Light sensitivity is commonly reported by patients with migraine as both a symptom surrounding an attack as well as a trigger that leads to one. This makes awareness of light-related “trigger traps” incredibly important for people with the condition because it will allow for greater understanding of possible preventative measures. We always recommend consulting with your primary care physician or a certified headache specialist to determine the best course of action for you, but here are a few proven methods for mitigating light triggers.
Precision-tinted migraine glasses
Tinted eyewear can be a great option when you take into account the fact that they can alleviate painful light sensitivity during an attack and also prevent light from triggering one altogether. One particular tint, FL-41, is substantiated by clinical research, citing its effects on reducing attack frequency and intensity as well as overall painful light sensitivity. This is due to its ability to filter a particularly harmful band of blue light that is shown to exacerbate migraine and photophobia. TheraSpecs is the leading company in precision-tinted migraine glasses, but others do exist. You can see independent data on the filtering properties of our lenses and others at f.luxometer. Although other tints exist—including red- and green-colored lenses—there is no clinical evidence for their efficacy. This makes FL-41 the only proven lens tint to provide effective relief.
Environmental modifications at work and home
If fluorescents at work or computer screens are problematic, small modifications to the environment can make a big difference in mitigating potentially harmful light. Closing blinds and shades to reduce glare, opting for desk and floor lamps instead of overhead light, as well as the use of fluorescent covers can decrease your exposure to harsh interior lighting; similarly, understanding and utilizing the most appropriate light bulb types to minimize sensitivities can further yield significant impact. Lastly, adjusting your computer screen to sit approximately two feet from your eyes (an optimal distance), affixing an anti-glare monitor cover, and changing the color settings to a warmer hue are easy ways to modify your environment to reduce the strain on your eyes.
Sunglasses for outdoor activities
Combatting bright sunlight is best achieved with a good pair of protective sunglasses. Ensuring they are polarized to reduce unnecessary glare as well as finding contoured frames that add peripheral coverage can offer great results. If that is still not enough, TheraSpecs outdoor lenses provide additional protection with its precision tint. Note: Sunglasses should only be worn at length while exposed to bright sunlight; wearing them indoors as a preventative measure or during an attack for photophobia or migraine can actually increase light sensitivity.