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Sensitivity to light

  • By tonia

    hi everyone, i wen to the eye doctor yesterday and she told me i was photophobic, at first she suggested that i get transtional lenses until i told her that florescents also bother me, so i have to fight the sunlight as well as the indoor lights, even the television light seems to bother me. i really hate this cause it’s very annoying, especially having to wear your sunglasses in the house. I still don’t know exactly what color lenses will work best for me, i guess i will have some trail and error, but who wants to go through that when the error, will end with a full blown migraine.

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  • By melissadwyer13

    The entire ER staff knows me by now, and they barely recognize me when I show up without my sunglasses because even when I get into a room with all the lights off.. that little bit shining through is BRUTAL. So, I wear sunglasses inside all the time. You have no choice, the light makes the pain so much more terrible!

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    I just went to the eye doctor recently, and now have a new pair of sunglasses – way overdue. For me, brown tinted lenses are the only way to get through the day. Melissa, I too wear them all day long. I get by in my home because we replaced all our windows with tinted ones, but that is a luxury for most Migraineurs.

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  • By D.

    I’ve been suffering from light sensitivity since 1998. I was getting migraines a lot until I started wearing standard sunglasses indoors in brightly lit areas. To this day, I can’t go outside without wearing dark sunglasses. My doctor mentioned my condition is called “glare hypersensitivity”. While I get mild migraines from barometric pressure and high stress, bright light is still my most prominent trigger. In case anyone is interested, I wear safety glasses rated at IR-5, also known as “Shade 5”. These are typically worn around welding (but not actually doing the welding). Prices range anywhere from $5 to $15 for an inexpensive pair. I usually buy a few and keep one set in my car in case of emergencies. I had to buy several different styles before finding the pair I liked.

    Be warned, though. Your eyes can become even more sensitive by using these. So definitely speak to your eye doctor about wearing them. I just provided this information as I almost never get migraines anymore, so it worked for me. Hope this helps.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi D.

    Thanks for sharing your eye-wear story with us. As you warned, it’s a good idea before you get new eye-wear to discuss it with your eye doctor due to increased sensitivity with some eye protection.

    Trigger identification and management is a major part of migraine disease and it seems you’ve done a great job getting to know yours. One word on stress being a trigger if I may; there is some discussion on whether stress is a migraine trigger. Many now feel it’s an exacerbating factor. This means that stress makes people with migraine more susceptible to their triggers the same way as stress makes anyone more susceptible to the virus that brings on the common cold. Does that make sense? Here is some information on stress and migraine you may find helpful; https://migraine.com/blog/your-worst-migraine-triggers-stress-really/.

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  • By bluu

    Kim..
    I have a modified pair a the theraspecs. I got them through my eye doctors office w/ a very small prescription of a prism lens (helps w/ eye strain & light sensitivity per doc) and my own frames and my insurance paid for everything except for the tax $10. So I paid $10 for mine, got frames I liked & the theraspecs tint done by theraspecs compliments of my insurance. They’re great! Now people that work w/ me want their own pair since they see the difference they make w/ the office lighting… so worth the cost. I also wear them at night to help with the bright lights of the car headlights, street lights, etc. I wear them at home to watch tv too sometimes.

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  • By Jenny

    My mother (deceased) and I both have had difficulty with sensitivity to lights. She used to wear sunglasses ALL the time, even indoors lot. Her pupils would dilate a lot, as do mine. What bothers me most is lights in malls, Walmart, etc. Bright light outdoors also really bothers me, but I would have to say certain “indoor” lighting is worse.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    jenzbugrulz1978 – You are not alone. Fluorescents especially can be hard on us. The problem with wearing sunglasses all the time though, is that our eyes can become accustomed to the darkness and it then becomes nearly impossible to go without them at all. Are you able to go without them when you are at home an can control your environment?

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  • By Jenny

    Ellen – I don’t wear them much unless it is summertime and/or if I am in the midst of a horrible headache (migraines not yet dxd). My mom, however, wore them ALL day in winter, summer, etc – sometimes even in the house.

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  • By AllTheGoodNamesAreAlreadyTaken

    I live in the upper midwest – my migraines are always worse during the winter, and my light sensitivity is so much greater during winter months. A sunny winter day apparently is now a trigger for me, especially if there is snow on the ground. Anyone have advice for a migraine that lasts days and days? Gets better at night but increases in intensity by morning. Winter sunlight seems to be the trigger. The light in my kitchen windows reflect off the various shiny surfaces from the appliances effectively blinding me. Guess I need to put up window dressings to block the light. A shame, because it’s southern light and is great for plants, and I like to look out the windows to the backyard.

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