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Screens and Reading

Hi, after finding that avoiding computer, TV, cell phones and reading helps me feel a lot better I have had a hard time being able to add these things back into my life. I wear fl41 glasses and stand most of the time when watching TV which helps, but I have a much harder time on computers, and playing videogames is a very strong trigger. I will be going back to my neuro ophthalmologist soon and I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions. I have gone to a vision therapist and they wanted to work with me more on accomidation of my eyes or convergence, I can't remember for sure, but they also said anybody off the street could have similar test results as me without headaches and insurance doesn't cover it. Also they said I had an astigmatism, but the prescription glasses I had made up even though the eye doctor didn't think they would help enough that I would use them supposedly should of already helped that and the glasses don't seem to make any difference. I also seem to be extra sensitive to LED computer and TV screens. I wonder if it is somehow related to motion sickness because of videogames being such a strong trigger and moving menus on screens and watching sports it can seem like my eyes just want to give up. Exertion headache seems to also be a strong trigger. My headaches started a few years ago when working on the computer all the time in an application that moves around in a similar perspective as a first person video game. Also I had a head injury where I seem to have been unconcious for a few seconds, but it was at least a year before I started getting headaches at this job. On a recent cruise I had motion sickness symptoms that seemed similar in some ways to my headache symptoms, but not in other. Now as long as I avoid a lot of things I just have neck tension, but it is very limiting. Any suggestions are really appreciated.

  1. I forgot my physical therapist has also told me I clench my teeth at night which seems to be causing issues with my cervical vertabrae so I am working on loosening up the jaw muscles and testing out a nightguard to see if it makes any difference. I don't know if this would be having any effect on my eye muscles, etc. or not. Also the parallax effect on ios7 on the iphone 5s seemed to terrible for me as a trigger while I read it caused motion sickness type symptoms for people.

    1. Motion sickness is common in people with migraine and what you describe is a trigger for a lot of people.

      Check to see if your LED screens are dimmed. LEDs can only be completely on or completely off. They pulse on and off to simulate dimming. These causes a flicker that is undetectable to the human eye, but the brain can still pick it up. Keep your LED screens at full brightness to avoid this issue. If it is too bright, try adjusting the white balance to find a more comfortable display.

      You might also want to try an eye patch to see if that helps. That helps with convergence issues.

      These things may not help with motion-related problems, like with video games, but they may make general computer use more comfortable.

      And if you still have an iOS device, there's an update that allows you to turn off parallax and reduce motion. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion to turn on the setting.

      Good luck. Please let us know how it goes.


      1. Thanks for the insight. My neuro opthamalogist said my eyes were fine, but trying the cheap rubbery mouth guard my dentist made for me again seems to have helped my neck loosen up some as well as a more supportive pillow and trying to cut out hard foods to chew such as casava chips and hard semase seed crackers. I haven't worn the nightguard lately because it was making it harder to sleep, but still doing pretty good. I've tried accupuncture again lately and will be talking to my dentist about jaw issues again. If I use my phone I only use it for a real short time and I've done alright. I really wonder if clenching my jaw has caused the problems with my cervical vertabrae (c1,c2) and if thats really the cause behind my headaches in the first place. I seem to also have a lot of tightness in my lower back and pelvis which may be affecting my seated posture, etc.


    2. Has anyone tried any options to help with using the computer? I have noticed some improvement in my headaches over the last few days (yay, only 6 hours of headache yesterday!) after starting my new medication and in trying to pin down triggers, I have been staying inside and avoiding the sun (I have always been VERY sensitive to light/sunlight and strong sunlight makes me nauseated even when it doesn't immediately trigger a migraine.) Well, over the past few days as I've started to have some pain free hours, which hasn't happened in awhile, I've been trying to look for patterns in what makes my head start getting tight/sore and what doesn't. When I start using my computer, within like 5-10 minutes my head starts hurting. When I put it away, it predictably goes away within the same time period. Fortunately, my job doesn't require just a TON of computer work, probably less than an hour total per day, but I do like to surf the web for fun at home. My kindle screen doesn't hurt at all. TV doesn't seem to hurt, although I'm farther away. Reading a book doesn't seem to hurt, so I don't think it's my eyes; I think it's something about the computer screen.

      Would some kind of glasses help? I googled "migraine glasses" and a link popped up for "Theraspecs." Has anyone used those? They're a little pricey, but certainly if they would help, it would be worth it. There are flourescent lights at work and my head does tend to hurt worse there than at home. Any other tips for still being able to use the computer? Limiting time isn't the end of the world, just looking for options.

      Thank you!

      1. I have FL-41 tinted glasses, but not from that specific company. I got mine through a local eye glass business in the greater Seattle area my neuro opthamalogist suggested and I'm not totally sure if they help, but I've done pretty well with them so I wear them when I'm at home watching TV or looking at any screens. I believe the Theraspecs are supposed to be FL-41 also,but I don't have specific experience with their product. LED backlights for screens, refresh rates and brightness seem to be factors to consider as well. Hope this helps!

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