For many of us, a TV or computer screen is both work and play. As a result, the average American spends upwards of 9 and a half hours in front of a screen, and if you factor out the 20% of Americans that don’t use the Internet, the rest of us likely spend more than 11 hours a day in front of screens, including our desktop computer, tablets, smartphones, and TV.

Unfortunately, all this time spent in front of the screen may come with a cost: many of us may experience headache symptoms.

Do Screens Really Cause Headaches?

Unfortunately, we’re not entirely certain that screen time leads to headaches. One study has found a link between screen time and headaches in Nordic teens. ¬†However, another study of a similar population found were not correlated with screen use, only listening to music. College students and adults report computer use is associated with headaches, but these results aren’t widely correlated.

The tenuousness of the link is underscored by the fact that we don’t have good studies about the causal link. One case study notes screen flicker rate may be to blame, but few other studies look at the common theory of eye strain.

How to Tell If Screens Are Causing Your Headaches

If you think your screen time may be the cause of your headaches, watch for other symptoms of computer vision syndrome, such as:

  • Dry eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Pain in the eyes
  • Tired feeling eyes

If you have one or more of these symptoms as well as headache, there are many ways to reduce eye strain and headaches:

  • Reduce time looking at the screen
  • Take regular breaks
  • When you have a break, get natural light if possible
  • Spend time focusing on either very near objects (hold something close to your nose) and far objects (at least 20 feet away)

If your headaches are related to screen exposure this should help.

Other Causes?

If these strategies don’t improve your headaches, maybe they’re not related to screen time after all. Instead, they may be related to your posture or to TMJ. TMJ can cause headaches, including tension headaches and migraines. Fortunately, many treatment options can reduce the frequency and severity of headaches.

To learn more about how TMJ treatment can help you, please contact B&D Dental Excellence in Rockland County New York today.