What Causes Headaches at Home?
Now that so many people are working from home, it’s good to know what triggers in the home can cause headaches. Here are some common causes of why you are getting headaches at home:
Too much screen time
Eye strain is the culprit behind many of the headaches happening at home these days. You’re working from home, your kids are learning school lessons online and you’re spending more time looking at your laptop screen, their laptop screen, tablets, phones and even TV. Eye strain and dry eyes that result from looking at screens all day and not blinking or readjusting your field of vision can trigger headaches.
What can you do? Take more breaks, even if it’s just an “eye break.” Look away from your computer or phone screen to a point at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Blink more often—sometimes we need to remind ourselves to blink when we’re staring at our screens for too long. Take a brief walk—whether it’s downstairs to get water or outside to get the mail—every 30 to 45 minutes.
Like eye strain, poor posture is often a result of sitting at our desks too long. Or maybe all the desks in your house are taken and you’re working from the couch or at a table that’s not quite ergonomic enough. As we work, we have a tendency to lean closer to our screens and hunch our back and shoulders. The result is often a tension headache, which comes from the stress and strain in our neck, back and shoulder muscles. Even looking at our phone for too long can cause our neck muscles to stiffen.
How do we prevent this? Wherever your work area is, position your laptop so the screen is at eye-level. This may mean using a separate keyboard or an additional screen. Stretch your neck, back and shoulders repeatedly throughout the day. Not only is this a great reminder to keep good posture, it also helps get blood flow moving and keeps muscles from stiffening up. When looking at your phone screen, hold your phone closer to eye level or prop it up on a stand that helps prevent you from bending your neck down.
If you have multiple kids and a partner home day and night with you, chances are noise could be causing your headache or making it worse. There’s a certain rhythm of noise you may have been used to working out of the home, yet now you may have spontaneous outbursts of noise, loud music, competing video calls and more all in one enclosed space. Or maybe outdoor noise, like neighbors, landscapers and traffic, are intruding indoors.
How can you fix noise? You may want to have daily or nightly meetings with your home crew to go over what everyone has on their schedule for the day so you can anticipate what times will be the noisiest and prepare accordingly. You can also limit what noises are allowed and which devices must be listened to with headphones. Noise-cancelling headphones may help for those times you really need to dull the noise. Sometimes adding another noise can help—like listening to soft music, nature sounds or white noise. Designate a quiet room and/or quiet hours in your home, using input from everyone in the family. For outdoor noise that’s sneaking in, try adding heavier drapes to the windows and turn on your heat or air conditioning, keeping the windows closed.
Headaches can also be triggered by indoor air and allergens. You may be noticing the effect more now simply because you are spending more time at home. Replace your HVAC air filter regularly—this could be from once a month to every three months (check instructions on filter packaging). Eliminate any fragrances or odors that trigger a headache in you or your family. Possible offenders include new laundry detergent or softener, colognes or fragrances, candles and air fresheners. Know which scents cause a reaction for you. Ask anyone who smokes to smoke outside, away from doors and windows. And make sure that any do-it-yourself projects you’ve undertaken aren’t the source of your headaches. For example, new carpet and flooring often produce a chemical odor that could be an irritant.
BC® Powder To The Rescue
Since you have enough on your plate these days, you probably want quick pain relief when one of these types of headaches strikes. That’s what BC® Powder was made for! Try BC® Original or BC® Cherry— just add the powder to water or another liquid, or pour powder on your tongue and chase with a beverage for fast headache relief.
And if you believe you have a headache or body aches from COVID-19, check with your doctor first to ensure taking BC® Powder or NSAID is okay for you.