Is Screen Time a Migraine Trigger?

Don’t let your teenaged migraineur read this.

I’ve always been skeptical of migraine triggers, especially in children and teens. Parents often report that “sugar” is a trigger. Several studies have shown that when migraine patients keep a diligent diary, what they thought were their triggers prove not to be so.

Here comes a new study of screen exposure and headache disability in about 100 adolescents who had severe migraine with 17 headache days a month and missing 5 full and 3 partial days of school in the last 3 months.

There was no correlation between duration and type of screen exposure (cell phone, tablets, computer, TV, video games) with regards to headache frequency and school attendance and performance. Most reported that prolonged screen time worsened but did not trigger headaches. Surprisingly as well, regular exercise did not seem to prevent headaches.

Why this should be so is not clear.

This was presented by Langdon et al at the 2019 annual meeting of the AHS.

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