Why do I get Headaches when Playing Video Games?

Categories: TMJ/TMD

headache playing video games

Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley CA

Video gaming is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Playing video games is common among social gatherings, and can be played online or solo. You may find pleasure in gaming during your spare time. But do you ever experience headaches while playing video games? If so, you shouldn’t ignore it. Today on the blog, our neuromuscular dentists in Scotts Valley look to answer this common question.

The correlation between video games and headaches

Several factors may contribute to headaches while playing video games, and it’s important to pinpoint the exact cause so that you can seek the best treatment. Additionally, the frequency and severity of your headaches are also important factors when assessing the cause of frequent headaches. Here are common causes of headaches while gaming.

Fatigue and/or dehydration: These two conditions are often to blame for headaches whether you play video games or not. However, gamers may find themselves immersed in their game for hours without taking a break. You may not realize how much time has passed since you took a sip of water. Therefore, it’s essential to stay hydrated and take frequent breaks by taking a few laps around the living room or kitchen to boost your energy.

Motion sickness: Sometimes games that have flashing scenes or that change rapidly could invoke feelings of motion sickness. These quick movements cause rapid eye movement while the body remains still, which confuses the body’s sense of motion. Motion sickness symptoms include dizziness, nausea, and headaches. If you experience motion sickness while playing video games, perhaps keep your gaming sessions short and ensure the room is well lit because looking at a rapid moving video game in a dark room could worsen the symptoms.

Epilepsy: Epileptic individuals often experience photosensitivity, which is when flashing lights trigger a seizure. If you are epileptic and play video games, a headache could be the first warning sign that a seizure is imminent. Video games are required to label their games properly to warn those with photosensitivity or that may have epilepsy. Be sure to look for these warnings if you are epileptic.

TMJ disorder: Temporomandibular joint disorder is a condition that involves jaw joint dysfunction, which can be caused by arthritis, stress, bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding), missing or uneven teeth and an unbalanced bite. The trigeminal nerve is one of the body’s most prominent nerves and it runs through the jaw joints, around the skull, and connects to the spinal column. Therefore, when TMJ disorder goes untreated, it often aggravates the trigeminal nerve. The nerve sends impulses of pain to the brain, and chronic headaches that are difficult to control may occur. Additionally, TMJ disorder could worsen, as do the headaches, while playing video games since you may encounter stressful situations while playing.

Headache treatment from your dentist in Los Gatos, Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz, California

Experiencing chronic headaches may be common, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the pain. If you experience frequent headaches, whether you play video games or not, our neuromuscular dentists at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry recommend that you schedule a TMJ screening as soon as possible. We can provide non-invasive relief and help you get out of pain, and no more headaches! Learn more or schedule your consultation by calling (831) 438-4411.