The Mayo Clinic defines a migraine as a headache that typically involves severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head.
Migraine headaches can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.
Excessive screen time can have negative effects on health, particularly if it interferes with sleep, physical activity, or social interactions. Research has linked excessive screen time with poor sleep quality, obesity, poor mental health, and decreased physical fitness.
However, the amount of screen time that is considered excessive varies depending on factors such as age, activity level, and the nature of the screen-based activity. In general, experts recommend limiting screen time and taking regular breaks to reduce the potential negative effects on health.
We’ve seen the warnings: Too much screen time can lead to migraines. But is that true for every migraine sufferer?
The Mayo Clinic describes a migraine as a headache that is accompanied by severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation in your head.
“For it to be a migraine, someone has to have had five attacks in their life,” Donnelly said.
Migraines have three common symptoms: nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. But is too much screen time a trigger for migraines?
Donnelly says smartphone screens can be a trigger for people who are sensitive to light and have experienced migraines in the past.
“For someone who already is predisposed to having migraine — they run in the family, they have had one previously — screen time can play a role for some patients,” Donnelly said.
The time of day can also play a role in migraines that are triggered by screen time.
“If they are looking at the screen all hours of the night that can worsen the frequency of migraine as well,” Donnelly said.
Some doctors theorize that we can lower our chances of getting migraines by limiting overnight screen time.
“I really think if we can moderate that amount as well and really minimize screen time, phone time especially, in the one-to-two hours before someone goes to sleep, I think that’ll make a big difference,” Estemalik said.
Donnelly said other triggers like stress, the weather and unhealthy sleep habits can also cause migraines. Ultimately, getting a migraine from too much screen time really depends on an individual’s triggers.