Computer and your head

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Computer and your head

Post  Mini on Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:38 am

I have definitely noticed that the less I am on my computer, the better it is for my head.
I mainly use a laptop, and so I do not have it on all the time.
Some days not all all, other times only in the morning and evening checking e-mails etc, but some days I get lost in some net reaserch, or start doing more work, and spend almost all day on my computer.
These are also the days, that are most likely to leave me with a h/a which can last into the next day, or turn into migraine.( I have the light down to darkest BTW, so the screen is not very bright).

I also know that when I am away from home for few days and do not use computer at all, I get fewer h/a - or maybe this is just a pleasant distraction that makes me realxed, hence no head pain?

I just wonder in what degree the computer, or laptop contributes to our head pain. Any fellings on that?

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Post  rileyoday on Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:38 pm

My worst years I did not have a computer. when I got one it did not become worse.

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Re: Computer and your head

Post  Migrainegirl on Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:54 pm

I am pretty sure sitting in front of a computer all day is not good for me. I have a very ergonomic workstation, but even then I tend to lean in and strain my neck too much ( like today). But I have had plenty of headaches on non computer days when I'm relaxed and having a nice time too, so who knows? Spending loads of money on super comfy chairs that recline and large screen displays did not help either.
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Re: Computer and your head

Post  Mini on Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:24 am

I think you are right Migrainegirl - no matter how comfortable the chair is, the neck is something to watch in this resepct.
I know that I strain my neck, stretching it towards the screen quite hard without realising I am doing it.
It is not wonder that I have also lots of neck pain problems (which I am trying to deal with). I am sure that this brings on many of my h/a and neck muscle tension, which in turn can trigger a bad migraine.

I am doing a very useful neck excercises suggested by my physio - and it all helps, if I rememebr doing them frequently enough.
One of the best exercises for me, is very simple - I sit very straigt an then bring my chin down to the neck as hard as possible (but gently to start with, you must never do anything more then is comfortable). I find it makes my neck realax and improves my posture as well.There are few more, but this one is the most beneficial for me.

I think like everything with migraine we can only help ourself step by little step, and each bout of migraine aborted by avoiding one special trigger, is a little victory.

I think that when we concentrate very hard on seeing everything that appears on the screen this can cause eye tension - like for example I cannot have too wide screen, as it makes me feel sick, almost immediately.

So, I am sure that computer does play a part in causing some of my h/a, but also just like Rileo said, I did have some of my worst migraines, long before I used computer on almost daily basis.
I do not think computer is a cause of all my h/a problems, but I suspect that the computer is cause of many, of them.
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Re: Computer and your head

Post  WitsEnd on Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:02 pm

I sit in front of a computer at work all day and come home and sit in front of my laptop some night. Some weekends I don't even look at either and I notice no difference at all.

I totally understand how VDU's could have an effect on people though. Fortunately for me, I don't think I'm one of them.
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Re: Computer and your head

Post  02R96 on Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:02 am

Assuming that light sensitivity is not the problem...

It could be the refresh rate of the display that's bothering you. It's a common problem for people with epilepsy, migraine and other disorders.

See, your display "refreshes" the image anywhere from 60 to 100 times per second. The slower the refresh rate the more noticeable it can be. Typically 60hz is the default setting. Have you ever saw a television program that showed computer or television screen with a black bar rolling down the screen? That's the display refreshing.

Typically older CRT displays are harder for us because the flickering is more noticeable. They use phosphor inside the tube to light up the display and as soon as the electron beam (which is what creates the image you see) passes over the phosphor it starts to fade. LCD displays are not as bad because the material inside the display does not fade as long as power is applied.

Also, CRT display's use whats called a "Horizontal Oscillator" I'll skip the details but it can sometimes be heard as a very high pitched sound if it's out of alignment or not a very good design. Remember going to an appliance store (back in the day) and hearing a weird high pitch sound around the TV's? That was all of the oscillators (in the rack of TV's) combining, creating an audible sound, which played tricks with your senses! Even if you cannot hear anything from your display if it's a CRT, it's there and could possibly be bothering you.

As always every situation is different. I know since I got rid of my old tube displays I can work on the computer longer. That is until the light sensitivity kicks in...

Sorry for the dissertation, but the subject brought out the geek in me! study
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Re: Computer and your head

Post  estre004 on Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:09 pm

Sitting at a computer does not trigger migraines for me at all. One thing that I have often wondered about though on this forum is how in the heck some of you can correspond or even look at the computer when you do have a migraine. I can usually abort my migraines before they escalate but when I can't, computers, TV, books, anything but a dark room with my head covered in ice is unbearable. I am just curious.

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Re: Computer and your head

Post  Mini on Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:33 pm

Thank you for your dissertation, Dan - the more we know the better, I like geeky stuff provided, like in your case it is well explained. However, tonight I am extremely tired after a very busy day and cannot concentrate on checking what you suggest at the moment.
Just to let you know that I only use laptop, which is just over 3 years old so this is not CRT I don't think. It is Toshiba Sattelite model.

Estre, I could not agree with you more when you say:
how in the heck some of you can correspond or even look at the computer when you do have a migraine.
I cannot be anywhere near the computer with migraine, any light makes me feel sick. I often wondered how some people can spend so much time on the computer with migraines - it is a mystery to me.

The same with scents - I cannot bear any scents, let alone strong perfumes as they can trigger instant migraines, yet many people seem to be using them, as well. I use to adore beauitful scents, and was wild about them, until gradually I realised that I was getting more migraines when I used them I was left with a huge (and expensive collection) which I had to throw away. No more.
Cannot bear other people using them too when I go out.

But returning to computers - I think this is aslo to do with postures, and concentrating on reading the script which often not easy, specially on some crowded website. But for me it is the light I think, staring at it is not doing me any good.
Thank you all for your feedback.
.


Last edited by Mini on Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Computer and your head

Post  02R96 on Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:04 pm

Your laptop has an LCD screen. A CRT is a big tube, like older TV's (pre flat panel).
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Re: Computer and your head

Post  WitsEnd on Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:46 am

02R96 wrote:
Sorry for the dissertation, but the subject brought out the geek in me! study

lol!
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Re: Computer and your head

Post  crt on Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:10 pm

Dan,

I am a geek too, well really an accidental techie. I understand what you are saying and I agree with it. However, I am the exception. Having spend thousands of hours using both LCDs and CRTs, I am better off with a CRT. Of course, I set the CRT display to suit me. I can work many more hours on a CRT than I can on an LCD. However, as I said, I am the exception. I think most folks are better off with an LCD monitor.

Chris
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Re: Computer and your head

Post  Mini on Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:57 am

I think that perhaps with me, the problems is just looking at the large lighted surface, at any light in fact which can begin to irritate and trigger migraine at times, specially against dark contrasting background.
I have never used the older large desktop computer, only laptops, so I cannot compare the two types of screen but I know that I need to use it carefully and make breaks.

I can watch my large TV screen, but I have a very large lamp right next to it, so there is no contrast.
Driving in winter sun, even when it is not very brightt, but against strong shadows also can cause serious problems for me. Bright light is the enemy.
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