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Migraine From Reading

Has anyone experienced a migraine if you read to much? I also experience burning in my eyes.

  1. Hi RLB59, thank you for reaching out! There are those in the community who find that eye strain, be that from reading, bright lights, screens, etc. can serve as a trigger for migraine symptoms. I thought these articles might be of interest to you:
    https://migraine.com/blog/finally-solving-a-40-year-old-trigger/
    https://migraine.com/migraine-diagnosis/eye-exam/
    Have you discussed how you are responding to extended periods of reading with your doctor? If you haven't had one recently, it may also be worth scheduling an eye exam. You might also try listening to audiobooks to see if that makes a difference! Please keep us posted on what you learn from consulting with your doctor. I hope you can find ways to continue to enjoy reading! Wishing you a gentle day. ~Allyson (Migraine.com team)

    1. Hi! Reading triggers my migraines. Now that I'm on medication (Elavil), I can work at my computer for almost a full day - but I think that's because it isn't intense reading - it's small bits of reading at a time. I can't read the newspaper for more than 10 minutes and I haven't read a book in over six months. I have switched from contacts to glasses, gotten a progressive prescription so I now have a prescription that solves for both reading and distance, and seen 4-5 eye doctors. I still can't read comfortably. I also get burning in my eyes but I think that's separate and related to allergies.

      Related to this, I have a hard time in grocery stores. Everyone says "because of the lights?" but it's not the lights. It's the reading. In a grocery store, there is so much visual stimulation. You have to scan a shelf with hundreds of things on it in order to find the thing you want. It's different than reading a book, but it is a level of visual intensity that I can't take. I also have a hard time with puzzles - searching for one puzzle piece amid a sea of puzzle pieces is much like trying to find the espresso on a supermarket shelf with 500 different kinds of coffee on it.

      1. I'm the same! I'm glad you shared this. I do think some of these challenges have to do with the visual overstimulation that surrounds us so much these days. Grocery stores are the perfect example.
        I did want to ask you about your progressives because I have been going up and up on my readers and do not have any other vision issues but it's getting challenging to need to have readers on so much of the time (no matter how many pairs I have, I can never find them when I need them), I've considered progressives. That said, my eye doctor says he's a bit concerned (and other laypeople have said the same) that progressives could trigger migraine attacks. Do you find this to be the case? For me, reading anything lengthy triggers an attack. It's as if my eyes fatigue quickly and then they give up and turn into an attack. I also haven't read a book in years - have switched to audiobooks entirely. Would be grateful for your thoughts and earned wisdom on this front! Warmly, Holly (migraine.com team).

    2. There are times when I am reading and I end up with a migraine. It depends on the lighting that I have and how I am reading (on paper, on a mobile device, etc). Now that I have TheraSpecs indoor glasses, it really helps with having to be so careful about the lighting. From my understanding, the glasses filter out the blue lights from like LEDs that my other half loves so much.
      Have you had your eyes checked to make sure that you do not need glasses or anything along those lines? I do know for people who need glasses, eye strain can cause them headaches and such. It may be a great place for you to start. Best wishes - Amanda (Team member)


      1. Yes especially reading on the computer.

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