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Bright Light Trigger

I need help to figure out a way to reduce my major trigger – bright lights. If I see a bright light (such as a CFL or LED) I get a migraine within 1 - 2 mins. Maxalt/pain killer and sleep normally makes it go away in about 2 hrs, but this is pretty much everyday. I wear green tented glasses (Mediview migralans) most of the time and they help but it’s not the answer. I am really scared of the future since everything is turning toward energy efficient LED and CFLs. I bring my own light bulbs to friend’s houses so I can switch out theirs and enjoy myself. My wife drives most of the time (I drove 99% of our 16 yrs together) since the new bright headlights (some are slightly blue) just kill me. It even hurts to see one of those lights on TV.

I got my first prescription glasses for everyday wear (for very minor farsighted) in Feb and I just got a new pair with a stronger prescription.

My other triggers are certain foods, seasonally allergies, strong smells, high or low pitch sounds and neck pain.

My migraines started 3.5 yrs ago with seeing ripples in my left eye. It was a Monday night and I was watching TV and all of a sudden I thought my vision was like a still pond with one rock being tossed into the middle of it. I went to sleep and it went away until Wed when I was eating lunch in my car in a parking garage and it started again. That was the only two occurrences, but my migraines started after that.

I have had lots of test and scans run and everything is negative. I have tried lots of medications and nothing has really worked.

Any thoughts?

  1. Hi brewnomore,

    It really is good news that your testing has come back negative. Most people with migraine have normal test results as there is no test to diagnose migraine. Migraine is a diagnosis of exclusion and our doctor can do this by giving a complete neurological exam, go over our symptoms and take a thorough medication history of you and your family. Here is important information on diagnosis and doctors;

    Migraine triggers can range from lighting triggers such as you have to certain foods, changes in the weather, hormones, odors, changes in our sleeping patterns and many other things. Have you recently kept a detailed migraine diary? If not, I would encourage you to do so and I can share information with you on how to keep a diary here;

    Lights can be a migraine trigger for many of us and I know a number of people with migraine who wear specially made glasses. These are found to be especially helpful.

    I hope this helps,

    1. Light is the bane of my existence! Often, the glare caused by light bouncing off of a car or roof or pretty much any surface is even worse for me. Even glare at night when I am driving can trigger a migraine.

      I did find some screens that go over the windows so that I can keep them open but they cut down on glare. That helps some. I admit though, I usually just keep the blinds drawn.

      I also wear FL-41 glasses and they have helped dramatically! I get mine from Axon Optics. One of their founders was on the team that developed FL-41 and they continue to perfect the technology so naturally they have the most up to date version of the tint. Trust me, I shopped around because I did not want to play. I wanted something that would work. They work great for me.

      If you’re interested in reading about the tint this is very informative

      I have a pair for indoors and a pair for outdoors. Each has a different tint. I won’t go anywhere without them. I don’t know about you, but when I have to be out during the day (I try to only get out in the morning or evening) the glare is horrible! My husband usually drives me, or my daughter because I can’t stand the light. But the glasses make it better and at least tolerable.

      You might want to look into that. Light sensitivity is hard! I hope you get relief.

      1. Oh my! Light and glare are probably my worst triggers.

        HOWEVER, other things that can set me off:

        Eye strain (looking at my computer for too long)
        Text neck
        People wearing strong perfume (the sweet, sickly stuff)
        Sleeping on the wrong pillow – my neck has to stay a certain way

        I found a great pillow and I get a new one every 3 to 6 months. I follow the 20-20-20 rule, wear my migraine glasses, and radically changed my diet. It helps a lot.

        What surprised me the most in my migraine journey though is that so many foods can be triggers. For instance, I love cashews. I can eat a handful with pretty much no issues. If I eat more though, I am in trouble. It's weird.

        This article is what actually clued me in to the possibility that things I was eating might be causing my headache.

        It was a real eye opener for me.

        1. This is a great question- and one that our community has talked about before. I wanted to share this article with you and encourage you to take a look at the community comments that follow it as there are some great suggestions there: Warmly- Holly team.

        2. This is a frequent question! In addition to the information Holly gave you I wanted to share my new pillow purchase with you. It's the Miracle Bamboo pillow. You can keep it as stuffed as you want or take out stuffing to suit your needs. It did take a while to adjust to it, but I'm having success with it.
          Let me know what you think and I'm sending you pain free wishes, Nancy Harris Bonk, Patient Leader/Moderator Team

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