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Migraines, screens and employment


I suffer from hemiplegic migraines and vestibular migraines.

I can't use digital screens and have to avoid bright light. I'm struggling to get work as I can't use computers etc. and have to avoid light.

I'm quite young and want to work. I've tried every treatment available for migraines but nothing works.

Does anyone have any idea about possible careers I could go into? I'm reasonably intelligent so would be able to undertake further education to get a job.

Thanks for any ideas.


  1. Thank you for reaching out and sharing your experiences with us. I understand how difficult it is to avoid light while living with migraine disease. While I don't have any ideas on a career path, I do have information that may help with light sensitivity. Let me share our resources with you here;
    There are also glasses specifically made, both indoor and out, to help combat light sensitivity. You can read more about these here;
    Will you let me know what you think? Wishing you a low pain day, Nancy Harris Bonk, Patient Advocate Team

    1. Hi Nancy, thanks for referring me to the articles. Unfortunately I have tried all the different glasses including blue filter, yellow filter and FL-41. I have even had colourimetry testing which resulted in more glasses to try which didn't work.

    2. UGH! That's very frustrating. Have you turned down the lighting on your screens? I bet you probably have tried that already! If not here is information on screen time and migraine;
      Please keep me posted? Nancy Harris Bonk, Patient Advocate/Moderator

  2. thank you for taking the time to join our community and sharing what you are experiencing. Suffering from migraine disease can be very life-altering for sure. How long have you been suffering from these types of migraines and are you currently working with a migraine or headache specialist? Photophobia can be a difficult symptom to live with especially if you are sensitive to the blue light that comes from computer screens. It looks like Nancy has provided you with a couple of great links to explore that go into light sensitivity. Axon Optics is just one company that comes to mind that provides special light filtering glasses that seem to help many get around not being able to use computer screens. Since it appears that light sensitivity is the crux of your problem I would work with your doctor to help get that managed. Finding a career in this day and age that doesn't have computer/screen time involved with it can be a challenge, but I know they exist. Whether it will be to your liking or not will be a choice only you can make. I always believe we should trust what our bodies are telling us and along with help from trained doctors and other occupational professionals you will find ways to manage your illness. Stay strong and be diligent in your path to find effective management of your migraine disease. Warmly, Cheryl team

    1. Hi Cheryl, thanks for the reply. I have suffered from vestibular migraines since my early teens and hemiplegic migraines since 2015. I am currently under the care of a consultant neurologist but he has informed me that there isn't anything else he can do. He is the fourth neurologist I have seen.

    2. You've been suffering for quite some time. I know how hard that is to do. You really need to find a new specialist. Here is a link that will help you hopefully find one that will meet your needs.
      I hope you have a lovely Christmas and a healthy new year! Warmly, Cheryl team

  3. I have huge issues with screens as well. My issues are more related to vestibular problems that my eyes are struggling to compensate for. Over the past few years, I have been loading up on E-Ink devices (same technology that's in a Kindle...basically a really expensive etch-a-sketch). This is the latest and greatest E-ink monitor:

    I got it recently, and it has changed my life. It is very expensive, but an employer should buy it as a "reasonable accommodation" under the ADA, if it allows you to work. There is no light at all in the screen--just magnetic particles that align to form the image. It's just like looking at paper.

    If you can read a book, you will be able to use this monitor.

    1. So sorry to hear that 🙁 I was hoping it would be a good solution for you.

    2. super cool. I too am surrounded by engineers and gamers. Definitely sharing with them. Thanks again and happy new year! -Melissa, team

  4. Another recommendation... Have you ever tried the f.lux program? It essentially functions as a blue light blocker for your monitor. It may or may not be effective for you but it's been a big help for many of the people in this community. I know that there are options out there for you! I know it's not the same thing, but my mind goes to all of the people with low vision and blindness who cannot see a computer screen but are still gainfully employed and successful in various fields. What kinds of things are you interested in? What kind of field are you in now? If you've gone to college, you might want to think about reaching out to the career center or similar at your alma mater. The majority of them will offer career counseling services to alumni in addition to current students. They might be able to help you think outside the box or connect you to some job leads. All the best to you! Keep us posted. -Melissa, team

    1. Thanks for the suggestions. I'll try f.lux the next time I need to use a computer. I'm currently working as a driver. I live in the UK so don't have access to the same careers counseling as available in the US.

    2. Understood. Sorry to hear you were so badly impacted by the Boox. Hang in there! I hope you were at least able to get your money back. -Melissa, team

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