Avoiding Office Headache from Fluorescent Lights

Avoiding Office Headache from Fluorescent Lights

Written by Kerrie Smyres on 15th Oct 2014

People who work under fluorescent lights often report having headaches, eyestrain, fatigue and/or malaise (feeling icky). This is familiar to those of us with medical conditions triggered or worsened by light, but anyone, even those who are perfectly healthy otherwise, can feel sick from fluorescent lights and computer screens at work.

Fluorescent lighting in the workspace doubles headaches of office workers. Brightness is part of the problem, but fluorescent lighting’s invisible pulsing (or flicker) is the bigger culprit. The flicker is faster than the eye can see, but research has found that the brain still picks up the flicker and reacts to it. The invisible flicker is due to an inherent part of how fluorescent lights work.

Unfortunately, fluorescent lighting is ubiquitous in offices. Employees sometimes take drastic measures (like unscrewing all the light bulbs or building a cubicle roof out of cardboard) to avoid fluorescent lighting. Indoor TheraSpecs are an easier, faster solution that won’t annoy your officemates. Haven, one of our most popular styles, looks like a regular pair glasses with the TheraSpecs tint, but the lenses have more curve than your typical eyeglasses, which helps filter peripheral light.


  • Eysel UT, Burandt U. Fluorescent tube light evokes flicker responses in visual neurons. Vision Research 1984;24(9):943-8.
  • Wilkins A, Veitch J, Lehman B. LED lighting flicker and potential health concerns: IEEE standard PAR1789 update. Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition 2010;171-178.
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