Face mask and protective eyewear-associated headache among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic




Miguel A. Collado-Corona, Servicio de Neurología Santa Fe, Centro Neurológico, Centro Médico ABC, Mexico City, Mexico
Emilio Arch-Tirado, Servicio de Neurología Santa Fe, Centro Neurológico, Centro Médico ABC, Mexico City, Mexico
Nadia A. Gandarilla-Martínez, Servicio de Neurología Santa Fe, Centro Neurológico, Centro Médico ABC, Mexico City, Mexico


Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence, clinical features, and factors related to personal protective-associated headaches. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study among healthcare workers using an online questionnaire. Results: We surveyed 305 participants. The N95 face-mask was the most used device by 93%. Of 305 respondents, 206 experienced headaches while wearing protective equipment; 36.06% suffered from a headache disorder before the pandemic. The prevalence of de novo headache was 39.01%. Gender, age, or exposure to coronavirus disease were not determining factors to develop headache. Headache intensity was higher in front-line healthcare workers and was correlated (r = 0.728) with the time wearing protective equipment. The more days per month the participants wore personal protective equipment the shorter the time to headache onset after donning equipment. Conclusion: Our study confirms the relationship between frequent and prolonged use of protection devices with headaches and reaffirms the implication of external pressure as a primary mechanism.



Palabras clave: Headache. Personal protective equipment. Coronavirus disease 2019. External compression headache. Healthcare workers.