Headaches are a common problem for people of all ages. While there are many potential causes of headaches, reading can be one of them. This article will explore the relationship between reading and headaches, and discuss ways to prevent or alleviate headaches while reading.
What is the connection between reading and headaches?
Most people would not think that reading could cause headaches, but for some people, it is a reality. While the cause of this connection is unknown, there are several theories about why it occurs. Some believe that the strain on the eyes from reading can lead to headaches, while others think that it is caused by tension in the neck and shoulders from keeping one’s head in the same position for an extended period of time.
Whatever the reason may be, if you are someone who suffers from frequent headaches after reading, there are several things that you can do to help reduce the likelihood of them occurring.
What are the potential causes of headaches while reading?
There are a few theories regarding reading and headaches. One theory suggests that when people read, their eyes move back and forth rapidly across the page, which can cause pressure in the skull. Another theory suggests that when readers focus on specific words or sentences, they activate parts of the brain that are responsible for headache pain.
Other Reasons For Headache While Reading:
- Reading at a Close Range
- Dry Eyes
- Lack of Focus
- Both Eyes Don’t Align Correctly
- Incorrect Vision
- High-Powered Glasses
- Incorrect Posture
- Using Digital Books or e-Books
- Dim Light
- Insufficient Light
- Reading a Moving Vehicle
- Reading in a Noisy Place
How to Identify if the Headache While Reading is Due to Eye Strain?
Some signs can indicate whether you are suffering from an eye strain headache caused by reading or not.
One way to know that your headache was caused by reading could be when the pain clears up as soon as you take a break! This might not be true in every case, but it is still commonly seen.
Eye strain headaches typically occur when you have been reading uninterrupted for a long time, and then fade when you close your eyes for a bit. Eye strain headaches do not usually accompany nausea and vomiting.
At times, your eyes may not feel pain, but your eyelid muscles may be experiencing strain. So you can sense a headache, or the area may even feel tense.
Is it Okay to Read with a Headache?
Most of us would agree that it’s not okay to read with a headache, but is it really that bad? In short, no. First of all, if you have a particularly severe headache, you should probably see a doctor. However, even in cases where the pain is moderate to severe, reading can be bearable with the help of some relaxation techniques.
How can you prevent or alleviate headaches while reading?
Adjust Lighting: Make sure the lighting in your reading area is not too bright or too dark. If necessary, adjust the lighting to find the perfect level.
Take Breaks: It is important to take breaks while reading. Get up and walk around every 30 minutes or so to prevent headaches.
Stretch: Stretching can help relieve tension in the neck and shoulders, which can lead to relief from headaches.
Use Eye Drops: If you experience eye fatigue, use eye drops to help relieve the strain.
Use a Book Stand: If you are experiencing neck pain, try using a book stand to keep the body posture right.
Blink Frequently: It is highly advisable to blink often. This will help you maintain the moisture in your eyes and avoid them from getting dry. If this doesn’t help, try using an artificial tear as mentioned above.
Follow the 20-20-20 rule: Even though reading for a long period of time every day can help you to prevent eye problems, taking brief breaks at regular intervals can help. Select an object at least 20 meters away, and look at it as you continuously read for at least 20 seconds after each break.
Reading can cause headaches for a variety of reasons. However, there are many ways to prevent or alleviate these headaches. By understanding the causes of headaches while reading and taking some simple steps, you can read without pain.
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