habits?
The time spent in front of a screen exposes us to health risks : musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) or eye pathologies such as artificial vision syndrome, for example .
These risks are stimulated by new effects and/or behaviors to which our bodies are not necessarily accustomed, since they are not “natural”. These include:
- the harmful impacts of superficial light from screens
- long and unsuitable sitting postures
- various tensions on the lumbar and cervical muscles
- different screen work practices: more stressful, more sedentary.
Among the many symptoms that result from these diseases, there is above all one manifestation that is unbearable to experience: it is the headache.
Migraine problems related to screens
Headaches are to our bodies what bugs are to the Cyberpunk game: nasty, recurring, and sometimes confusing. They can be particularly disabling if they are repeated and if they are very intense.
Just like back pain , headaches are common among "digital children", as our Quebec friends would say. Indeed, spending hours and hours in front of our computer screens, we (these children) are more subject to these brain pains.
But… what is a headache?
Headaches are common and mild symptoms in most cases. They are classified by degree of manifestation:
- Migraine : intense episodic headaches, sometimes with nausea. Attacks can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours. Different factors can cause this.
- Tension headache : a headache encompassing the entire surface of the skull. It is experienced as a tension of varying intensity in the head, up to the neck, the temples and the forehead. Its duration can be short or up to several days. They are related to stress or muscular and cervical problems – very often because of the posture in front of the screen.
- Chronic headache : migraine or tension headache that occurs cyclically, several weeks, at a regular rate.
- Cluster headache : episodes of intense pain behind the eyeball. Demonstrations can last from 10 minutes to 3 hours, and repeat themselves in the same day.
Why does the screen cause headaches?
The screens are like double agents, they make us believe that they are on our side but they also play against us. To tell the truth, they can be the source of many of our cranial pains and various headaches … but we can only blame them… Why do screens give headaches?
? We'll explain everything to you, dear headache padawan!
The case of posture facing the screen
If in a previous article, we told you about the best accessories for your gaming station , it's because it was important. A good gaming or work chair, when you spend time in front of your PC, is the basis. And having good posture is even more important!
An unsuitable posture facing the screen can lead to musculoskeletal disorders : torticollis, cervical pain , back pain, various tensions throughout the thoracolumbar spine and spine .
As you know, our body is a complex network of nerves, muscles and bones. If this network is used for too long – and in the wrong way – it triggers various reactions. Tension headaches and migraines are symptoms linked to these professional pathologies due to bad sitting postures, facing the screen.
The case of eyestrain
Headache and eyestrain are two old friends, like Bilbo and Gandalf, you know?
Sometimes it's vision problems that trigger headaches , sometimes it's migraines that trigger vision problems . But here, what interests us is the problem related to the screens.
Did you know that all our screens are built using LEDs which produce a strong blue light, which is harmful to our eyes?
The light from our tablets , smartphones and computers produces an aggressive light wave that can alter the state of our pupils, but also tire our eyesight after long days concentrating in front of the screen.
This visual fatigue manifests itself in different ways: dry eyes, blurred vision, fluttering of the eyelids but also and more frequently headaches.
The case of ophthalmic migraines – what to do?
Ophthalmic migraine, also called migraine with "aura", is caused by a decrease in blood flow to the eye , resulting from a narrowing of blood vessels. Symptoms last as long as blood circulation has not returned to normal levels.
Well, put it like that, it sounds scary… but it's a relatively mild symptom.
Ophthalmic migraines can affect anyone: adults, teenagers, children, even Chuck Norris! This pathology causes visual disturbances. It often occurs in people who spend too much time in front of the computer screen. But not only !
There are two types of migraines: those related to a hereditary factor and those related to an environmental factor .
“Hereditary” migraines : they are inevitable and to treat them, especially if they are intense, you will have to consult a doctor.
"Environmental" migraines : without a genetic predisposition, it is possible to be subject to migraines (ophthalmic or other) due to elements in our environment.
A diet that is too sweet or too fatty, stress, a sustained pace of life, are factors that have been identified behind the manifestation of migraines.
The blue light from our screens is also responsible for migraines, in addition to accelerating other pathologies (such as AMD or the alteration of our lens and retina ).
Use in the sun
Nothing worse than using your screen in direct sunlight. In addition to the problems mentioned above, we add a layer of glare and UV rays. So you have to be very careful if you already have headaches in normal times.
The best in your case is to avoid using your screens in the sun, but if you really must, here is our complete guide to do it safely: how to see your smartphone screen in the sun.
Solutions to avoid headaches
As you will have understood, the headaches are a little our fault: too much time in front of the screen, bad sitting, too strong a light, and this and that .
So, to calm migraines due to telephones and computers, it is possible to adopt a few solutions .
If your headache health bar is regenerating from blue light from your phone or computer screen, the best headache remedy will be a good pair of goggles . With blue light blocking glasses, you will attack the problem directly at the source.
On our shop, we offer you different models of glasses to protect you from the effects of this light so that your eyes are less tired and less damaged. Result: your brain will be as alive as Krang in the Ninja Turtles!
Stance to adopt
We talked about it at the beginning of the article. It is essential to adopt the right posture when you are about to spend hours in front of the screen to find the last dungeon of Immortals Fenyx Rising.
To know how to sit – yes, yes, we are really telling you that! – , it will be necessary to follow some very specific methods.
And, as Napoleon said: a picture is worth a thousand words . So a video is worth a thousand pictures, right? Finally… a little more, it will depend on your graphics card, huh!
So, here is an explanatory video to teach you how to sit well...
Settings for your screens
More than 75% of the information received daily passes through our eyes. With the increased use of computers and other devices ( telephones, TVs and tablets ), the assimilation of information requires a permanent effort , especially when these mediums lack contrast, sharpness and release a strong luminosity.
To avoid the risk of digital fatigue , it is necessary to adorn yourself with some advice from the wise:
- Take breaks regularly (about every 2 hours)
- Avoid glare on screens
- Lower the brightness of the PC screen and increase the size of the characters if necessary.
- Use brightness reduction software or apply a blue light filter to your screen. Our explanations in our article .
A healthy lifestyle
A good diet can have a beneficial role in resolving regular migraines. To begin with, good hydration wards off migraines but allows our whole organism to run well… unless you're an android with printed circuits inside you, then you have to avoid it.
A body with a good diet also allows you to stay focused longer and feel less the effects of stress, drowsiness and long hours in front of a screen.
Finally, and it's always worth remembering: a sporting activity can limit back problems and oxidative fatigue due to stress, so you'll be less prone to muscular and mental fatigue in front of the screen.
Migraines and screens – knowing where to turn!
Screens are not our enemies but you have to know how to tame them. With the different solutions that we have proposed to you, we hope that you will no longer experience the unpleasant misadventure of a transient or chronic migraine .
If your strong migraines persist – despite our wise advice – the best thing is to consult your doctor for a more in-depth study of your headaches. This symptom, although very often innocuous, can sometimes hide other pathologies that will have to be monitored more closely.
But, if you think that this pain is linked to your behavior in front of the screen, then you now have all the keys in hand to make this bad suffering disappear.