Vol 5, No 4 (2020)
Research paper
Published online: 2020-11-04

open access

Page views 687
Article views/downloads 1008
Get Citation

Connect on Social Media

Connect on Social Media

The relationship of migraine with smartphone use

Levent Şahin1, Turgut Dolanbay1
Disaster Emerg Med J 2020;5(4):199-204.


INTRODUCTION: It was aimed to determine the existence of a relationship between smartphone use and the severity and frequency of attacks of migraine in patients diagnosed with migraine who were admitted to the emergency department of a university hospital with the complaint of headache by using the survey method.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Migraine patients who came to the emergency department with headache in the last 1 year, were retrospectively analyzed. Afterwards, 119 patients who were readmitted within 3 months from this patient group were included in the survey study. All patients were asked about their preferences for smartphone use, duration of phone use, and whether they had received migraine treatment previously. The severity of pain was determined according to the visual analog scale.

RESULTS: The migraine attacks of 38 patients with drug use were observed 7.65 times on average in a year. In the group without drug use, they were observed 9.80 times on average in a year. While the number of patients, who preferred talking as a preference for smartphone use, was 35 (29.4%), 7 (5.8%) patients preferred messaging, 10 (8.4%) patients preferred playing games, and 67 (56.3%) patients preferred surfing social media — the internet. No significant relationship was found between the severity of migraine pain and the preference for phone use (p = 0.08) (Tab.2).

CONCLUSIONS: There is a need for more comprehensive experimental and epidemiological studies to confirm the relationship between migraine severity and the devices with high-frequency electromagnetic areas such as smartphones.

Article available in PDF format

View PDF Download PDF file


  1. Frishberg BM, Rosenberg J, Matchar D, et al. Evidence Based Guidelines in the Primary Care Setting: Neuroimaging in Patients with Nonacute Headache. St Paul, MN: US Headache Consortium. ; 2000: 1–25.
  2. Barbanti P, Aurilia C, Egeo G, et al. Migraine prophylaxis: what is new and what we need? Neurol Sci. 2011; 32 Suppl 1: S111–S115.
  3. Bigal ME, Rapoport AM, Lipton RB, et al. Assessment of migraine disability using the migraine disability assessment (MIDAS) questionnaire: a comparison of chronic migraine with episodic migraine. Headache. 2003; 43(4): 336–342.
  4. Röösli M, Frei P, Mohler E, et al. Systematic review on the health effects of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields from mobile phone base stations. Bull World Health Organ. 2010; 88(12): 887–896F.
  5. Röösli M, Moser M, Baldinini Y, et al. Symptoms of ill health ascribed to electromagnetic field exposure--a questionnaire survey. Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2004; 207(2): 141–150.
  6. Chu MK, Song HG, Kim C, et al. Clinical features of headache associated with mobile phone use: a cross-sectional study in university students. BMC Neurol. 2011; 11: 115.
  7. Clark P, Lavielle P, Martínez H. Learning from pain scales: patient perspective. J Rheumatol. 2003; 30(7): 1584–1588.
  8. Hawker G, Mian S, Kendzerska T, et al. Measures of adult pain: Visual Analog Scale for Pain (VAS Pain), Numeric Rating Scale for Pain (NRS Pain), McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ), Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ), Chronic Pain Grade Scale (CPGS), Short Form-36 Bodily Pain Scale (SF. Arthritis Care & Research. 2011; 63(S11): S240–S252.
  9. Collins S, Moore A, McQuay H. The visual analogue pain intensity scale: what is moderate pain in millimetres? Pain. 1997; 72(1): 95–97.
  10. Rasmussen BK. Epidemiology of headache. Cephalalgia. 2001; 21(7): 774–777.
  11. Ertas M, Baykan B, Orhan EK, et al. One-year prevalence and the impact of migraine and tension-type headache in Turkey: a nationwide home-based study in adults. J Headache Pain. 2012; 13(2): 147–157.
  12. Song TJ, Cho SJ, Kim WJ, et al. Poor sleep quality in migraine and probable migraine: a population study. J Headache Pain. 2018; 19(1): 58.
  13. Bigal ME, Serrano D, Buse D, et al. Acute migraine medications and evolution from episodic to chronic migraine: a longitudinal population-based study. Headache. 2008; 48(8): 1157–1168.
  14. Küçer N, Pamukçu T. Self-reported symptoms associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields: a questionnaire study. Electromagn Biol Med. 2014; 33(1): 15–17.
  15. Asghari A, Khaki AA, Rajabzadeh A, et al. A review on Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and the reproductive system. Electron Physician. 2016; 8(7): 2655–2662.
  16. Gye MC, Park CJ. Effect of electromagnetic field exposure on the reproductive system. Clin Exp Reprod Med. 2012; 39(1): 1–9.
  17. Daşdagˇ S, Akdagˇ M, Ayyıldız O, et al. DO CELLULAR PHONES ALTER BLOOD PARAMETERS AND BIRTH WEIGHT OF RATS? Electro- and Magnetobiology. 2009; 19(1): 107–113.
  18. Stuchly MA. Health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields. 1995 IEEE Aerospace Applications Conference. Proceedings. .
  19. Al-Khamees NA. study in Kuwait of health risks associated with using cell phones. Coll Stud J. 2007; 41: 187–202.
  20. Hillert L, Akerstedt T, Lowden A, et al. The effects of 884 MHz GSM wireless communication signals on headache and other symptoms: an experimental provocation study. Bioelectromagnetics. 2008; 29(3): 185–196.
  21. Demir YP, Sumer MM. Effects of smartphone overuse on headache, sleep and quality of life in migraine patients. Neurosciences (Riyadh). 2019; 24(2): 115–121.
  22. Burstein R, Noseda R, Borsook D. Migraine: multiple processes, complex pathophysiology. J Neurosci. 2015; 35(17): 6619–6629.
  23. Siniatchkin M, Averkina N, Gerber WD. Relationship between precipitating agents and neurophysiological abnormalities in migraine. Cephalalgia. 2006; 26(4): 457–465.
  24. Mat D, Kho F, Joseph A, et al. Electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone near ear-skull region. International Conference on Computer and Communication Engineering (ICCCE'10). 2010.
  26. Lemola S, Perkinson-Gloor N, Brand S, et al. Adolescents' electronic media use at night, sleep disturbance, and depressive symptoms in the smartphone age. J Youth Adolesc. 2015; 44(2): 405–418.
  27. Cerutti R, Presaghi F, Spensieri V, et al. The Potential Impact of Internet and Mobile Use on Headache and Other Somatic Symptoms in Adolescence. A Population-Based Cross-Sectional Study. Headache. 2016; 56(7): 1161–1170.
  28. Noseda R, Bernstein CA, Nir RR, et al. Migraine photophobia originating in cone-driven retinal pathways. Brain. 2016; 139(Pt 7): 1971–1986.
  29. Park JW, Chu MK, Kim JM, et al. Analysis of Trigger Factors in Episodic Migraineurs Using a Smartphone Headache Diary Applications. PLoS One. 2016; 11(2): e0149577.