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Your increased screen time while working from home can give you migraines

Updated on:9 October 2020, 17:58pm IST
The covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we work, thus increasing the time we spend on our phones and computers. This can give you frequent headaches, including migraines.
Dr Arati Joshi
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Take a break from your mobile screen. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The covid-19 pandemic has changed almost every aspect of daily life, including the way we work. As more and more people are working from home, headache and migraine complaints have increased. Sure working from home has its own perks but for many people, the change of work environment and schedule has been a headache—literally. 

A few of the most common reasons for this increase headaches and migraine attacks are: 

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  1. Increased screen time

    In the current situation people are spending more than 60% of their time on their laptops, phones, and other digital devices. This increased screen time has put a lot of strain on our eyes.

    Your eyes fatigued because of prolonged time spent looking at computers and other screens. We stare at the screen constantly, we see a glare. We also blink less, which puts more strain on our eyes.

  2. Poor posture

    While we all are working from home, we do not have the ideal office setup. This leads to a poor posture which can increase the likelihood of a migraine-related or tension-type headache.

    Migraine causes
    A correct posture makes a whole lot of difference in migraine. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
  3. Change in sleep and diet patterns

    Working from home has disturbed our normal routine. For many, the changes in their diet, exercise and sleep patterns have triggered migraine-related problems. Changes in meal schedules and increased caffeine intake can also be a precursor of headache. 

If you have been headaches frequently, then here’s help:

Some small steps can help in preventing headaches and reducing migraine attacks. These some to start with:

  • Try to reduce your screen time to daylight hours
  • Try using screen protectors on your digital devices
  • Give your eyes a break by periodically moving your gaze away from the screen
  • Do basic eye exercises regularly. This will help in preventing as well as recovering from eye strain 
  • Take a break from your device and indulge in other activities like cooking, walking your dog, etc.

Also, listen:

  • Optimize the ergonomics of your home office to make it more comfortable. Encourage better posture and keep your spine in a neutral position. Ensure you place your laptop or keyboard accordingly
  • Ensure you have optimum lighting is your room. Adjust the lighting according to the computer glare
  • Take regular breaks to stretch 
  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time, every day
  • Take meals at the same time every day 
  • Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Exercise regularly as it helps to keep you fit and decreases stress levels. It also induces sleep and elevates mood

If making the above changes doesn’t help, talk to your doctor without any delay. If going to a clinic or hospital is a concern, avail tele-consultation services offered by leading clinics and hospitals. 

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Dr Arati Joshi Dr Arati Joshi

Dr Arati Joshi is a family physician with Healthspring, a primary healthcare solutions provider in India.