computer screen headaches

How your Computer Screen Causes Headaches

Workplace and computer screen headaches

Staring at computer screens is a primary occupation for many people nowadays and, whether it be for work or pleasure, this can take a toll on our bodies and brains. Though it feels second nature for many, interacting with screens is anything but straightforward- there are many unconscious bodily and neurological processes that take place which can leave us vulnerable to headaches. Here are a few ways that computers can cause headaches:

  • Eye strain: because text is so small, we have to keep our computer screen at a reasonable distance, which is closer than our eyes are comfortable with for resting. Our eyes are struggling to keep focus at a point so close and this can cause fatigue and headache. 
  • Lighting of the work environment: a brightly lit office and improperly adjusted monitor creates an excessively bright environment that can be hard for our eyes to bear.

Your computer screen can be a headache trigger

Before choosing to blame your headaches on computer screens outright, it is important to consider other factors including posture, caffeine intake, overall stress level at work, diet and level of exercise- there is a good chance that your headache is a manifestation of a combination of all these factors.

However, if the computer screen is a common trigger, here are a few ways to prevent the onset of computer-related headaches: 

  • Take a break once per hour. Focus on activities that are completely unrelated to the monitor.
  • Try not to let your eyes refocus too often. Shifting between referring to the paper on your desk and the computer screen forces your eyes to refocus often and leaves them vulnerable to strain.
  • Turn down the overhead lights, adjust the brightness and contrast settings on your monitor. 
  • Create a good ergonomic environment: this includes monitor settings as well as posture- you want to make your office as easy on body and brain as possible. 

These tips are easy enough in theory, but we want to know: can you be disciplined enough to put them into practice? They will surely go a long way toward helping prevent headaches related to computer screens. However, chronic headaches are not normal- there could be an underlying problem such as subluxation or muscle tension that is contributing further to regular headaches. At our office in Houston, we can help detect the true cause of your headaches and start a path of healing that will reduce their grip on your life. 

Dr. Randall Holmes, D.C.