Headache after Playing Video Games – Causes and Management

Where comes a headache after playing video games? Does screen-time result in a headache, and can I avoid getting a headache after my wonderful experience of playing video games? Let’s dig into the details to see how the wonderful experience of playing games on your favorite electronic devices often results in a headache and how can it be avoided!

How does it feel?

Headache resulting from prolonged usage of electronic equipment and devices often results in a feeling of discomfort that is associated with symptoms including:

  • Tension in the muscles of the back, face, head, and neck
  • Head pain as a tight band around the skull
  • Tenderness in scalp
  • Neck stiffness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Light-headedness
  • Nausea and vomiting

What are the causes of headache after playing video games?

Headache after gaming is a manifestation of tension-type headaches and may be caused by:

1. Fatigue

Prolonged screen time often induces gaming headaches. This condition may result from fatigue. Playing video games like Minecraft, PUBG, GTA 5, and Fortnight for longer than recommended time may cause irritability, fatigue, general tiredness, and a headache.

2. Poor posture

Developing tension in the muscles of the neck, head, face, and upper back owing to poor posture may refer pain in different head regions. This is most common for gamers with the upper crossed syndrome, the head leaning forwards towards the monitor, the shoulders rounded forwards.

3. Motion sickness

Many games, especially first-person shooters like Destiny, Half-life, Apex legends, etc., may interfere with the body’s sense of equilibrium and cause mental confusion. A disproportionate signal of motion and balance to the brain from the eyes, ears, and the body itself may cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and a headache.

4. Temporomandibular joint-mediated

Some exciting or challenging parts of video games may induce TMJ-mediated stress headaches. These result in particular by exerting a force on the joint by clenching the jaw during stressful conditions. The stress on the jaw muscles may pass on to muscles of the head and neck and may induce a headache.

5. Motion simulation

Rapid quick movements of the gaming characters may blur your vision. This may lead to disorientation and dizziness and often leads to a headache.


  • Dehydration: Headache while playing games for prolonged intervals without proper hydration may trigger a headache.
  • Dim light: Playing games in dim light often induces a headache.
  • Epilepsy: A common association of epilepsy is photosensitivity. Prolonged video gaming on a PC may trigger a headache as a consequence of photosensitivity. Headaches from epilepsy are a warning sign of an upcoming seizure attack or an offshoot of seizures.

Migraine and gaming

Migraine, characterized by severe throbbing or pulsating pain on either side of the head along with photosensitivity and flashes of light, may get triggered by playing video games for a prolonged time. Your PS-5 may be your best companion, but you may need to reconsider your playing time if you are having a migraine. 

Management of gaming headache


Gaming headaches resulting from expanded screen time are usually diagnosed by a dull aching pain that can either be uni- or bi-lateral, often associated with symptoms including scalp tenderness, generalized fatigue, blurred vision, and light-headedness.


  • Over-the-counter motion sickness remedies like dramamine are effective
  • Over-the-counter painkillers like tylenol are recommended.


  • Distant your screen
  • Take gaming breaks frequently
  • Take fresh air at intervals
  • Increasing water intake while gaming
  • Gradually increase your playing hours
  • Gaming in a well-lit area reduces the risk of developing a headache.

Posture adjustments

  • Grasp a hard seat to prevent slouching. An office or desk chair is a better option, the best being a handy gaming chair.
  • A neutral posture is recommended with no back arching, the chest being up and out and the shoulders naturally balling back. 
  • Keep your neck straightened, and look straight forward, neither up nor down. A tilted neck may induce a tension headache owing to muscle stress.
  • Flatten your feet to the floor, the knees bending at right angles.

Home remedies

  • Getting proper hydration
  • Taking hourly gaps
  • Lighting the gaming area properly
  • Relax yourself.

When to consult a doctor?

Headaches from PC gaming often do not last long and fade away with small intervals of resting hours. Mild-potency painkillers can be used to help reduce headaches. However, if lasts longer than a few hours and is associated with other symptoms, you may need to see your doctor.


How to stop headaches while playing video games?

Headaches from video gaming may be avoided by adopting proper posture and regulating your gaming intervals.

How do you get rid of a headache from video games?

Headaches after playing video games go away with resting, proper hydration, taking laps, and taking over-the-counter painkillers if necessary.

How long do gaming headaches last?

Gaming headaches usually do not last long. It usually fades away within a few hours to a day. If persists longer, see your doctor.

Can I get a migraine from gaming?

People with migraine are photosensitive to light, and prolonged gaming intervals may trigger your migraine.

Last medically reviewed on October 27, 2022.