PPE-associated headaches increase among health care workers
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Prolonged use of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic such as N95 masks and protective eyewear was shown to cause or exacerbate headaches among health care workers in Singapore.

Nurses, physicians and paramedical personnel (n = 158) at the National University Hospital answered a questionnaire assessing headache disorders.

On average, they wore the N95 mask and protective eyewear for 6 hours per day. De novo PPE-associated headaches were reported by 128 respondents (81%), 23.4% experienced associated migraine-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, photophobia, phonophobia, movement sensitivity, and neck discomfort.

The onset of pain was within 1 hour of wearing PPE and spontaneous resolution occurred in most cases within 1 hour from the removal of the equipment. Most respondents (68.8%) did not use acute analgesic treatment.

The peripheral sensitization may activate the trigeminocervical complex through nociceptive information transmitted via different branches of the trigeminal nerve through the trigeminal ganglia and brainstem to the higher cortical areas, thereby triggering the headache attack.

PPE also causes thermal discomfort, moisture accumulation and difficulty breathing, which likely serve as additional triggers.

Source: https://www.healio.com/primary-care/practice-management/news/online/{01a63c64-82a8-4db9-a272-48c962445c60}/ppe-associated-headaches-increase-among-health-care-workers-amid-covid-19
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