New Here- Computer screens cause my symptoms to intensify!

I want to write as little as possible because the computer makes my symptoms worse!! I am having the hardest time trying to figure out WHY I can’t use the computer. It makes me feel so woozy, dizzy, out of it, I can’t look at the screen, my body just wants me to get away from it!! If I stay on too long it makes me feel so dizzy and weird after that I have to lie down. My brain feels how you would feel if you were on a raft in the ocean, but inside my head while I’m on the computer!!

I can’t go to school or work as a cashier. How bad is it with you guys? I went to Mass Eye and Ear and they said after the bout of vestibular neuronitis I had in Dec. of '08 that I’m not getting better now because they think it brought on the MAV and that I now have MAV?! I’m so new and don’t know what to do, I don’t get sudden dizziness or sudden rotational vertigo although I have a couple times before. My symptoms are always there!! They want to start me on Gabapentin but I am extremely scared I have never taken any meds for this yet. They prescribed me it in January of last year and I have not taken it yet! Now going to neurologist because I’m ready after four years to try anything!!!

I’m 24 and I have to get out and meet people and start my life after 4 years of hell. I am constantly out of it, brain fog, unsteady. I never feel like I used to before all this happened!! My question to all of you is do the computer screens bother you really bad? I end up struggling to hit the right keys after about 10 - 15 min.!! Also Do you guys have symptoms 24/7 of feeling weird spaced out and unsteady? My unsteadiness is not that bad it’s the brain fog, fluorescent lights, looking at people too long while their talking to you – like a therapist – and computers and malls etc. I want to go to school, get a job, do my photography on the computer again! Please any advice would be great, does it sound like MAV, what about your computer symptoms, and your 24/7 brain fog???

Sorry if anything is spelled wrong; like I said I can’t spend time making capital letters or spell checking my words.

Also I did do 2 years straight of VRT religiously. It helped at first but after that it wasn’t helping me improve anymore.

Im so sorry your going through this. I wish I had an answer for you. Unfort, I dont. They bother me as well and I work in a call center where I have to stare at them for 8 hours a day. As soon as my customers information starts to pop up on my screen everthing starts to rock and eventully I get a headache. I have been on medical leave three times in the past two years because I can’t do it.

Hi Lauren,

Sorry to hear of your present predicament and the troubles you are having on the computer. There’s a large thread that you should read through when you feel you’re up to it here that discusses computer screen use:

Your story sounds very similar to mine: vestibular neuritis which was the “big bang” that set off full blown MAV. I was already a migraineur before that (unknown to me) but the brain trauma of VN simply pushed me right off the cliff.

I too had extreme difficulty on ALL computer screens not long after I became ill and even today I struggle with certain screens. I’m returning a third generation iPad today because I just can’t handle the high res screen. I’m fine on the iPad 2 however and will stick with that for now.

Onto your problem: yes, you sound like a very clear case of MAV to me triggered by whatever it is that happened to you in 2008. Another clue is the VRT having little or no effect for you. Have you experienced light and sound sensitivity? Any family history you know of? What you MUST do is to take the reins of this garbage and get your life back by tackling this head on.

  1. Start living a migraine lifestyle immediately. Read the Survival Guide for tips on this – see the sticky post
  2. Start taking the meds NOW.

There is no reason to not be treating this now with medication. Ask yourself this: do you fear a med more than years of this debilitating illness screwing up your life? Of course not. Start on a low dose and work your way up as your doctor prescribed it. If this one does not suit you, move onto another medication.

Let us know how you get on as you begin treatment.

Scott 8)

Yes lauren

Scott is spot on

This forum will help you a great deal

Try using the search function top right corner on your screen and you will find plenty of info that will relate to you


Wow thank you, that is very true about being scared of the med’s. I guess I am going to try them because your right, I don’t want to live like this anymore and if they can help me then great! From when you weren’t on med’s to when you got on med’s was it a big deference in how well you could tolerate a computer, I mean does it help? Also what about a computer screen filter?! Do those help at all? What kind should I get cause I know they have ones for privacy or glare I thik that’s it, I have no clue about them lol…never looked into buying them until now! I have blue cello wrap over my screen now but it doesn’t help that much. Also do you guys get migraine migraines cause I don’t. I get really bad headaches, I know I have triggers like not eating enough or not eating enough then doing something dumb like drinking chocolate milk or eating pizza on an empty stomach. I will end up with a headache, but I don’t get like a headache then get vertigo then it’s gone and I’m normal?!! I know if I push my head on the computer too much and get too dizzy and way too woozy that I get like this sudden quick 3 second half spin that scares me and I jump because it feels right like how vertigo feels when you start spinning!! I don’t know, that’s why I’m going to my new neurologist, the audiologist said I needed a neurologist to help counsel me into it and explain it cause I haven’t had a neurologist do that yet. She set me up with a new one that is going to help explain things…Thank you guys sooo much!!

Oh also yes I do get light sensitivity, when I get bad headaches it gets worse. most of the time I realize I have light sensitivity a lot of the time even without a headache. I squint my eyes a lot! recently I have been looking for sunglasses because of it. I don’t really have hearing sensitivity except very rarely when I get a serious headache. I do know a lot of the times my ears get red and hot and sometimes if I push my headache my cheeks get pink. when this happens if I put an ice pack on my head it makes my headache sooo much better, so does ibuprofen. I think it’s vascular, like a migraine I guess. OH and I have had migraine with aura before. It was so scary I lost my side vision then I saw the zig zags and etc…I’ve seen sparkles before, a couple times and I do see random silver specks more often but those ones are only like one silver speck that is there then it’s gone like 1 sec later. MY nose gets stuffy too when I get them, the headaches so more vascular…

Lauren, I used to think like you - that I didn’t get “migraine migraines,” that I just got “really bad headaches.” My neurologist set me straight: guess what, those really bad headaches ARE migraines. Just because you don’t curl up in a fetal position doesn’t mean it’s not a migraine headache. The headaches can be during dizziness, an hour before, a day or two before, a year before, or it could be several years since you’ve had a migraine headache. Some MAV’ers have never had a headache, but their migraine manifests itself as dizziness without headache.

As for how well the meds work, we are all different in our response to meds. Most of us don’t get 100% better, but 80 or 90% is like heaven compared to the hell many of us have been in. Light sensitivity is common in migraineurs, and it can be more apparent on some days than others. We all have different “triggers” and if you’ve had poor sleep or didn’t eat, your “trigger load” is mounting up so that’s when light may bother you more. Stuffy nose is also common in migraine - I get that myself. Love the ice bag on the head too.

You’ve come to the right place. We don’t like to see people have to join our club, but you’re welcome here! Do some of the reading that’s been suggested - knowledge is power. It helps when you go to the doctor and it just helps you to better understand what’s going on - it’s less mysterious.

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Thank you soo much, you guys are all so nice on here!

Lauren, just a bit of encouragement. I had to give up my job a few years ago because using the computer just made me too dizzy, nauseous and completely weird feeling. A few years on and I’m now able to tolerate it much much better and am back working on it. Similarly to yourself I also had a bout of labrynthitis which ramped up my previous MAV symptoms considerably to a disabling degree. Interesting what you say about looking at people too long and how it makes you feel - used to be like that for me too, still can be on bad days. Flourescent lights too, my absolute bugbear. You have so many typical MAV symptoms! At first this condition can be so scary and overwhelming, everything is so new and strange but time does help to come to terms with it, especially when you find what works for you to get rid of/lessen your symptoms. Good luck!


Hi Brenda,

I was wondering, you said you able to use the computer for your job now. Are you on the computer eight hours a day? I work in a call center for an insurance company. I stare at computer screen for eight hours a day and I went to a vision doctor who ordered me perscription computer glasses. I had been on medical leave and tried to go back to work but even with the computer glasses still struggled. I can’t seem to manage more than ten minutes at a time at the computer. Im at the point I feel like I should start thinking about another career but I honestly don’t know what to do. Thought about going to graduate school to do occupation therapy but not sure I could even do that. Thought about going to graduate school for teaching but then saw the other forem on this site (for people struggling to work) and most of the people who posted were teachers. I get so dizzy and foggy headed whenever I leave the house anymore. Does it get better to the point I may be able to return to my current job and stare at computers? Unfort, I can’t afford to not work. I’m so tired of feeling so horrible and most of the time feeling as if its my fault.


No, I’m not on the computer working 8 hours straight a day, every day. Sometimes I might be if I’m trying to meet a deadline but generally speaking it’s less than that and with breaks every so often. Mind you, breaks sometimes include being on the computer too but not with the intensity and pressure of work. I work freelance from home which makes things a lot easier than being in the environment you yourself work in.

It’s very difficult to say whether or not you will get better to the point of being able to return to your same job in front of the computer eight hours a day. But if you succeed in finding out what works for you to tame your MAV there is no reason why you shouldn’t. We are all so different with different means and timescales of getting better. I can only say that for me once I had got a handle on my MAV I was able to tolerate my computer a lot more. I have to say though that it did entail some persistent pushing through and patience.

You really shouldn’t blame yourself for any of this you know, it’s not your fault at all. Not one little bit. All the very best in finding your way through all this. Use this forum as your support.


Try buying the migraine glassess from axon optics in the US

It really helps with the lights and the computer monitor


My Him Indoors made a rather astute observation when we were out walking recently and I was complaining about feeling increasingly imbalanced. Not surprising he said. People who spend hours staring at a computer are spending many hours using a very limited width of vision and fixed at one single point then they go out under the wide skies and start looking around at vast horizons. And when you think about it it’s correct. I remember once MAV hit years back being unable to jump up and walk away from the desktop computer without symptoms so going outside would be even more extreme. My migraine brain just doesn’t adapt to the change in focal length quickly enough. I have often said if I could spend as much time outdoors as I do indoors on a computer I would rehabituate to the outdoors as I have to the computer screen but in practice that will never happen. Since his comment I have been making sure I don’t go straight from the computer to outside and hope I keep remembering to do so.