For whatever reason, you find yourself staring at screens all day long. Maybe it’s part of your job, or perhaps you just enjoy playing video games or watching TV. Either way, you might start to notice some regular headaches. Now, are these directly related to all that screen time? We know that staring at a screen is bad for your eyes, but will it cause headaches as well?
Let’s find out!
There’s a condition called computer vision, which stems from the way your eyes respond to screen time. They start to dry out, your vision gets blurry, and you struggle to focus your eyes properly. Over time, this can lead to permanent vision problems. However, one of the knock-on effects of this is that you develop headaches. It comes from the increased strain on your eyes, the bad vision – the symptoms basically combine to cause pain in and around your head/eyes.
You’ll know if you have this problem as closing your eyes and lying down helps a great deal. So, in answer to the original question, technically screens do cause headaches.
Will reducing my screen time get rid of headaches for good?
Possibly, it’s impossible to tell. While screens can cause headaches, they might not be the cause of yours. There are plenty of other things that can give you a sore head every day, such as:
This is basically the pressure in the air around us. Sharp changes in this pressure can trigger headaches in many people. You’ll know if you get these as your head always hurts when the weather drastically changes. Or, your headache feels like a build-up of pressure. In this case, staring at screens won’t change these headaches at all. Instead, you can measure barometric pressure to see if a headache is about to come on when you go outside. Then, you can take painkillers to prevent them.
Similarly, if your eyesight is poor, and you don’t have glasses, then you can get headaches all the time. This is one of the most common causes of headaches and is often confused with excessive screen time. If you get headaches even when you don’t spend ages looking at screens, then it could be down to this. A telltale sign is if your vision is blurred or you find it hard to see things. Sort out your eyesight, and the headaches will leave.
Being under lots of stress can also cause headaches. Again, this can come about when you’re looking at a screen but not be directly related to the screen itself. For example, working all day at a computer can be stressful as you have clients complaining, loads of things to do, etc. So, it’s natural to develop a stress headache. Relieving your stress will make it go away – turning your screen off isn’t going to help.
In summary, staring at screens all day can cause headaches in some people. But, before you diagnose yourself, be aware there are other causes of headaches as well. So, figure out what’s causing yours if you want to find the best solution.