A personal search for relief—and what we learned along the way—inspired us to create TheraSpecs. This is our story.
Migraines knock me flat a few times a year, but that is nothing compared to what my wife Kerrie goes through. She has fought daily headaches since she was a teenager, and in 2003, they became intense enough that she had to stop regular work. We've tried everything we could find that might help her, including countless drugs, physical therapy, Botox, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and even an implanted experimental nerve stimulator. We thought we were experts on all the possible treatments but then her headache specialist suggested another possibility: light itself could be making her sicker.
The doctor recommended we look into glasses with a special precision tint that filters the light that can trigger or aggravate such problems as migraines, headaches, and eyestrain. I immediately started reading everything I could find about this tint and was surprised to learn that not all wavelengths of light cause the same types of pain. Some wavelengths irritate nerves in the eye and brain and trigger pain. But fluorescent lights are by far the worst.
Fluorescent lights make many people feel sick, because they pulse faster than you can consciously see but the brain still acknowledges this pulsing as rapid signals from the nerves of the eye. Rapidly repeating patterns, such as blinking lights or even stripes of the right width, can cause headaches, eyestrain, and nausea. For some people, it can even trigger migraines. Fluorescent lights can irritate our brains without us even consciously aware of it, and the use of fluorescent lighting is growing, exposing us to more and more pulsing more. As scary as this is for us, there’s good news.
Fluorescent pulsing is most intense at certain wavelengths. That means if you filter those specific wavelengths, you can filter the pulsing. The precision tint Kerrie's specialist recommended filters those wavelengths and reduces photophobia pain. Even better, one study found this tint reduced migraine attacks from an average of 6.2 per month to 1.6 per month. That's about a 74% reduction in migraines. The science motivated us to go out and find Kerrie glasses with this tint.
It took us awhile to find glasses with the right tint, but we were glad once we did. Kerrie noticed an immediate difference with them and could once again brave brightly-lit commercial spaces and friends' houses lit with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). Even better, they also seemed to help with her computer monitor.
Unfortunately, while the tint was great, the glasses were far from perfect. When Kerrie wore them, she also always put on a baseball cap and often held her hands beside her eyes to block light from all sides as well as reflections. The glasses simply let in too much light around the lenses, especially from above. That's when we started talking about the ideal glasses for people who suffer like she does.
These ideal glasses would wrap around the face to filter light from the sides and prevent reflections from behind without blocking peripheral vision. The frames would stop light from above, have flexible earpieces to avoid squeezing the head, and be lightweight so they were comfortable enough to wear all day. And, of course, the precision-tinted lenses would filter the bad wavelengths. Bam! We’d thought of a new kind of glasses, and we knew Kerrie needed them.
It took me months to figure out how to get the perfect pair of glasses made for Kerrie but the effort was worth it. They were a tremendous improvement over her first glasses and made a huge difference. We developed some additional pairs for people we knew who suffered like Kerrie did, and they too had great things to say about the glasses. That's when Kerrie and I knew that we wanted to figure out how to make our glasses easily available so they could help other people, too.
Their effect agrees with the research: our eyewear helps with migraines, photophobia, headaches, and eyestrain, especially when worn near fluorescent lights. (They also seem to help with TVs and computer screens!) But the best part is personal: Kerrie no longer fears the light.
We both hope that bringing TheraSpecs to the world can help people like us. We worked to keep them affordable, less than a pair of designer sunglasses and much less than what we pay every month for Kerrie's medications. And we wanted them to be fast and easy to buy online and risk-free to try. We hope they help, but you can try them out for a while and see how well they work for you. If you don't like them, you can send your undamaged pair back for a full, fast, no-hassle refund.
TheraSpecs helped Kerrie, and I believe they can help you, too. Order a pair today and do more than return to your daily life—embrace it.
Hart Shafer TheraSpecs Company
—Heather Northwest OH