HeadWise HeadWise: Volume 6, Issue 3 - Page 34

Image 1 These charts show the spectrum emitted by different kinds of light. The wavelengths of light that have been implicated as both a migraine trigger and most aggravating for photophobia are centered around 480nm, which is blue-green in color. What’s the Treatment for Photophobia and How Does It Work? No medications target photophobia specifically, but finding an effective treatment for your headache disorder could also reduce your sensitivity to light. Research has found eyewear with precision-tinted FL-41 lenses are the most reliable—and the only side effect-free—way to treat photophobia. What Does the Research Say about FL-41? When worn regularly, precision-tinted FL-41 lenses can reduce the frequency of migraine attacks by filtering the light most likely to be a trigger. In a clinical study of the tint, participants experienced 74 percent fewer migraine attacks per month. Because FL-41 filters the wavelengths that cause the most pain responses for individuals with photophobia, the tinted glasses can provide relief no matter the reason why a person is sensitive to light. How Do FL-41 Lenses Work? As mentioned, some wavelengths of light are more likely to activate the eye and brain, causing pain and eyestrain. Furthermore, fluorescent lights pulse very rapidly. Although that rate is too fast to see consciously, the brain is still receiving the pulsing signals from the eye. This pulsing can trigger headaches, eyestrain, migraine attacks, and other issues. By filtering the wavelengths that contain most of this pulsing and those that cause the most pain and eyestrain, precision-tinted FL-41 lenses protect the brain from both. Why Not Just Wear Sunglasses? When you wear sunglasses indoors, your eyes adapt to being in the dark, which makes light appear even brighter than it is. This phenomenon, called chronic dark adaptation, is why my wife’s headache specialist advised us that her sunglasses were increasing her sensitivity to light. A similar situation would be leaving a movie theater on a sunny July day — your eyes adjust to being in the dark, so light looks even brighter than before you went into the theater. While most people’s eyes readjust to sunlight soon after leaving a movie, those with chronic dark adaptation have extraheightened light sensitivity at all times. 34 HeadWise ® | Volume 6, Issue 3 • 2017 170767_LOT A_NHF Feb 2017 Vol.6 Issue 3.indd 34 2/15/17 12:48 AM