Green Light for Migraine? New Study Indicates It Could Help
We all know the horrors of photosensitivity – when even the smallest hint of light feels like a sledgehammer across the temple. When a migraine attack hits, many of us find ourselves confined to the darkest, quietest place we can find – an isolation that can be as detrimental to our ability to function normally as any other symptom. Now, however, a new study suggests complete darkness may not be our only hope for relief.
A small study conducted in Boston and recently released in Brain indicates that a narrow band of green light may actually be beneficial for some migraineurs.1 According to the study, a “narrow band of green light worsens migraine significantly less than all other colors of light and that at low intensities green light can even reduce headache pain” by as much as 20% in some patients.
As someone who hates being confined to complete darkness, I found this study intriguing. Unfortunately, it is only one study, and it was a small sample size. So, instead of waiting for a replication study, I decided to try the information out for myself.
After much researching online, I ordered a grow light with an actual green bulb. From what I could find, it was one of the only bulbs that emits light in the specific spectrum of pure green the research suggests helps. Green-covered, incandescent lights – like those found at a typical discount or party store – do not appear to emit this wavelength. The cost for the light was much higher than a typical light bulb (about $23), but I didn't consider it prohibitive since it is supposed to last for thousands of hours. Still, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect, until my bulb arrived.
Now, all I can say is: I love it. I love, love, love it. As each of our migraine disease manifests itself in unique ways, I’m quite sure not all of you will have this experience, but I love this light.
One of the things I find most frustrating when I experience an attack is my inability to distract myself by reading (one of my favorite activities – and a quiet one). Sometimes this is because of the dizziness that is often a major symptom for me, but other times it is simply because I can’t bear the light. Until now.
Even in the midst of a horrific migraine attack, I can leave on this light. Better still, if I am experiencing the beginnings of an attack brought on by too much computer-screen time and/or too much time under fluorescent lights, I can retreat to my bedroom – and this light – and I feel relief almost instantly. The pain decreases, and the nausea wanes. Not completely, of course, but enough to feel a difference.
Again, I don’t expect the rest of you to necessarily have the same experience as me, but I’ve been too thrilled with this light not to share. How about anyone else? Have any of you tried a green spectrum light for your migraine? What was your experience? Please share in the comments below. Anything that helps one of us, may help another!
Can you tell when a migraine attack is coming?