Lighting Changes Can Help as a Migraine Cure

Lighting Changes Can Help as a Migraine Cure

A few months ago, the Richmond Times-Dispatch published an article about a Virginia woman named Lois Fay titled “Light-bulb dilemma: Shift to CFL lighting a concern.” As the article’s title indicates, Lois was worried about recent federal lighting standards (mandated by the federal Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007) that require all new light bulbs to be more energy efficient. While the new standards do not prohibit the sale of incandescent bulbs outright, most incandescent bulbs aren’t efficient enough to be accommodated under the new regulations– and as a result, most stores have done their best to clear out their inventories of incandescent bulbs to make way for Compact Fluorescent Lighting (CFL) bulbs, which do meet the new requirements.

At first glance, it might seem odd that Lois was so concerned about such a shift; after all, fluorescent bulbs use less energy than incandescent bulbs and therefore lower energy bills. But Lois, like many migraine sufferers and other photosensitive individuals, is highly sensitive to fluorescent lighting. These people desperately want a migraine cure resulting from lighting. The emission pattern of fluorescent lighting is very different from that of sunlight or incandescent bulbs, which emit at all wavelengths in a much “smoother” emission curve. For Lois, the flickering of fluorescent lighting is particularly bothersome. In addition, fluorescent bulbs emit very strongly at blue-green wavelengths, which are the same wavelengths that have been clinically shown to activate the retinal pathway that modulates migraine. “ ‘I want to be able to choose what kind of lighting I use so that I can be without painful eye-aches and headaches, nausea and agitation,’ ” Fay was quoted as saying in the article.

To cope with her photophobia, Lois kept the blinds in her home shut and often wore sunglasses with the goal of darkening her surroundings as much as possible; anything to mitigate the pain and nausea she experienced from excessive light exposure. In doing so, however, Lois was inadvertently dark-adapting her eyes, thus making herself even more sensitive to light.

The article written on Lois’ fluorescent light sensitivity caught the attention of many websites, including the Migraine Support Group, who posted a link to the article on their Facebook page the same day the article was released. By Google searching her name in conjunction with the article’s title, Lois stumbled across the Facebook post, where a previous Axon Optics customer had recommended our FL-41 glasses as a treatment for fluorescent light sensitivity in her comment.

Lois decided to look into the company and to give the glasses a try, and she quickly discovered a marked improvement in her photosensitivity. In one email Lois wrote soon after receiving her glasses, she remarked, “I am so glad I found your glasses. I am coming back out of the dark. I feel like I am getting my life back. Now when I go in fluorescent lights I don’t get horrible headaches, increased fatigue (I have chronic fatigue), and agitation. The glasses are so soothing… I am totally sold on your product!”

After trying the FL-41 glasses for over a month, Lois had even more positive things to say in her official review. “Thanks to Axon Optics for helping me come back into the light… I have had the FL-41 cocoons for about a month and am so amazed at my progress. I can now go into a store (I still wear my hat) without getting a headache and becoming very agitated. The glasses are calming! In the sunlight, I can now wear one pair of sunglasses rather than two with my hat! And last weekend I was able to visit the college my daughter plans to attend in the fall. I couldn’t have done that a month ago. What a miracle!

While the FL-41 glasses are by no means a “cure” for migraines, Lois’ story of her coming “back into the light”, as well as many other stories like it that have been received, really mean a lot. Thank you, Lois, for sharing your wonderful story.