Lights That Cause Migraines

Lights That Cause Migraines

A migraine is medically defined as a neurological disorder that causes pulsating pain. Unlike headaches, migraines only impact one side of the head at a time and gradually shift to the other side. The symptoms of migraines include increased sensitivity to lights and sounds, often accompanied by nausea or vomitting. Migraines can last from hours to days. 

Migraine is a common medical condition and impacts 1 in 5 U.S. females and 1 in 15 males. If you notice migraine onset triggered by lights, be wary of these sources and avoid them as much as possible:

1. Strobe lights
People suffering from migraines can get affected by strobe lights at concerts. Strobe lights are a source of invisible pulsing, and these lights can quickly trigger migraines among patients. More than 80% of the patients reported bright lights as triggers for their migraines, and strobe lights at a concert can overwhelm the overactive nerve cells in your brain that cause migraines. Since strobe lights have repeated flashing and flickering, these lights can stimulate the brain nerves and cause them to pulsate at higher levels. This can cause migraine attacks

2. Computer screen glare
Photophobia is among the most prevalent symptoms of migraines, and it triggers inflammation of blood vessels in the brain. This inflammation further leads to migraines, and the computer screen glare is one of the most common lights that cause migraines. The bright light from computer screen glare reacts with your photophobia, causing hyperactivity in the brain. You can use glare filter screens to avoid such triggers

3. Bright lights on TV
Patients with migraines often show a lower resistance against bright lights. Due to this lower tolerance level, bright lights on TV can also trigger migraines. Moreover, brighter TVs can worsen the condition and cause the patients to feel severe throbbing pain than before. People with migraines react differently to different wavelengths. The blue lights emitting from the TV come with a 480-nanometer wavelength, and this is particularly troublesome for migraine patients. It can result in migraines within minutes of exposure

4. Overhead fluorescent lighting
As already stated, blue lights come with a 480 nanometers’ wavelength. This wavelength can worsen photophobia, and this wavelength can speed up the onset of migraines. Overhead fluorescent lights are rich in terms of blue lights, and these blue lights are considered soothing by a lot of people. However, migraine patients avoid these lights as these can result in the inflammation of blood vessels and migraines. These lights also emit invisible pulsing that is only detectable by the brain. These overhead fluorescent lights flicker at a high rate of up to 20,000 times per second, and this kind of high flickering ratio causes reactions in the overactive nerve cells in the brain. These lights are known to double the frequency of migraine attacks. There are specialized coatings for these lights that can stop the invisible pulsing from reaching the patients

5. Bright sunlight
Bright sunlight is the number one source of migraines in patients. The majority of patients reported getting triggered during the summer season more often than other seasons. The reason behind this is the high level of intensity of the bright sunlight that penetrates the retina to trigger photophobia instantly. While sunglasses can help, patients have reported getting migraines within the first 10 minutes of exposure. Migraine patients also have a low threshold for bright sunlight compared to people without migraines. People without migraines can easily withstand 23,000 lumens (intensity unit measurement) of sunlight before considering it too bright. On the other hand, migraine patients can only withstand 500 and 1000 lumens before getting too bright for them and trigger migraines. You can wear dark sunglasses to take care of this issue

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