San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
Are you a gamer? Video games represent a multi-billion dollar industry. For many, playing a game has an unintended consequence that can ruin your day—a headache. If you’re experiencing headaches often when you play video games, don’t ignore them. In this article, your San Francisco neuromuscular dentists at Glen Park Dental want to explore the most common causes of video game headaches and how we could help provide relief.
What causes a video game headache?
- Fatigue and/or dehydration – These two conditions are the most common culprits behind all types of headaches, whether or not you are playing video games. That’s why the first remedy for a video game headache is to drink more water and take more breaks from the game.
- Motion sickness – Certain games see the perspective change rapidly and repeatedly and could affect your body’s sense of motion. You’re sitting still, but your eyes insist you are in motion. This can lead to motion sickness, symptomized by dizziness, nausea, and headaches. Try limiting your gaming to shorter sessions, making sure you’re playing in an environment with appropriate lighting. Taking an over-the-counter motion sickness remedy like Dramamine could help.
- Epilepsy – Photosensitivity can be a trigger for people with epilepsy. The flashing lights from certain video games and even watching TV could trigger a seizure. If you or someone you love has epilepsy, a headache can be a sign that a seizure is oncoming. Epilepsy seizures are not always obvious, and at times you may be experiencing them without knowing it.
- TMJ disorder – Temporomandibular joint disorder refers to any condition that affects the joint’s function, which connects your jaw to your skull on either side of the head and controls the ability of your jaws to open and close. For gamers, TMJ disorder actually can lead to stress headaches. If you’re stressing while playing games, you might be clenching your jaw. That stresses the jaw muscles, which can then radiate to the muscles of the head and neck, leading to a headache. TMJ disorder is a “silent epidemic” that’s estimated to affect more than 10 million Americans, although many of those cases never get properly diagnosed or treated.
Treating TMJ Headaches in San Francisco
If you do have TMJ disorder, then it will only get worse if you never receive treatment. The symptoms of the disorder—such as headaches—also will intensify as time passes. If you’re experiencing frequent headaches during and after playing video games, TMJ disorder could be the true cause. That’s why you should schedule a consultation with one of the neuromuscular dentists at Glen Park Dental—especially if you’re experiencing any other common symptoms of TMJ disorder, such as jaw pain, cracked or chipped teeth, or hearing a popping or clicking sound as your jaws open and close.
Our staff includes multiple neuromuscular dentists. This is a specialized field of dental science dedicated to orofacial alignment. A neuromuscular dentist uses their unique training to identify a case of TMJ disorder and then provide relief. To find out more, make your appointment today by calling (415) 585-1500.
Glen Park Dental is proud to serve our patients in the areas of San Francisco, Oakland, and Marin in California.