Light and Sensitivity

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Many migraine sufferers are very sensitive to light, especially to glare. Bright lights are more likely to trigger migraines when they are of a “flickering” quality, and a slow flicker is usually more irritating than a more rapid one. It is believed that some people have more excitable brain cells in response to light than others.

A dazzling, flickering type of light can be found in light reflected on snow, sand, or water, or through clouds. The use of polaroid lenses in these glaring conditions can be helpful.

Some fluorescent lighting or the light that flickers from television and movie screens may have a similar effect. A study in children found that the blue wavelengths of light were especially troublesome, so tinting of lenses or contacts to reduce these wavelengths may also be beneficial. The use of anti-glare screens on computer displays can reduce the flicker and newer television displays have reduced visual triggering characteristics. Daylight spectrum florescent bulbs in most cases will reduce or eliminate the issue that migraine patients experience related to these conditions.

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