Migraines And Light Exposure
By Jana Beeman, CHHC, AADP
You know how it starts -
- you’re driving at night and a headlight blinds you, and you can feel it coming… that migraine pain you know so well…
- you’re in the mall and the spotlights in the jewelry counter catch your eyes the wrong way and instantly you’re in pain…
- too many hours on the computer and that eye strain starts your head pounding with the ice-pick behind the eye feeling…
- there is finally sunshine outside, but the second you step out into it… here comes a migraine…
There are thousands of things that can start it, from special effects on TV to your bathroom overhead light. For thousands of people a day, light can trigger migraine.
Is there anything you can do about it?
Well… yes. Try some of these tips and see if you can reduce your number of light-provoked migraines.
- Sunglasses. Yep, simple sunglasses, but make sure you get Polarized as they help MUCH more. You can wear sunglasses any time you’re outside, to keep ambient bright light from causing that piercing behind-the-eye stabbing migraine pain. For outdoors, use a darker grey tint. Avoid the brown and colored tints as they can sometimes cause eyestrain in sensitive people.
- More sunglasses! Get some barely tinted (preferably grey tint) Polarized lenses to wear at night and when it’s raining. The polarization helps the oncoming lights not hit your eyes as badly or flare at you, as well as helping you see past a rain-streaked windshield when it’s wet out. The polarized lenses keep oncoming lights from getting that aura around them as well, which reduces eye strain. Wear them inside at the mall too – it helps with those bright LED lights in the display cases and the harsh overhead lighting.
- When you’re on the computer, take a break at LEAST every 45 minutes. It doesn’t have to be a long break, but get away from your work area. If you’re in the office, go get some water, file something, take a restroom break (and STRETCH when you’re in there!), water your plant, make a phone call… get your eyes off the screen for 3 – 5 minutes.
- At home, have more but reduced-brilliance lighting. Don’t go for the 100 watt bulbs – go for more 60’s. Overall even light will always be more comfortable for a migraine sufferer. Avoid the bright fluorescent bulbs, and use Daylight Fluorescents at lower wattages when you can – it’s more natural light and won’t bother your eyes as much. Have lower light options available for when you’re in pain – it’s milder on the eyes and will help you recover faster.
- Never be on the computer in a darkened room – that will cause headaches frequently.
- Always keep your eye correction prescriptions for contacts or glasses up to date. Eye strain of any kind can trigger migraines, and you need to take great care of your eyes anyway. You only get one pair of them!
When there are lights involved, just be careful. Always keep your sunglasses with you and use them anytime you feel sensitive to light. Migraine sufferers need to learn to take care of themselves better, as so many things can trigger pain, but it really IS possible to move toward a pain-free life.
|Jana Beeman is a Certified Health and Fitness Counselor, AADP Certified, Certified Yoga and Modified Yoga Instructor, Meditation, Hypnosis and EFT trainer and a specialist in chronic migraine pain relief.
Visit www.balancedlifetoday.com/migraines.htm for information on her migraine programs and to sign up for her free Migraine Management Newsletter with more informative articles and great tips on migraine control. She offers frequent teleseminars, podcasts and presentations at your location are available. Free 30-minute consultations about her program and how it might help you with your migraines are available on a limited basis. Call (360) 263-5800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more of her articles on SelfGrowth.com at http://www.selfgrowth.com/experts/jana_beeman.
Permission is granted to reprint this article in its entirety including all contact information. All rights reserved. March 2011.