Ever increasing screen time and migraine

When I was at an American Booksellers Association conference in January, I attended a seminar on consumers’ book buying behavior. Note: this is of immense interest to me since I own a bookstore. I realize this is not that thrilling for you all so I’ll keep it to the basics that relate to health.

Ahem. So I’ll continue.

The presenter was telling us booksellers that we don’t need to focus so much on ebook versus paper book sales. Rather, we need to consider what people are choosing to do in their leisure time. He held up his smart phone and, after a few comments about how much time we used to spend reading that we now spend with technology.

I considered this question from a bookseller’s perspective, of course, but in the weeks since the presentation I’ve been focused as much or more on the health ramifications of this. I now own a handful of computers (two for work, one for home), an iPhone, and iPod Touch, an iPod Shuffle, and an iPad. I also have cable TV. I spend hours upon hours each day staring at screens. Instead of reading for a couple of hours a day, I check email just one last time before bed and and up messing around on my iPhone before I even think about picking up a book.

I already know that looking at screens before bed can affect people’s sleep. It’s best to try to stick with our natural circadian rhythm and limit screen time before bedtime. We migraineurs whose attacks are triggered by flickering lights and fluorescents should probably exercise even more caution than the regular Joe Schmo, yet I do not follow my own advice.

How have you adapted to this age when we are in front of screens all day? Do you notice any vision, migraine, or headache issues that seem to be related to your increase in screen time? What do you do to make sure interactions with computers, smart phones, and TVs don’t take up too much of your day?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (6)
  • Paulajane
    3 years ago

    The computer and my art work has been my best friend throughout all my migraine attacks. While I still have chronic migraines and many other health issues, I don’t have the 3 to4 weekly attacks I used to. While during the intensity of the pain, the monitor was too bright, at all other times it was the only thing that kept me positive. Before you negate the computer, make sure you have a good monitor. You don’t want one that flickers. Don’t have the light level set for high contrast (games). If you wear glasses, get ones specifically for the computer.
    I, personally, use a kindle white paper ereader because I find controlling the size of the print is easier on my eyes and leads to less eye strain than reading. Also with the paperwhite there isn’t glare. So before you negate using the computer, see if it actually is bothering you or if you can make changes. I, actually, find it restful. Also, beware of studies that sound definitive. They can change with the times.

  • Jane Bowdidge
    7 years ago

    Hi has anybody had botox in the uk, for migraines and how did you get on?

  • Jane Bowdidge
    7 years ago

    Hi has anybody had botox in the uk, for migraines and how did you get on?

  • Migraine.com
    7 years ago

    Hi Jane Bowdidge – Because this is a US based site, most of our members are from the US (this might be why you haven’t gotten a response). You may also try posting directly on our Facebook wall where more people are likely to see your comment. Here is a link to the Botox forum where there is some discussion: http://migraine.com/groups/users/forum/topic/botox-for-migraine/

  • Jane Bowdidge
    7 years ago

    no?

  • kangi
    7 years ago

    I found your commentary most interesting. As a lifelong bibliophile and a chronic migraine sufferer. I call myself a Ludditte, that is I eschew a lot of modern technology for spiritual reasons, not the least of which has to do with the detrimental effects I beleieve that they can wreck on the well being of ourability to adjust to various changes and rythms in our life cycles, i.e. fluactions in our health. I read avidly, and on those days and nights when I can’t avail myself of a triptan to stop a migraine it is a hand-helf book, in a dim, soothing light that soothes me as best I can be soothed while in those horrid talons of the beast we call Migraine!

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