By Jackie Manning, ARNP, Strive! Health and Rehabilitation
Between tempers flaring on social media and not so comforting headlines in the news, it’s no wonder why your smartphone might be giving you a headache! But in all seriousness, if you use a smartphone and suffer from headaches, it might be time to get to the bottom of it and break some habits.
The Neurology Clinical Practice published research that associated increased smartphone use, with an with increased use of headache medication, but a lack of actual reported relief from the medication. The research uncovered no difference in frequency or duration of headaches between smartphone users and non-users.
The study identified the migraine as the most common headache type, followed by chronic migraine and chronic tension-type headache. In general, non-users are less likely to take medication for headaches. But when they do, they tend to report greater relief.
Why the difference? It isn’t exactly clear. But what is clear is that if you are a smartphone user who also suffers from headaches, you can experiment with some different steps to gauge improvement.
WHAT TO DO
A few simple solutions can lighten your load and free your head from the nagging aches.
- Spend less time on your smartphone. Simple as that! When it’s time to put it away, fight the urge to keep using it and tell yourself firmly it’s time to transition to something new. Take a deep breath and count to five if it helps with the shift!
- Increase the size of your text. This will allow your eyes to take in the material without squinting or overworking.
- Dim the light. Sometimes the light is just too bright for your eyeballs! You can tone it down a bit without sacrificing visual quality.
- Be mindful of your posture. Don’t slouch. Keep your neck straight to avoid muscle strain. Hold your phone higher in front if your face if it helps.
Always remember your phone is meant to enhance your quality of life, not diminish it!