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Could Smartphones Be the Trigger for Bad Headaches?

Date : Mar 06, 2020

Author : DR A Zayed

If you believe your smartphone is giving you a headache, chances are, you are right. Based on the latest research, people who spend too much time on their smartphones and use medications for headache, experience less pain relief than other users.

They take a lot more medications and still fail to properly alleviate the pain.

Group of people on smartphone

The results published in the Neurology Clinical Practice in 2020 are limited but offer pretty substantial results. In fact, the new research suggests smartphone makes your headache worse, not only the effects of pain medications. This is not something you can ignore. 

Let’s take a closer look at how smartphones are connected to headaches and the ways that can affect our overall health. 

How Did Researchers Come Up With the Results?

This was small-scale research with exactly 400 volunteers. They all had a primary headache health issue, which included typical headaches, tension, migraines, or any other type caused by an illness. 

The volunteers were then separated into two groups, those who used smartphones and those who didn’t. The main goal was to determine whether smartphones affect the headaches in any way or impact the severity of the condition. The second goal was to see if they affected the pain medications for acute pain in any way. 

The results were evident. 96% of the volunteers with smartphones had a higher chance of relying on pain meds to soothe the headache, unlike the 81% of the users without a phone. 

Based on the statistics, for 94% of the smartphone users, pain relief meds were not that effective. While for the other group, 84% noticed complete or moderate pain relief after taking the analgesics. Even though researchers need bigger and more rigorous testing, these results do seem worrying. 

It seems smartphone use has the potential to be a viable trigger for failing to alleviate headaches. However, to figure out how other unexplored mechanisms affect these headaches, more research is necessary, stated the author of the study, Dr. Deepti Vibha. The new research suggests smartphone makes your headache worse, but, it doesn’t prove if smartphones do, in fact, result in headaches. 

Why Does It Matter?

Current smartphone technology is advancing at a fast pace. In 2020, More than 270 million people use smartphones solely in the U.S. By 2021; this device is expected to penetrate the market by 72.7%, statistics show. Since more and more people will be using smartphones, headaches can be a serious problem. Also, a lot more people have trouble letting go of this device. According to Vibha, this research may inspire more people to take better care of their health, especially with headaches. 

A Different Research With Similar Results

This is not the only research published on smartphones and headaches. In fact, another meta-analysis issued in 2017 showed similar results. Mobile phones were linked to headaches, but the cause and the nature of the problem remained unknown. 

The statistics pointed out the effect of microwave energy as a possible trigger for headaches and the exposure weakening the barrier of the brain and blood. As stated, there is a possibility this trigger affects the dopamine levels and makes people more vulnerable to headaches. However, the research was inconclusive since more large-scale studies were necessary. 

Final Thoughts

Even though more studies are needed, this new research suggests smartphone makes your headache worse. It can interfere with the acute pain medication and serve as a potential trigger for pain. This is not the only research published, so the odds of it being effective are high. 

What do you think? Are your headaches worse after staying on your smartphone? Let us know in the comments. 

References

https://cp.neurology.org/content/early/2020/03/03/CPJ.0000000000000816

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/926251

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/04/health/smartphone-headache-wellness/index.html

https://leftronic.com/smartphone-usage-statistics/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5626766/

https://thenewdaily.com.au/life/wellbeing/2020/03/05/smart-phones-headaches-migraines/

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