The following is excerpted from an online article posted by News Medical.
Over one-third of schoolchildren who received online lessons during the COVID-19 pandemic reported a worsening of headache symptoms or new-onset headaches, a study presented today at the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) Congress 2022 has found.
Prolonged exposure time to computer screens, a lack of suitable conditions for online learning from home, school exams, and anxieties about COVID-19 were all found to be risk factors for the worsening of headache symptoms or triggering new-onset headaches.
The multicenter study analyzed 851 adolescents aged between 10 and 18, with 756 (89%) of children reporting headaches over the study period. Among these children, 10% reported new-onset headaches over the pandemic home-schooling period. Over a quarter (27%) of children said their headaches had worsened, 61% said their headaches had remained stable and 3% said their headaches had improved.
Those who reported worsened or new-onset headaches suffered from headaches an average of 8-9 times per month. Over half of children within this group (43%) used painkillers at least once a month compared to a third (33%) in the stable group.
The study found that headaches had a big impact on mental health and school achievements. Depression and anxiety scores, including anxiety about catching COVID-19, were significantly higher in the worsened and new-onset headache groups. These respondents also acknowledged that they had made less effort with their schoolwork and their academic achievements had fallen.