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Computer and tv screen intolerance

I’ve been unable to tolerate screens for about 7 weeks now. Even my phone with blue-light filter on and very dim brightness effects me a bit. I can feel it instantly looking at any screen. I barely have problem with the sun or light’s so I think it’s the flickering more than brightness.

Has anyone had this problem and it cleared up with medication or time? Ive tried some of the ideas in the big thread on computer use to little effect.


Suspect this is different for everyone. I had pretty bad screen intolerance issues for a short while that would give me migraine rumbles or a full on migraine. Phone was ok but TV or computer was bad. It was completely resolved with 20mg Amitriptyline (a great drug for this!!). I’m now off meds with no screen issues. So adjust medication to resolve if you can. Brain should adjust in long term with exposure. Perhaps the inner ear calms down too.

Agree that it’s the flashing. I still have issues with artificial lighting on occasion.

I know others use filters etc. I’m lucky this wasn’t necessary.

Good luck with this one.

I dont think its the light for me but more the movement of screens. Im ok with tv if its far enough away and not bad camera work. Computer screens are a no no for me. Not the screen but the constant moving of my eyes from the keyboard to screen. My mobile can be an issue if i have too bright or scroll. In natural light i have to wear sunglasses but not ones that make it too dark and the lamp in my kitchen does my head in… literally. Im not on meds… yet so cant comment on them. Keeping calm and optimistic and keeping busy helps as it one takes the mind off things and two i feel if i keep up with house chores etc its like the exercises they give you to help with compensation. I hope this message finds happy and well. If not… fake it til you make it
Lyds x

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Hi, hopefully people will comment on how to resolve this i to have problems with everything you mentioned. Increase MAV diagnosis correlating to smart phone or big screen computers?
Makes me think does the increase of social media computers cell phones effect our brain?
Hope it gets better over time for you as most people on here said it has.

All my issues started 2 months after I started a 40 hour work week on the computer. When it started I only got the dizziness at work. Now I’m dizzy 24/7 but can tolerate the computer screen maybe 30 min to 1 hr at a time a few times a day or less. Typing is the hardest for me, there are days when I can’t type at all. I don’t have a smart phone but the scrolling on any screen bothers me. I’ve been okay with TV screens, knock on wood, but there are some camera techniques that can bother me.

Just happened on this older post whilst same topic was going through my head. I’m wondering what element of work-related injury is part of MAV. Obviously by very virtue of our comunications media I’m addressing a skewed audience but it’s interesting to know how many hours sufferers do spend looking at a screen. I was told yrs ago that had I had some outdoor job rather than a desk job with 40+ a day for yrs on a computer in all probability I’d never have needed to wear specs at least until old age reading glasses were required. Sure the human body wasn’t designed for such stationary pursuits, a psychotherapist told me yrs ago whilst trying to sort my backache. So I’ve got to wondering how much impact those screens really are having on our poor brains. Maybe they are the cause of the migraine in those susceptible.

Like you @jess09 I’ve suffered virtually all those same symptoms except TV screens are included as well in my case. Worst of all probably the football match where the moving advertising hording goes in the opposite direction to the play and some of those panoramic shots particularly tennis. The more you watch the worse it gets which makes me suspect computers etc could well be involved in MAV.

Life is certainly a lottery. We all have to work, to eat. Among a gang of my female friends, 5 or 6 in total, the fittest and most healthy is the one who has spent her entire working life cleaning other people’s houses. Despite all being dog owners which is how we met, she too is the only one who can still do a regular 5 mile+ walk and goes on regular walking holidays. She doesn’t own a computer or a Smart phone or wear specs. Makes you think? Who needs VRT when there’s housework?

I’m pretty sure mine started with computer usage, after working 3 months at my first 40 hour a week computer job. I studied biology and wanted to be outside, in a lab, or at least rotating between the three and not solely on the computer, but I was only getting part-time and temporary options so I took an office job in the meantime. And then 3 months in got hit with MAV. It used to be I would only feel symptoms at work and occasionally in restaurants or other really stimulating environments. I think computer screens are a HUGE part of it! Eyes, neck, posture, everything.

I agree, I am okay with most television but action movies can be difficult sometimes. Some sports are hard on me too, I’m not a huge sports fan so it’s no loss but I did want to watch a hockey game during the Olympics that I quickly discovered I couldn’t do.

Hi Jess
Your post sums me up completely trigger wise. Even though i have daily symptoms dizziness being the main culprit i am ALWAYS much worse in my office environment…i have to leave frequently because of vertigo and feel like my ears will explode. Then as soon as i lie down at home in a quiet room i feel better. My brain just cant cope with more than 1 thing at a time

Jo xxx

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With MAV the brain has to use so much more of its power than it usually has to just to retain yr balance so its spare capacity is restricted. Well that’s the theory at least. I suppose it’s really doing lots of things at once it’s just asking it to also cope with the office environment is the straw that breaks the camel’s back as they say. My migraine specialist neurologist said everything’s just gone a bit ‘hyper’. The trick is to control the migraine part of which involves eliminating triggers which in a work environment must be difficult if not impossible. Makes MAV an industrial injury almost. It’s 2018 and work is making us ill. Mankind isn’t progressing as fast as we might imagine obviously.

Well Helen…yet another failed attempt at work but ive gone straight to my GP this time…im now on a trio of treatment…Gabapentin, Botox & shes chucked nortriptyline in the mix 10mg and im going to take a few days off work…what do you (or any of you guys) think about this cocktail of meds? Could they work together? The Botox has seriously helped my neck pain/ stiffness. Im just dizzy, disorientated to the point i cant think how to do my job…im finding it difficult just to cross the road.

Thank you…as always everyone.
Jo xxx


First things first

For goodness sake, stay safe and keep away from roads just for the time being, there’s a dear. Broken limbs and MAV don’t mix. I know. I’ve tried it. Best thing it did for me was to get me out of cooking Christmas dinner, and any other dinner, for 3 months.

Well I’m not a medic so perhaps really I shouldn’t comment. Combos are used regularly and do work and are safe. No reason why yours shouldn’t help you. Sure your GP knows. Only trouble with starting two at once is how do you establish which is doing/causing what if you exp. side effects, and how to decide which is or isn’t working for the same reason. All these drugs are preventatives and all take time to work so it’ll probably be 6-8 weeks before you get some idea how well they are working so I suppose you may as well get started sooner rather than later. Usually combos are reached by adding in a new drug alongside an existing one. Maybe yr GP sensed some of yr desperation. Before you return to work do discuss it with yr GP. Avoiding known triggers is as much a part of the healing process as the drugs and I’m wondering at the wisdom of going in hard on the drugs whilst still being exposed daily to known triggers. My migraine specialist consultant was categoric that I had to continue to avoid known triggers long-term but I don’t see how you are going to be able to do that.

My thought exactly Helen…how am i going to do that?? Not work?? Thats not an option even though i know health comes 1st. Many many others on this forum struggle to work whilst coping with this illness im going to have to be one of them. I had a thought but i could be totaly barking up the wrong tree…since my neck motion has improved im using it much more i have been able to twist it around to speak to colleagues and look around when i would usually turn my whole body around due to it been so stiff…i wonder if thats increased my dizziness…actually using my head and neck motion more than usual…just a thought

Jo xxx


Might be. Head turning left and right whilst conversing is a notable trigger for MAV particularly turning against a stiff neck. If you are turning it comfortably because neck feels better I thought it shouldn’t provoke dizziness unless you are really doing it alot, like 30-40 times maybe without breaks but you never can really tell. I’d suspect you went back into the work environment with a system that was already oversensitive because it hasn’t settled from the last bout and it was the proverbial red rag to the bull again. I found this years ago doing VRT with unstable MAV (although I didn’t know that at the time). I was already really quite violently dizzy and every time I exposed myself to a known trigger (ie, going into the supermarket) it would ramp up x10 and that would last for 3-4 days each and every time. The only thing it proved to me was that MAV when pushed too far can and will quite easily and quite literally knock you off your legs and unable to stand and put you in bed for days/weeks on end. The dizziness is a sign that yr balance system is struggling and you need to take better care of yourself. The vestibular system needs time to recover.

Helen…as ever good adviice…i will rest up and take a few days off

Jo xx

You bring up an interesting point. I have to turn my whole body to look in a different direction as my neck is so stiff/sore. I was in PT for it for awhile, it helped the first time around and the 2nd time if my neck got less stiff I got way dizzier and that sometimes lasted a few days. I have noticed if I do things on my own to relax my neck, like a heating pad or just trying to relax it I feel increased dizziness. Also I have a menthol cream for when the neck pain gets really bad but lately I’ve only been able to use it while lying in bed or otherwise I feel too dizzy (and still get dizzier in bed but sometimes reduced neck pain will reduce headache pain for me so it’s worth it). I remember a distinct time when I was trying to go to grad school (I later had to defer because the dizziness got too bad for me to drive/read/study/type/do anything) (this was 3 weeks after I had a “true” vertigo attack that changed my condition altogether) and I stupidly sat in the middle of the room and as everyone was introducing themselves I found myself having to constantly turn to look at them and I felt myself getting dizzier and eventually just had to stop turning towards everyone, with my neck or body. (this was all right before a time where I had to stop driving). I think you have something to your theory, but I am hoping as our necks get less stiff that the dizziness will get less again over time. It has to, right? lol.

Interesting that our computer an tv screen triggers are about the same. So many posts on this site describe what I’ve gone through.

Hi jess
Yes!!! Im pleased you can relate to what im describing. Ive been almost like a robot with a stiff/ sore neck for a LONG time, then after 1 round of Botox treatment i can actually use it .
My head, eyes and ears obviously are not used to it!!
I hope your right and the dizziness subsides the more we use it. Ive started Nortriptyline yesterday so lets hope this might also contribute to getting better as well

Keep well
Jo xxx

For those sensitive with screens, how do you even manage to work? I have been off work for more than a year because I can’t put more than 1/2 hour a day on screen… curious how you manage to work…

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Hi there,
On top of the 6 months sick leave and being carted off home a LOT then using my own annual leave when im unwell sometimes instead of pleasure i struggle daily to get to work . Im now on gabapentin + nortriptyline + Botox injections…something has got to give otherwise it will be game over for me in my office environment…

Hope you well
Jo xxxx

I may follow your route…its worth a try isnt it? I will have a look on Amazon
Keep well

Jo xxx