Smartphone usage may worsen headache, finds study
Smartphone users took an average of eight pain killers per month compared to five pills per month for non-users, delineating that smartphone use may have been cause of headache.
New Delhi: With the advancement in technology, the use of smartphones is provoking adverse health issues among the people, associated with an increase in the requirement of acute medication and less relief with acute medication.
"The root of the problem is not yet clear. Is it a user's neck position? Or the phone's lighting? Or eye strain? Or the stress of being connected at all times? Answers will likely emerge in upcoming years and eventually guide strategies for more sustainable use of the devices," said by Heidi Moawad, member of the American Academy of Neurology.
"Features such as hands-free settings, voice activation and audio functions could potentially hold the key to helping smartphone users benefit from their phones without exacerbating their headaches," Moawad added.
Dr.Deepti Vibha and her colleagues from AIIMS New Delhi conducted a cross-sectional hospital-based study to show the association of smartphone use with the occurrence of new-onset headache and/or increased severity of headaches in patients with primary headache.
A cross-sectional study between June 2017 and December 2018, patients with primary headache were divided into 2 groups: smartphone users (SUs) and non-smartphone users (NSUs). A questionnaire was made for headache characteristics and the treatment taken. The primary objective was to determine the association of smartphone use with a new-onset headache or increase severity. The secondary objective was to determine any differences in the requirement of acute medication and prophylaxis.
The study included 400 patients, of which 194 were NSUs and 206 were SUs.The NSUs were older with lower education and socioeconomic status. The headache characteristics were similar in both the groups, except for the following findings,
• Higher occurrence of aura in NSUs: 15 [7.7%] than in the SUs: 36 [17.5%];
• Higher proportion of patients taking analgesics were SUs: 197 [95.6%] than (NSUs: 157 [80.9%]with less relief in headache with medication in the SU group
• Smartphone users took an average of eight pills per month compared to five pills per month for non-users.
However, the study did not find any difference between the two groups in how often headaches occurred, how long they lasted or how severe they were. The study also did exam people at one point in time, and it did not follow them to look for changes over time.
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