Use of most electronic media is not associated with headaches, at least not in adolescents. However, listening to one or two hours of music every day was associated with a pounding head.

There has been much debate over the years discussing the effects of television and gaming in adolescents. Astrid Milde-Busch, from Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany, worked with a team of researchers to study the links between exposure to electronics and the prevalence and type of headaches. This study was originally published in BMC Neurology Interestingly, there is no significant data to link computer gaming with headache in adolescents aged 13-17. Dr. Milde-Busch states, “Excessive use of electronic media is often reported to be associated with long-lasting adverse effects on health like obesity or lack of regular exercise, or unspecific symptoms like tiredness, stress, concentration difficulties and sleep disturbances. Studies into the occurrence of headaches have had mixed results and for some types of media, in particular computer games, are completely lacking.”

The researchers interviewed almost one thousand teenagers with an almost 50% split of headache sufferers and non-headache sufferers. When the two groups were compared, no associations were found for television viewing, electronic gaming, mobile phone usage or computer usage. However, daily consumption of music was associated with headache suffering. Although as Dr. Milde-Busch points out, “It cannot be concluded whether the habit of listening to music is the cause of frequent headaches, or the consequence in the sense a self-therapy by relaxation.”

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