These days, we spend more and more time looking at screens. For many of us, screens are the way we work. But screens are also the way we play. From the good old boob tube to video games and social media, people may spend several more hours in front of a screen. A recent Ad Age study found that people spent more than 9 and a half hours a day using screen-based media. Although that may seem low for some of us that work in front of a computer all day, it’s important to remember that about 20% of adults still don’t use the Internet, so they drag the average down. Factoring them out, the rest of us may spend upwards of 11 hours in front of a screen.
With this amount of screen time, it’s no wonder that people may experience screen-related headache symptoms.
Screen Headaches Not Universal
The science is mixed on whether time spent in front of screens can cause headaches. Most studies have been done on teens. One study of Nordic teens found a strong correlation between screen time and headaches. However, another study found headaches correlated with listening to music only.
Few studies explore the exact causal mechanism of screen-related headaches, though some research indicates screen flicker rate may be to blame.
How to Tell If Screens Are Causing Your Headaches
If you suspect your headaches might be caused by screen overuse, look for these signs:
- Headache occurs after you’ve been working on the screen for prolonged periods
- You experience blurred vision
- Headache and blurred vision go away after days away from computer
If this is the case, you should try these tips to improve your headaches:
- Cut down on time working or playing in front of the screen
- Take regular breaks
- Get natural light exposure during the day
- Try focusing on very close objects, such as your thumb held a few inches from your face, and far objects, those at least 20 feet away to exercise your eyes
These should help if your headaches are screen related.
Is It Your Posture?
Another possible link between screen time and headaches is that your posture may actually be to blame. Poor posture can lead to tension in your back and neck that can then lead to tension in your head. This results in tension headaches.
Try to correct your posture when working. And remember that TMJ can make tension headaches worse. Consider alternate treatment options if your screen-related headaches don’t improve with eye exercises and breaks.
To learn more about TMJ treatment for tension headaches, please contact Smile Columbia Dentistry in Columbia, SC today.