Mitigating migraines in today’s virtual world

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Between working and going to school virtually, health professionals have noticed an increase in headaches and migraines across the board.

“In general, if you were to look at the categorization of a migraine or a headache, you know it’s light sound sensitivity and it can be associated with nausea. When you’re sitting there looking at a screen all day, you are gonna be focusing on increased light intake and bad strain, so that could possibly push for a headache,” said Kristen Dirks, nurse practitioner.

But there are few ways to keep screen time-related headaches and migraines to a minimum.

“It’s the 20/20 rule. Maybe limiting your exposure to the screen to 20 minutes, taking those frequent breaks, and also kinda stretching, and then adjusting your screen to the level height. Also the blue glasses are very good. You can get glasses or you can get actually a screen protector that is the blue filter lights,” Dirks said.

Dirks says it does not have to be a long break; even 20 seconds is sufficient.  She says it gives the eyes a chance to readjust before getting back to work.

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Posture also plays a major role, whether that comes in the form of breaks or utilizing a standing desk.

Of course, if headaches persist, it may be time to get to a provider.

“I would say if you are starting to have concerns, always talk to your primary care provider. Your primary care provider will direct you if you need to see a specialist, but ultimately, if you’re having sharp, severe, stabbing headaches – any stroke-like symptoms or even loss of vision – that would warrant probably seeing a specialist,” Dirks added.

Just looking away 20 seconds every half hour can keep the doctor away, so take that break.

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