With the exception of some, most eclipse viewers used special glasses to catch a glimpse of yesterday’s cosmic phenomenon, which should have quelled any fears of blindness. But one post-eclipse condition had people flocking to Google in droves yesterday afternoon looking for answers. That term was “solar eclipse headache.”
The search engine giant shows a definite spike in searches for “solar eclipse headache” at 3 p.m. ET, around peak viewing time. (“Eye damage” also peaked at this time, indicating that some people didn’t have a lot of faith in their eclipse glasses.)
The good news is, an eclipse headache is not a thing, says Dr. Paul Cooper, a neurology professor at Western University and chief of neurology at London Health Sciences Centre.
“This is not a type of headache recognized by the International Classification of Headache Disorders,” he tells Global News. Although he concedes that could also be because it occurs so infrequently.
WATCH BELOW: Solar eclipse 2017
“If anything, what people may have experienced is more of a muscle tension type of headache because they were hyper extending their neck to look at the sky and remained in that uncomfortable position for several minutes.”
He says this type of headache is common among baby boomers who strain their necks trying to see through the reading portion of their glasses when looking at a computer screen. He advises them to either raise their computer monitors so that they’re closer to eye level or to get glasses that will prevent this kind of straining.
Ultimately, though, there’s very little likelihood that the eclipse caused anyone to experience a headache.
“If the person had a headache at the time of the eclipse because they would have been looking at the sky and checking things before putting on eclipse glasses, they could have been exposed to more glare which would exacerbate an existing headache,” he says. “But if you went and started viewing the eclipse and didn’t already have a headache, it’s most likely musculoskeletal-related.”
If it persists, he advises getting a neck massage or putting a warm or cold pack on the back of your head.
“But no, there is no effect of lunar or solar rays that could be causing a problem.”
In other words, step away from Google.