If you want a pounding headache, crank up loud music for an hour or two.
In a new study of electronic media's potential association with headaches in adolescents, loud music was the only clear winner. Most other electronic media is not associated with headaches, the researchers said.
The study of 1025 13-17 year olds, published in the open access journal BMC Neurology, found no association between the use of computer games, mobile phones or television and the occurrence of headaches or migraines.
However, listening to one or two hours of music every day was associated with a pounding headache.
"Excessive use of electronic media is often reported to be associated with long-lasting adverse effects on health like obesity or lack of regular exercise, or unspecific symptoms like tiredness, stress, concentration difficulties and sleep disturbances," said study team member Astrid Milde-Busch, from Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany. "Studies into the occurrence of headaches have had mixed results and for some types of media, in particular computer games, are completely lacking."
The researchers interviewed 489 teenagers who claimed to suffer from headaches and 536 who said they did not. When the two groups were compared, no associations were found for television viewing, electronic gaming, mobile phone usage or computer usage. Daily consumption of music was significantly associated with suffering from any type of headache, although, as Milde-Busch points out, "It cannot be concluded whether the habit of listening to music is the cause of frequent headaches, or the consequence in the sense a self-therapy by relaxation."