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Can 4K TVs Cause Headaches?


Television has undoubtedly much to offer, and without a doubt, it is a great invention. It is safe to say that TVs have become a considerable part of our daily life that it is difficult to imagine a home without one. 

But when it comes to relying on it, whether to be informed or entertained, it can have a negative impact and a positive impact. 

It’s not uncommon to find yourself binge-watching your favorite movie for hours on end. But all this screen time can be a trigger for headaches.

Many of us can relate to how it feels to have a headache- the pain it causes can make it difficult to function properly. 

It can trigger dull, sharp, or throbbing pain affecting any part of your head. These headaches may gradually develop over time or come on suddenly. 

Either way, the headaches caused by watching too much television may last a few hours to a few days.

Doubting whether too much TV can cause headaches?

Well, you will find out shortly in this article as we answer whether or not 4K televisions cause headaches. We also delve into why 4K TVs may cause headaches and affect the eyes.

Can 4K TVs Cause Headaches?

A man having a headache

Yes. 4K televisions can cause headaches, especially when exposed to too much screen time.

Before we proceed with that. First, let’s understand what eye strain is when it comes to headaches caused by screen time.

Eye strain occurs when your eyes are fatigued after staring at a screen for extended periods. It usually takes two hours of staring at a screen before eye strain sets in.

When you stare at a 4K television for long, your eyes are exposed to the glare of the screen, and you end up blinking less. Your eyes get dry, and you start straining to view your television.  This is the point when headaches may kick in.

In a 2018 journal, it was found that there is an association between high levels of screen time and headache. 

Several groups of people were exposed to many screens, including televisions, and were closely monitored. Out of the participants studied, it was found that those with an increased likelihood of reporting a headache were the ones in the screen time group of over 2 hours daily.

Take note that not all people experience discomfort while watching television. There are a few who don’t. 

Some of the more common symptoms of headache caused by TVs include:

  • Throbbing pain behind the eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Increased sensitivity to sound and light
  • Nausea

The most common types of headaches as a result of prolonged screen time are:

1. Migraine

A man having a headache and holding a cup of water

A migraine feels like a dull, steady ache. The pain may be mild initially, but it can progress to moderate or even severe without treatment.

This headache primarily affects the forehead area. The pain is usually on one side of the head, but it can shift to both sides.

Most of these headaches last for about 4 hours. However, if left untreated, it can go for 72 hours to a week.

This headache is characterized by:

  • Increased sensitivity to sound and light.
  • Feeling faint or dizzy.
  • Nausea.
  • There is one-sided head pain on either the right, left, back or front.
  • Throbbing head pain.
  • Vomiting.

2. Tension headache

A man having a tension headache

Some people may develop tension headaches after prolonged staring sessions at a 4K TV. A tension headache stands as the most common head pain associated with long hours glued to a screen.

A tension headache causes pain that may start as mild and progress to moderate, or even intense if not checked. Some people say that the pain experienced with this headache resembles when a tight band is put around the forehead.

Common symptoms of a tension headache include:

  • Pressure on the forehead.
  • A dull head pain.
  • Tenderness on the scalp and forehead.

Can certain TVs cause headaches?

Technically, all TVs can cause headaches, however, some TVs are more likely to trigger headaches than others due to the technology used.

Here are a few TVs that are more likely to cause headaches:

OLED TVs

LG OLED C1 Series 55” Alexa Built-in 4k Smart TV
Click this image for more information

OLED TVs are deliberately manufactured with a flickering image feature. Although this feature helps produce sharper and blur-free images to deliver a higher viewing experience, it is a significant cause of eye strain—one of the leading causes of headaches due to extended screen time.

QLED TVs

SAMSUNG 43-Inch Class QLED Q60A Series
Click this image for more information

QLED TVs apply tiny nanoparticles called quantum dots that produce high brightness and color. So when it comes to brightness, QLED TVs have a considerable advantage.

However, this bright display that can be seen even in the most brightly lit room may cause more harm than good to your health.

A bright display may create a contrast within the room that causes your eyes to strain, leading to a headache. 

Can LED TVs cause headaches?

TCL 32-inch Class 3-Series HD LED Smart Android TV
Click this image for more information

Yes. LED televisions can cause headaches. This is because of high blue light wavelengths emitted due to the rapid strobe-like flickering of the screen.

A recent French health report highlighted the damage that intense exposure to LED can have on your health, including but not limited to the onset of headaches. 

LED TVs have pixels producing individual LEDs; green, red, and blue. The brighter the color, the more blue wavelengths are contained. 

This means that brighter LED TVs are more likely to trigger headaches than less bright ones.

Why is my 4K TV giving me a headache?

A smart TV in the living room

Merely watching 4K TV in itself is not bad, but when you decide to prolong your time in front of the screen continuously, the chances of you experiencing headaches arise.

Research conducted by Migraine Research Foundation revealed that severe headache is ranked third as the most prevalent disease globally. 

Headaches caused by 4K TV can be due to several reasons. These include:

  • A faulty 4K TV design.
  • A TV size that is inappropriate; too big or too small.
  • TV specifications that are inaccurate.
  • A blurred TV picture.
  • Excessive glare.

Are 4K TVs bad for your eyes?

A girl watching TV

Televisions with the 4K resolution are a breed of modern television that present brighter and more vivid images. They give greater contrast and a wider range of colors, much closer to a real-life image.

When you view these bright images in a dark room, you are more likely to strain your eyes, leading to possible headaches.

However, all is not lost. If watching your 4K television sometimes gives you a headache, consider the following tips:

  • Try to sit closer to the television if your screen is small, for example, 32” or further away if the screen is bigger, say 43” and above.
  • Adjust the brightness or backlight to a low setting.
  • Avoid watching your 4K television in a dark room where your TV is the only light source.
  • Take frequent breaks. Try the 20-20-20 rule where after every 20 minutes of gazing at your screen, take a break of 20 seconds and look at something that is 20 feet away.

Conclusion

A couple watching TV together

When using 4K televisions, headaches often occur with high levels of screen time. If you have to spend long hours in front of your 4K TV, take preventive measures such as using screen protectors, adjusting the lighting, and taking frequent breaks.

As much as binge-watching movies or watching a music video on your 4K television can be entertaining, it can also be harmful to your health if not properly monitored.


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