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Can Playing Video Games Cause Migraines

How Do I Relieve Eye Pain Naturally

Simulation Sickness – Causes and Cures for Game Headaches – Extra Credits

Because of aloe veras anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, some natural healers recommend using it to alleviate sore eyes. Mix 1 teaspoon of fresh aloe vera gel into 2 tablespoons of cold water, and then soak cotton rounds in the mixture. Place the soaked cotton rounds on your closed eyes for 10 minutes.

Reducing Your Mobile Phone Use

It is not easy to cut back on cell phone use. Many people have smartphones, which provide access to the Internet and conveniences, such as maps and real-time directions. Availability by email or other electronic communication is expected in many jobs. Parents like to be available in case children become sick at school or need to be picked up from activities. And, mobile phones also give people the ability to socialize and find fast information and entertainment.

Nevertheless, there are some strategies for reducing cell phone use that can help alleviate headaches:

  • Schedule no-tech time in your home, especially at mealtimes and family time.
  • Use settings that give you sound alerts when you receive a message from certain peopleand put your phone on silent otherwise, checking it at scheduled intervals.
  • Put your cell phone somewhere other than your bedroom at night.
  • Look into a hobby that takes you away from technology like swimming, being out in nature, painting, board games, or going to the library.

A Word From Verywell

Managing or avoiding triggers is an essential component in migraine therapy. That being said, avoiding screen time entirely is probably unreasonable for most people. Not only is technology an essential component of daily life functioning, but it also can provide comfort and enjoyment.

Getting Help For Video Game Addiction

Recovery is not always easy, but it is achievable. Video game addiction can be just as dangerous as any other addiction and should be treated as such. The first step in overcoming dependency is being able to recognize that it exists. If you or someone you know exhibits any of the signs or symptoms described above, please dont hesitate to find help treating a video gaming addiction. Call our hotline today at to begin the road to recovery.

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How Common Are Headaches From Computer Screens

It is likely that we all have dealt with the following scenario at one time or another:

The unfortunately truth is that headaches or migraine attacks from the computer screen are a common occurrence, but researchers have had a difficult time pinpointing just how widespread it is for the general population. Most often it is linked to computer vision syndrome, or CVS for short, which specifically refers to visual and other symptoms that result from screen exposure and which may affect as many as 90% of computer users.2

Among those with CVS symptoms, headache is frequently cited as the most prevalenteven though, ironically, it is not directly related to the eye. Researchers from across the globe have found that between 19% to 53% of those with extended exposure to their PC or laptop screen suffer headaches as a frequent side effect in many cases, recurring headache symptoms lasted a week or more.1,4,10 Workers who specifically use the computer as a primary function of their job have also been found to have more headache episodes, although just a few hours of constant use for an extended time period can have the same effect.1,3

Video Games Can Trigger Epileptic Seizures

3 Ways to Prevent Headaches While Playing Video Games ...

The curious seizure warnings you may have wondered about on video-game packaging represent companies efforts at legal protection from a very real condition known as .

Its estimated about 3 to 5 percent of those with epilepsy have this form of abnormal brain activity. Characterized by loss of consciousness, disordered breathing, twitching and jerking, and loss of muscle control, PSE is caused by rapid flashes or alternating patterns of different colors, particularly shades of blue and red, broadcast on TV or video games. Generally, its estimated lights that flash five to 30 times per second are most likely to trigger seizures.

PSE is more likely to affect younger gamers, those in their early 20s or younger. The Epilepsy Foundation reports PSE risk factors also include sitting closer than 2 feet from the screen, gaming in a dark room with a bright screen, and playing while tired and without breaks.

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Muscles That Refer Pain To The Head

The most common muscles that refer pain to the head are as follows:

Occipitofrontalis a muscle with two parts one muscle belly is at the base of the skull and the other is on the forehead. This muscle will raise your eyebrows and has the ability to move the scalp.

Temporalis this muscle is located above and in front of your ears on the temples of your skull. These muscles are primarily responsible for closing your jaw .

Suboccipital muscles there are four muscles collectively called the suboccipital muscles. These muscles are located at the base of your head and attach between the skull, the first vertebra , and the second vertebra . They assist with extension and rotation of your head.

Upper trapezius these are the shrug muscles at the top of your shoulders. They also extend, rotate, and laterally bend the neck and head.

Sternocleidomastoid these muscles are located on each side of the neck. They can be traced from behind the ear to the breast bone and form the V shape along the front of the neck. The SCM muscles are responsible for rotation and flexion of the neck.

Dizziness Caused By First Person Bobbing While Walking

I first wrote this post in October 2008. In late May 2009 I played F.E.A.R. 2 and remembered another cause of dizziness the screen bobbing while a character walks. In F.E.A.R. 2 and several other first-person video games, the screen bobs up and down as the character moves. The bobbing, I gather, corresponds with the cadence of the characters walk. This doesnt make me dizzy or nauseous as quickly as the other factors discussed in this post, but I can usually only play a game that does this for an hour or so before becoming dizzy. The game is not unplayable, but it has to be taken in light doses.

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The Link Between Screen Time And Headaches

So, whats the link between extended screen time and headaches in children? According to Harvard Health, screens and bright lights can trigger migraines in children who are susceptibl. However, too much time staring at a phone, iPad, or computer can trigger tension headaches or headaches caused by eye fatigue, as well.

Too much screen time may result in whats known as digital eye strain, causing symptoms like tired, itching, or burning eyes. Eye strain has the potential to result in headaches centered around the eyes and temples. Without good lighting, kids may look at screens while squinting, and prolonged squinting may tire the muscles and lead to a tension headache. Improper posture while viewing screens may also put a strain on the neck and back, resulting in headaches.

If All Else Fails Change The Game

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Some games are worse than others when it comes to gaming sickness. First-person shooting games are the No. 1 culprit, while anything with super-realistic graphics can make some peoples world spin round and round in a second. Sorry, but if nothings working, you might have to stop playing that title entirely.

Before you give up your favorite game, though, see if its possible to change the sensitivity settings or the players point of view. Going from only seeing your characters hands to seeing their entire back can help a lot, while reducing the speed of the camera movements and the bobbing of the head and guns can also make a huge difference. Dont forget to check your screens settings, toohigh refresh-rate displays can be nauseogenic, so bump those frames-per-second down a bit or change your display to something slower.

If youre still looking into motion sickness pills, you may want to try another kind of gamethird-person narrative, puzzle games, a vintage 2D title, or pre-Nintendo 64 , to name a few. It might be disappointing, but you may have to build up your tolerance so you can finally play titles like Halo or Apex Legends. Getting your body used to less-complex games first is a great segue into highly realistic graphics and fast camera movements.

Remember: torturing yourself by enduring your symptoms wont help them go away any faster. Take it slow and enjoy your playtime. Games should be fun, after all.

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Limiting Video Game Sickness

Whether you are playing or just watching, there are some things you can do to help limit or avoid the nausea, dizziness and other symptoms:

  • Watch or play in a well-lit and well-ventilated room.
  • Sit farther back from the screen.
  • Take breaks and get fresh air or a glass of water.
  • Ease yourself into new games, staying active for only 5 minutes at first, then slowly increasing the time you play or watch.
  • Adjust game settings regarding field of view or sensitivity of movement.
  • Choose games that are in third-person perspective.
  • Try medications or other methods of relieving movement-caused nausea.

Dramamine®-N Multi-Purpose Formula was made to treat and prevent multiple causes of nausea such as gaming and watching films or TV. Its made from ginger and is safe for kids ages 6 and up.

Go Old School With Paper

While not the most environmentally friendly option, printing out longer documents that you may use more than once can reduce the amount of time you spend in front of a screen.

Simply avoiding screen time is not a reality for many people especially if you spend the majority of your work hours staring at a monitor. That said, some remedies may help decrease migraine pain and prevent them from getting worse.

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Nausea Caused By Aggressive Camera Centering / Fighting

When a game gives me only partial control of the camera, especially when I need to fight the game for camera control, this makes me nauseous every time. Ironically, when a game takes total control of the camera from me, such as in God of War 2, I do not get nauseous.

The poster-child for this type of camera-control-fighting-induced nausea is the entire Resident Evil series. Not only does the game st0p you from moving your character wherever you wish , the game aggressively fights the player for control of the camera by constantly pulling the camera back to the center every time the player looks hither or thither. Rumor has it that the forthcoming Resident Evil 5 might finally hand camera control to the player where it belongs. Surprisingly, this is controversial. I wont be playing RE5 unless this problem is finally fixed.

Each of the recent Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, Battlefield: Bad Company, Resistance Fall of Man, Grand Theft Auto IV and Star Wars, Force Unleashed games fought me over the camera somewhat. This resulted in mild dizziness. Happily the implementation of camera centering in each of these games wasnt aggressive enough to cause me to abandon the games over the issue.

Pathophysiology: Theory Of Cortical Spreading Depression

Can You Get a Headache From Video Games?

It is described that migraine headaches occur following a particular trigger. These triggers may include coming in contact with an allergen, certain ingredients in food, physical or psychological stress, weather patterns, lack of sleep, etc. Ultimately, the triggers are still not widely understood, and researchers have been unable to confirm specific causes for the initial onset of migraine headaches.

In the model of cortical spreading depression , a wave of depolarization spreads across the cortex of the brain following the trigger of a migraine headache.

Note: the cortex of the brain is where all conscious activity occurs, including conscious thought, speech, motor control, and sensory input.

Following this wave of depolarization, brain activity becomes mildly depressed. In other words, the nerves become somewhat inhibited and electrical activity is decreased.

CSD involves a complex series of changes that lead to the release of neurotransmitter molecules that irritate the trigeminal nerve endings surrounding the blood vessels in the meningesthe protective membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.

More simply stated, the brain releases molecules that irritate its own protective sheath.

Notetrigeminal nerve

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Can Too Much Screen Time Cause Headaches And Migraine Episodes

The short answer is yes. Too much screen time can cause headaches and migraine. How and why it happens, however, is a bit more involved.

One 2015 study found an association between high levels of screen time and migraine in young adults, with the mean age being 20.8 years old.

The screens examined include computers, tablets, smartphones, and television. Of the 4,927 participants, those in the highest screen time group over 2 hours daily had an increased likelihood of reporting a migraine episode.

Its not uncommon to experience eye strain when you look at a computer for a long time. According to a 2018 review, computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain syndrome can cause screen headaches, eye strain, dry eyes, neck pain, and blurred vision.

More specifically, computer vision syndrome is associated with headaches behind the eyes.

The symptoms of a screen headache are similar to what you might experience with a regular headache or migraine attack, with a few extra side effects from the screen.

Some of the more common symptoms of migraine, especially during the attack phase, include:

  • pulsing and throbbing pain in the temples or on the side, front, or back of the head
  • increased sensitivity to light and sound
  • nausea
  • seeing shapes, bright spots, or flashes

Symptoms of a screen headache include:

  • headache behind the eyes

Do Video Games Cause Eye Damage

by Jackson Davenport | May 25, 2019 | Eye Care, Eye Conditions |

We spend more time staring at screens than ever before. From HD televisions to smartphones, we are seemingly glued to devices. For gamers, staring at a monitor or laptop screen is a vital part of the hobby, and they can spend many hours being immersed in an online or offline narrative. In a screen-centric world, the question of whether video games are harming your eyes is well worth considering, and there are some clear issues to take into account. Now that its possible to play some of the most realistic and immersive games at home or on the go, you need to ask yourself if video games are affecting your vision, and if so, what you can do to reduce the risks.

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Video Games And Your Vision

Video Games and Vision:How Healthy Eyes Can Help Beat Your High ScoreDr. Michele Quintero and the American Optometric Association Share How to Gain a Competitive Advantage by Giving Your Eyes a Break20-20-20 rule

  • Level up with the AOA 20-20-20 rule: When you are using any electronic gaming device or computer, make a conscious effort every day to take a 20-second break and look away from the screen, every 20 minutes and view something 20 feet away.
  • Position yourself: Maintain a comfortable working distance from your gaming device by using the zoom feature to see small print and details, rather than bringing the device closer to your eyes.
  • Beat the glare: The AOA recommends reducing the glare by adjusting device settings or using a glare filter to decrease the amount of blue light reflected from the screen.
  • Consider buying protective eyewear: Experiment with blue light filter glasses to limit the blue light beaming from your screen.
  • Power down before you turn in: Turn your digital devices off at least one hour before bed.
  • Schedule an appointment: Contact Dr. Quintero to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam to detect and address vision problems.
  • eye irritation
  • blurred vision

How Mobile Phones May Cause Migraines

Mom Says Girls Can’t Play Video Games ft SSSniperWolf

Mobile phone use involves several factors that can contribute to headaches, including looking at the light on the screen, straining your eyes, bending over in a stooped posture, using your hands and fingers to type or play games, and using the phone to make phone calls.

All of these activities have been shown to contribute to migraines and their associated symptoms. Correcting the problem requires a number of strategies, including:

  • Adjusting the light on your screen so it’s not too bright
  • Adjusting the font size on your phone to avoid eye strain
  • Being sure to vary your position
  • Considering using dictation for emails and texts
  • Taking a break when your fingers or hands feel strained
  • Using the speakerphone setting when possible instead of holding the phone to your ear

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Dual Diagnosis: Video Game Addiction And Substance Abuse

Because video game addiction has been linked to depression, sleeplessness and an overall lack of concern for ones own health, it is not surprising that substance abuse is also a problem for many gamers suffering from this compulsive disorder. For those suffering from video game addiction as well as substance abuse, proper treatment is imperative to recovery. If you or someone you know is currently suffering from one or both of these disorders, seek professional guidance immediately by calling us at .

Are There Remedies For Computer Screen Headaches And Migraines

There is no perfect solution for minimizing your headaches and migraine attacks due to computer screens. It often requires a mix of behavioral changes and products that are designed to reduce the harmful effects of constant exposure. Here are a few recommendations that we can provide:

  • Extend the viewing distance
  • Purchase anti-glare screen filters


1Ranasinghe P, Wathurapatha WS, Perera YS, et al. Computer vision syndrome among computer office workers in a developing country: an evaluation of prevalence and risk factors. BMC Research Notes. 2016 9:150. doi:10.1186/s13104-016-1962-1.

2Rosenfield M. Computer vision syndrome: a review of ocular causes and potential treatments. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2011 Sep 31:502-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-1313.2011.00834.x. Epub 2011 Apr 12.

3Rossignol AM, Morse EP, Summers VM, Pagnotto LD. Video display terminal use and reported health symptoms among Massachusetts clerical workers. J Occup Med. 1987 Feb 29:112-8.

4Shantakumari N, Eldeeb R, Sreedharan J, Gopal K. Computer Use and Vision-Related Problems Among University Students In Ajman, United Arab Emirate. Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research. 2014 4:258-263. doi:10.4103/2141-9248.129058.

5Vincent AJ, Spierings EL, Messinger HB. A controlled study of visual symptoms and eye strain factors in chronic headache. Headache. 1989 Sep 29:523-7.

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