The Best Glasses for Migraine Sufferers
Do you suffer from migraines at the office? Here's our roundup of some stylish eyeglasses that may help provide relief.
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As someone who’s experienced eye strain from working in an office with fluorescent lights, I feel your pain.
One disclaimer though: I’m not a doctor, and the information provided in this post should not be considered medical advice. Consult a licensed medical professional for diagnosis and treatment of any medical condition.
A problem commonly associated with migraines is light sensitivity. Light can also often be the trigger of a migraine as well. Even just a reflection of light can trigger a painful migraine when there were no other migraine triggers or signs beforehand.
The easiest thing to do when we suffer a migraine is to avoid light at all costs; however, this is not realistic for many of us. Therefore, the best way to manage these kinds of light sensitivities is by wearing glasses that can help protect our eyes from the light.
Most migraine sufferers have a natural sensitivity to light (also known as photophobia). This sensitivity is the most noticeable right before and during a migraine attack. Photophobia is a condition that can be caused by medical issues as well as external factors.
With this condition, sunlight is the most common light source that can affect the eyes and cause migraine attacks. When this happens, you may experience pain, watering of the eyes, and a sudden inability to keep your eyes open.
But the average sufferer has more light sensitivity than the average person between episodes, too. Most people with this issue are accustomed to the solution of hiding in a dark room until the pain passes.
But what if there was a better course of action to prevent light-related migraines? Thankfully, sunglasses for migraine sufferers offer such a solution.
How do Migraine Glasses Work?
Recent research suggests a link between certain types of lighting and head pain. Migraine sufferers are extra sensitive to visual stimuli, which the brain interprets some bright lights as. The stimuli can cause stress and perceptual illusions of motion or various shapes.
This causes the visual cortex in the brain to experience overstimulation and can lead to migraines. Migraine glasses are precision tinted to block some of the light from entering your eyes. They come in rose and rose-grey tints, along with darker shades more similar to regular sunglasses.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Migraine Glasses
Migraine glasses can be worn indoors or outside on cloudy days if they’re designed for indoor use. Most indoor migraine glasses have a rose-colored tint that works to block out harmful rays of light from fluorescent lighting.
Outdoor migraine glasses have tinted lenses that are darker and look more like regular sunglasses. If you plan to wear your glasses outside a lot, make sure you choose a model specifically designed for outdoor use. Otherwise, you’re risking damage to your eyes from the sun.
Photo by bruce mars from Pexels
These types of glasses work for people with migraines in addition to people with post-concussion issues and other chronic pain.
Migraine glasses can reduce the discomfort you experience by encouraging normal brain activity, even in harsh lighting. Note that the pink tint of indoor migraine glasses can take some getting used to. But most people get used to it very fast.
What if You Work from Home?
It’s no secret that the fluorescent lights used in most offices can irritate your eyes. If you work at home, this isn’t as much of a concern since you can control the lighting.
You may want to look into a special lamp for migraine sufferers, to put in your office if you work from home. Otherwise, tinted glasses for migraines may be your best shot at preventing light-related migraines. Here are our top picks.
Choosing Migraine Glasses
When choosing these types of glasses, you will quickly find that there is no real wrong or right answer. Some people prefer the different tints while others prefer the glasses to be darker and with different frame shapes.
There are a number of different tinted lenses available. Many see this as a cosmetic choice, but it is actually what provides you with the protection you need against certain kinds of light. So, instead of choosing a pair of glasses for migraines based on the look and style, you need to consider the level of protection they can provide you as well as whether or not they are comfortable to wear.
When choosing the best tint for your migraine sunglasses, you need to be willing to experiment. You can also discuss your tint options with your eye care specialist. They can help you find any other migraine triggers you may have as well.
You should also be careful when choosing the tint because some people have found that the lens colors may be one of their triggers and can cause migraine attacks. If you choose the wrong kind of tint, you can actually make the migraines worse than they already are.
When you wear dark glasses indoors, you can effectively worsen your light sensitivity over time. Instead of wearing darker glasses, you should instead find tints that only filter harmful wavelengths.
You can also get additional coatings sometimes to make the glasses more protective. Polarized lenses, for example, help eliminate glare and reduces scattered light. Photochromic coatings help you adapt to light in changing conditions.
Best Migraine Glasses
The TheraSpecs Audrey Migraine Glasses
The TheraSpecs Audrey Migraine Glasses are designed not only for migraine sufferers. They also work to block light that can worsen other chronic conditions such as post-concussion syndrome.
They use a unique tint called FL-41, which filters out light in the 480-520 nm range. Research shows that filtering out this type of light can help provide natural relief for migraines and improve symptoms of light sensitivity.
We chose these glasses as the best overall because they have an approachable shape and work well both indoors and on cloudy days.
They relieve glare and light sensitivity, potentially reducing migraine frequency. You can wear these glasses both inside on the computer and outside during overcast weather.
For sunny days, the brand also carries TheraSpecs Outdoor Lenses. While some wearers experience immediate relief, others take some time.
Make sure to wear your TheraSpecs glasses for 2-3 weeks to give them a chance to work.
- Attractive and elegant design
- Works immediately for some wearers
- Frames may be too large for small faces
- Tint may alter your view
- Don’t look like regular sunglasses
TheraSpecs also offers a wear-over option for people who already use prescription frames. Users report that the wear-over frames are lightweight enough that you’ll forget you’re wearing them.
Best for Computer Use
The Axon Optics Jura Indoor Migraine Glasses
The Jura Indoor Migraine Glasses use a rose-grey hue on their smudge-resistant frames. These glasses are scratch-resistant and used by thousands of people as a solution to light-related migraines.
We chose these as our favorite pick for computer use because they don’t block out light from above as well as light from ahead of you. If you work at a desk all day, you should find relief with these.
People with retinitis, agoraphobia, and pituitary tumors can also benefit from light sensitivity glasses. You can experience the comfort of a dark room, even when you’re surrounded by fluorescent lights.
You may use the Jura Indoor Migraine Glasses inside or outside on overcast days. For outdoor use on sunny days, use the Jura Outdoor Migraine Glasses. Users report reduced photosensitivity with both models of glasses.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Stylish shape
- Not as glare-resistant as others
If you already wear prescription lenses, consider the Axon Optics wear-over option for migraine sufferers. People who wear small or medium frames might find that the wear-over model is a bit larger than what they need.
Terramed Sparrow Unisex Migraine Glasses
The Terramed Sparrow Unisex Migraine Glasses can help prevent migraines by reducing your exposure to light. Designed to be worn all day and to minimize eye fatigue, these are a good addition to your long workday in front of a computer.
Migraine sufferers know that glasses can feel uncomfortably heavy when you’re having head pain. The Terramed migraine glasses have a lightweight frame to reduce this problem. Most customers find that these glasses help with their migraine symptoms.
Note that the Terramed Sparrow Unisex Migraine Glasses have a smaller design. These lenses have a scratch-resistant barrier, so you can use them for a long time.
- Affordable price
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Scratch-resistant lenses
- May not fit people with a larger face
As you can see, there are steps you can take to treat your migraine symptoms. Instead of needing to retreat to a dark room whenever an attack comes on, you can prevent them altogether by wearing migraine glasses.
Remember to wear indoor frames for indoor use, and the darker outdoor frames when you’re going out on sunny days. Keep in mind that some people experience relief almost immediately from wearing these glasses. Other people, however, will need up to a few weeks to notice positive changes.
If you know someone who suffers from migraines, you can get them some migraine glasses as a gift. They’re also the perfect gift for yourself, so you can finally experience relief from your head pain.
June 17, 2019
I’ve tried both the Axon Jura and the Terramed Sparrow. Axon’s product is sturdier. The Terramed Sparrow is very flimsy and was returned immediately. I did like the fact that the Sparrow was extremely lightweight, but I was concerned about its construction. Additionally I intend to have a lab use not only the FL-41 tint but also to add my prescription to the frames. On the Terramed site they did offer frames that look identical to Axon Jura at a considerably less price than Axon.
June 20, 2019
Thanks for the insight, Myra. It’s always great to hear reader’s first-hand experiences. I’ll check out some of the other options on the Terramed site.