Hogwart's Headaches/ A New Ailment of our Times

Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2003 05:03 am
Are your kids reading Harry Potter under the covers at night, until they finish it? Do they walk around with glazed eyes, and complain of headaches? They may have Hogwart's headache.

Harry Potter Causing Hogwarts Headaches?

BOSTON (Reuters) - The spell cast by the latest Harry Potter (news - web sites) book may have an unintended side effect.

A Washington doctor warned that he has seen three children complain of headaches caused by the physical stress of relentlessly plowing through the epic 870-page adventure.

Call them Hogwarts headaches, named after the wizard school that Harry attends.

Dr. Howard Bennett of George Washington University Medical Center wrote in a letter to this week's New England Journal of Medicine (news - web sites) that the three children, ages 8 to 10, experienced a dull headache for two or three days.

Each had spent many hours reading "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

After ruling out other potential causes, Bennett told his patients to give their eyes a rest. But the spell cast by the book was clearly too powerful.

"The obvious cure for this malady -- that is, taking a break from reading -- was rejected by two of the patients," Bennett said, adding that the children took acetaminophen instead.

In each case, the headache went away only after the patient turned the final page.

"Order of the Phoenix," the fifth book in the series, has nearly three times as many pages as "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," the first book, and J.K. Rowling (news - web sites) still plans two more tomes.

"If this escalation continues as Rowling concludes the saga, there may be an epidemic of Hogwarts headaches in the years to come," Bennett predicted.

The thing that I find so interesting is that kids are so taken by the Potter books that they stick with them, literally, until it hurts. Have you ever refused to put down a book, even though it was the middle of the night, your head ached, you were bleary eyed, and you had an important appointment the next morning?
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Turner 727
Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2003 05:34 am
Many times I have done this. I tend to fall in love with worlds, and it's hard for me to stop. Hell, I got hit by the HP bug too. After HP:OOTP came out, I plowed through all five in about a week and a half.
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Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2003 05:38 am

Not often, now - but when I was little I would often do just that - actually pretending that I was afraid of the dark, so that my parents would leave the hall light on, and I was able, if I lay on my tummy on the end of the bed, to read by this dim light. I often had to dive, backwards, for the covers - throw myself under them, and pretend, all the time clutching the book, to be asleep.

Occasionally I read way too late now.
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Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2003 01:38 pm
I don't know why the good doctor didn't tell the kids to get up and stretch between every chapter. Personally, I think stretching beats pain killers as a life strategy.

I start reading at sunset and continue until 10 or 11 or midnight or later. At least once a month I have a cranky day because I've been up too late the night before reading.

Yes, I do stretch between chapters.
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Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2003 02:38 pm
LOL! I am now a hopeless reader. More than stretch between chapters, I tend to keep leaping up and doing other things constantly - and not just between chapters.

Same on the net - unless I am chatting with someone - and even then... - I am up and down, doing heaps of different things. I used to disappear into a book for hours....
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Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 07:15 pm
I tend to read a whole book in one sitting, especially during the summer when I have time. My parents actually like me reading late in the night. They encourage me to read and study so much even though it seriously damages my eyes.

I was also addicted to the Harry Potter books, but I never did get those Hogwarts headaches since I'm used to reading for long hours. My eyes did get dry, though.
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Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2003 06:33 am
Sententia- Welcome to A2K! Very Happy

Have you had your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist? Maybe you need glasses, or if you have them, stronger ones. Also, there are products on the market for "dry eyes". They are over the counter, and are very helpful in keeping the eyes moist. You need to take dry eyes seriously. Eyes that are chronically dry, can be the cause of infection.

Are you reading in a bright enough light? Often, using a larger bulb in a lamp will make a big difference in your eye comfort.
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Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2003 06:23 pm
Now that you mentioned it...my eyes seem to get dryer every year. I think lack of sleep contributes to the dryness, too. I'll ask my mom to get me one of those eye drops you were talking about.
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Reply Sat 29 Nov, 2003 07:39 am
i'm sure most avid readers were like dlowen! I use to insist my bed be pushed near the door so i can continue reading after i was meant to be in bed! When that didn't work, i'd use a small torch under my covers and continue reading for hours! Reaping the consequences now! - i've become long-sighted and need glasses! Embarrassed
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Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2003 11:09 pm
thats what i did with harry potter Embarrassed

ahh obsession
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