With working from home being the new normal for many, and large-scale socialising in public banned and being replaced with online meet-ups using the likes of Zoom and Skype, it’s hardly surprising that our daily screen time has hugely increased.
This is bad news for migraine sufferers as too much screen time is one trigger of migraines. In one study from 2015, over two hours of screen time per day resulted in an increased likelihood of reporting a migraine episode.
A great many of us are far exceeding just two hours of screen time a day now, so it’s also hardly surprising that a number of migraine sufferers have found that the frequency and intensity of their migraines has gone up.
Unfortunately, unless we want to become even more cut off from friends and family, and with a continued need to work, we may not be able to get away from our screens as much as we would ideally like to in order to help reduce the impact on our migraines. There are other things we can do to help lessen the triggering effect of all that screen time though.
Adjust the light levels
To keep eye strain to a minimum – eye strain being something which can trigger a migraine – keep the lighting in the room balanced with the brightness of your screen.
Increase your font size
That or zoom in on pages so that you don’t have to squint to read text.
Use the 20-20-20 rules
Every twenty minutes look up from your screen for twenty seconds at something which is twenty feet away (six metres). These frequent breaks can help to reduce eye fatigue and so reduce the chances of a migraine.
Keep your distance
Position yourself at least 50cm away from the screen.
Use a filter
Using an antiglare screen on your computer monitor could help to further reduce eye strain.
Turn off your screen
When you’re on a conference call or video chat, when it’s possible and appropriate, try turning off your screen and just listening so your eyes get a break.
Adjust your refresh rate
When the refresh rate on a screen is set too low the image can subtly flicker and this can cause more eye strain than necessary. Adjusting your refresh rate so that it’s as high as it will go should help.