Is Reading a Migraine or Headache Trigger?

Reading_triggerReading has long been an escape from my migraines. I’ve been lucky because many people say their eyes are too sensitive (photophobia) or have migraines or headache triggered by reading. Since my photophobia is generally manageable — and I usually read when I already have a migraine — I thought I was free. Apparently not.

It started when my massage therapist mentioned that her physical therapist relieved her migraine (a true migraine, not a bad headache) by working on muscles in the back of her head. The idea is that moving your eyes causes these muscles to move, which can trigger migraines or headaches.

Having felt better during Christmas week, when I had no time to read, I experimented. Friday morning I spent 30 minutes on the computer and barely looked at it again until this morning. Friday, Saturday and Sunday were low pain.

Yesterday started out well, but was interrupted with a nasty migraine. One so bad that abortives were entirely ineffective. It continued through the night, but let up by morning. I’m back at the computer with frequent breaks. Today’s fate is too early to tell. My head pain seems to be increasing only a bit.

The experiment has already had good outcomes. I know to rest my eyes regularly. I’ve rekindled my love for NPR. I can exercise, cook or clean even exercise while “reading.”