Triggers and Causes

Computer Wifi (wireless) is a cause for me

  • By Richard

    Just joined the forums today on the advice of a friend who suggested I make my migraine trigger known in the hopes that it may help fellow sufferers.

    For me, a wireless signal from a home computer router ( WiFi ) will set off either a low grade headache or a migraine.

    Specifically, I am talking about the devices provided by an Internet company to a home user that connects the home user to the Internet. I won’t mention manufacturer names, but some of the devices can be connected via phone line or by cable. As a ‘feature’ some of the devices have “WiFi” which sends out a wireless signal in the users’ home to allow them to connect their other devices ( laptops, iPads etc ) to the Internet.

    For over 10 years, I have noticed that if a device has its Wireless signal turned on, it will cause me to start getting headache symptoms within minutes of being in its vicinity.
    The closer I am, the more intense the headache. And the further away from it I am, the less intense, but still noticeable, the effect is.

    This has been a very unfortunate development for me, as I work in the computer industry, and am frequently near wireless signals in the workplace.

    The reason I have posted on this forum, is to make other readers aware of a possible trigger for their migraines.

    Unfortunately, WiFi signals as a trigger or cause for illnesses is not taken seriously at this point in time. A quick search of the Internet will return MANY links to discussions.
    Almost all of them include the comment that they are never taken seriously, and learn to deal with the situation in their own way.

    A friend of mine, who has seen me dealing with this for several years, remarked the other day that there may be headache/migraine sufferers who have their home WiFi turned on, and may be causing their own migraines, and NOT REALIZING IT !!! He suggested that I post my experiences on a migraine message forum in the hopes that it may help at least one person.

    A simple test is to turn off your home wireless signal and wait a few hours to see if your
    headaches/migraine goes away. You can’t get a more simple test than that.

    A recent event for me:
    I helped a guy setup his new printer that he purchased.
    When I arrived at his apartment, my head started to feel like someone was twisting it from within, and my eyes felt like they were being pulled into crossing. My headache was beginning. I looked around the room, and saw an Internet router with flashing lights on the shelf. Yes, there was the culprit. He said he wanted his printer hooked up wirelessly. Not saying a word, I began the procedure and within minutes, got the printer hooked up and printing wirelessly from the guys laptop computer. And I got out of there as fast as possible !!

    It took at least a 1/2 hour before my headache subsided. I am truly amazed. Shocked. At how other people can sit in the same room as a wireless router that is emitting a signal, and they are not affected. Without going into it too far, I DO BELIEVE that a wireless signal negatively affects people in the long run, but am not going to go into that in this forum.

    I am posting this with the thought that maybe at least one of you readers out there may find this useful. Do you have a wireless signal in your own home that is causing your migraines? The simple test is to unplug it, and see if your pounding headache clears up.
    No cost. No complicated procedure. Just unplug the darn thing and see what happens.

    Myself, I have NO wireless devices in my apartment. And yes, my neighbors all have wireless signals blaring out. And yes, they are negatively affecting me, but thank goodness, the signals are far enough way that they are tolerable. ( for the most part ).

    If this post has helped any of you, or might help anyone you know, then I am ecstatic.
    My cell phone does NOT affect me ( thank goodness) and I have a free app on it that detects wifi signals and their strength. ( I use that in my line of work also )

    For the past 10 years, I have been living with headaches / migraines that have had me down on my knees in pain, sick to my stomach, and cloudy headed.
    I found out that FOR ME, it is caused by WiFi signals from wireless routers.
    I avoid wireless routers as much as possible, and I have reduced my headaches markedly.

    Hope this helps…


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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Richard,

    Welcome to the discussion forum and thank you so much for your comments and sharing your story with us.

    It’s not out of the realm of possibilities that WiFi signals may be triggering a migraine attack for you. Maybe others will benefit from this information.


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  • By Maddy

    I also believe this is an issue, to varying degrees of sensitivity for people. Wifi goes through walls, it certainly goes through your skull too. Our neurologist told us point blank, reduce screen time, especially 2 hours before bed, DO NOT charge your phone near your bed. I took the additional step of turning down all our wifi devices at bedtime…router, cable modem, printer, PC’s, and putting all cell phones in airplane mode. My daughter now does not wake with a migraine headache, and my very skeptical husband (who doesn’t get headaches) found that he wakes far less now during the night.

    I am considering going fully wired. Big expense, big inconvenience compared to the portability we are all used to. But we may have to do it for her sake.

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  • By Geoff

    Until a year ago I would have laughed at the suggestion, having worked with a wi-fi router a yard away from my head for about 5 years or more.

    But last year we started having broadband problems and the telephone engineer suggested we move the router closer to the wall socket that was in our lounge, it solved the problem but created another one. At about the same time we bought a Roku box, a box that you can stream video to your TV wirelessly. The new router location meant it was behind the sofa about a yard behind my head, the Roku box beneath the TV 5 yards in front of me, meaning the signal was transmitting through my skull.

    Over a weekend we decided to view some boxed sets, after an hour or so i suffered what I now know to be a migraine with aura, which scared me, having probably half a dozen events over the weekend, whilst still viewing the boxed sets, culminating with a massive headache sickness and an early night. Had never suffered such before.

    Worried as to what was happening, I started questioning what I was doing differently, it quickly dawned on me that maybe the router/Roku box maybe the problem. I moved the router, set up cabled sockets around the house and switched off wi-fi when I could, which is a problem as other people in the house want a wi-fi connection. To overcome this I set up an upstairs and downstairs access point, so wherever I am, I’m as far away as possible from wifi transmission. It also times out overnight.

    I think Richard above is alluding to the fact that exposure may be accumulative, that being the reason why I was able to sit so close for so long with out problem, although the difference may have been that my computer was wired to it and although wi-fi was on it wasn’t transmitting.

    This happened 9 months ago, thankfully it hasn’t happened since.

    Of course there could be other reasons as to why my auras happened, but quite a coincidence.

    I do wonder about peoples future health, especially the young if going forward wi-fi is an issue.

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  • By Vinay

    hi – I have been experiencing wifi related headache from more than an year. Surprisingly, I work all through the day in my office in wifi zone which doesn’t cause any problem. However, when I come and use internet by switching on the router for nearly 1-2 hours is causing headaches varying from mild to high headaches sometimes.
    Another interesting fact to observe here is – the Wifi router used in my office is a very popular brand
    the wifi router used at my home is a different brand but still this is also famous.

    I don’t know the solution to get rid of this problem. But would need internet badly at home also, atleast for an hour a day.

    Anyone who knows how to overcome wifi headaches, please respond.

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  • By sysad

    I would have thought you were crazy a few months ago, but now I’ll have to say you may be on to something. I am looking at everything in my life that changed a few months ago to trigger my chronic migraines. My wife and I have gone over everything. Nothing at all stands out. An interesting thought in the back of my head is that I got the new echo dot right around the time my migraines started. It is wireless and sits on the end table next to the sofa where I sit. This weekend I will not be in the house, will be interesting to see if my headaches lessen or stop. I also plan on moving it when we get back or even shutting it off. Thank you, gives me something else to look at in my search to end these headaches.

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  • By josh123

    I can share some information on this topic. I have been sensitive to wireless signals for over 10 years now and have been experimenting on what maybe the cause. Firstly, if the wifi in your house triggers migraines you turn off the wifi through your router settings and hard wire all devices with ethernet. There is also a way to do this for ipods, ipads, and cell phones.
    Also if wifi signals are causing migraine’s then it is likely cell phone signals are also. This has nothing to do with the brand of router you use or the type of computer or device you use. It is a very complicated subject and that is why no one in the world can explain why it happens. The first thing I can tell you is that the network is what controls how the devices operate. So for the person who can tolerate wifi at work but not at home check and see if the internet service provider is the same. Also offices or businesses will get different internet connections than homes. Wireless sensitivity is like an allergy so the more stressors you have in an environment the more sensitive you will be. Avoidance is the only strategy that works if it affects you in a certain location.

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  • By josh123

    Also for Maddy going hard wired is not expensive at all. You do have to live with some ethernet cables on the floors but that’s not a big sacrifice for health.

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  • By josh123

    I forgot to add one more thing. What we are experiencing are not migraines. It is called electrical hypersensitivity syndrome or radio wave illness. It has been known that wireless or microwave signals cause negative health problems for many years. If you google the topic you will see that people in the army suffered from radio wave illness from using wireless communication devices. So yes, headaches are one of the symptoms but they are not typical migraines.

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  • By SallyB

    Hi all

    I have had very bad headaches for the past five years – they are being caused by wireless internet (wifi). This is and has been deeply distressing – I can’t stay in hotels. My work environment is very difficult. There is more and more information out there, see

    I really hope there is help and awareness soon. This is causing alot of suffering!

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  • By Ajai

    I have been suffering with chronic migraines for a long time now. I found this page by researching into if WiFi can cause migraines. After all the signals are going straight through our heads. What I have found is alot of people dismissing it because you can’t go anywhere in a built up area without being exposed to WiFi and everyone else seems okay, but the more scientific answer is ‘We don’t know’.

    Id be interested in finding out if WiFi truly is a cause for some people, or if the placebo effect is taking hold. If you suffer with migraines and you think WiFi is the cause, investigate by getting a member of your family to turn the WiFi either on or off for sections of the day and keep a detailed headache diary to see if there is a correlation without you yourself knowing if the WiFi was on at that time or not.

    Unfortunately I have too many WiFi signals around to be able to practically give me a WiFi free period in time. So I really would be interested to find out if people can document cases of this occuring.

    In response to the person further up the thread who has linked the amazon echo dot to their migraines, I have one as well and cannot have it plugged in anywhere near where I spend alot of time. The power supply for it is a ‘switching’ mode supply. Which means it turns on and off very quickly to get the desired amount of power. This causes a high pitched sound which is in the upper end of what we can hear, noises like those have already been proven to be a trigger of migraine because it hyperstimulates your auditory nerves.

    To anyone who suffers from frequent migraines I sympathise with your pain, my condition has quite literally destroyed all aspects of my life. I wish you all the best of health, and hopefully with some further research through sufferers we can identify more causes.

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  • By Damian

    Hello. I have suffered migraine headaches for over ten years. However, some years ago, with the advent of WIFI routers (802.11a), I recognized that WIFI was another source of my migraines. I was eager to purchase a WIFI router, purchased and installed one, then suddenly I felt a migraine coming on. Within 30 minutes I got sick and went to bed, but could not sleep as the headache was the worst I have had and was not going away, and I felt nauseous. I knew something was wrong as I never had a migraine coming on so suddenly. I jumped out of bed and unplugged the router, minutes later my headache began to subside along with the sick feeling. It was at this point I recognized my inability to tolerate WIFI signals. Some years later, the same thing occurred when I tried to pair my phone using Bluetooth. Cell phones give me migraines if I place it too close to my head or if I spend very long on the phone. A couple years ago I bought an 802.11ac WIFI router, to see if the new specifications would not cause migraines to flare up. Sadly, I still get headaches. I have completely wired my house and disabled all WIFI signals in the router (2.4 + 5 GHz). In reference to Ajai comment about a placebo test, I turn on the WIFI for a quick minute every now and then to allow my Samsung cell phones to update. One day I forgot it on and went to work. Had a beautiful day at work and when I arrived home and started to relax, I felt a migraine coming on, then I remembered I checked the router and realized I forgot WIFI on. Similarly, I also feel headaches coming on when I visit friend’s homes who have WIFI or at the office. But the further I am from the source, the better. I have since learned from my doctor about the other sources of my migraines which is mainly food related and sun-related (glare). I can relate to those suffering from normal and WIFI migraines. All the best. Thank you for your posts, some years ago when I first searched, I found no information, I believed I was a unique case, or probably that I had a brain issue. My friends joked about me, thinking I was weird.

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  • By jck81

    I thought I was alone with this until recently when articles online popped up with people sharing their experiences. My university of course has numerous routers most if not all have 4 to 8 antennas which probably mean they emiteven stronger waves. I would feel dizzy and nervous like an aura was coming on. Only happened in classrooms with routers placed close to me. Cisco routers seemed to worsen the issue. Maybe that broadcast differently than others.

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  • By Schopfheim

    Headaches can lead to permanent brain damage, including loss of cells (several articles on the Web support this) so one needs to be extra careful and use cable – rather than wireless – connections as often as possible.

    Apple (to name names) are extremely gong-ho in producing keyboards that are exclusively wireless connected. Some day, perhaps, they will face action for damages that recalls the travails of the tobacco industry.

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  • By resteasy


    This is my first time on this site, which I found after searching for info on WIFI, migraines and hearing aids. I live in an apartment building where we, and many of the neighbors, have WIFI.

    About 3 days ago I started experiencing more powerful headaches than I had ever had before. I have been diagnosed before as anemic and so at first I thought the headaches were related to that (which they still may be). However, I also wear hearing aids and have for the past three years without incident. When I realized that the debilitating headaches I was experiencing often (though not always) are concentrated on the side of the head where the ear that I typically sleep with my hearing aid in is, I thought perhaps the hearing devices also had something to do with it.

    For the past couple of nights, I have tried sleeping with my WIFI turned off and both my hearing aids removed, and this has made a remarkable difference in the quality of my sleep. However, within moments of my waking up and turning my devices back on, the headache typically returns.

    My question is, does anyone know whether hearing aids have the ability to act as a some sort of conductor for the electromagnetic waves you were discussing? Or whether this sensitivity could somehow be brought on or exacerbated by wearing hearing aids? Would love to hear anyone’s experiences or advice on the matter. Thanks.

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