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Bright Light Trigger

  • By Drew

    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?

  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    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; Sleep can be a real issue for many of us and we have tips on how to get a good night sleep 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 know you mentioned you are currently wearing glasses to help reduce this trigger, but you may want to look into these two glasses; and

    I hope this helps,