Sensitivity to light – also known as photophobia – is a common symptom of migraines, but did you know it can also occur in between attacks and be a potential trigger? Exposure to bright lights and sun glare can trigger migraines, while certain patterns can also exacerbate migraine symptoms , known as ‘pattern glare’.
If you know that you are susceptible to bright sunlight it’s important to be prepared, especially when you are planning to be out in the summer sun. Sunglasses can help to alleviate some of the photophobia and visual discomfort that can often accompany an attack, but a particular type of tinted glasses may also be useful in preventing attacks that are triggered by visual stimuli.
Researchers have found that glasses fitted with precision tinted lenses, or PTLs, can reduce the frequency of migraines as well as relieving the symptoms and progression of attacks even after they have begun.
Results with precision tinted lenses are somewhat conflicting so far, and research in this area is confounded by the fact that very few migraine sufferers have attacks that are triggered exclusively by visual stimuli.
However, some sufferers are particularly susceptible to visual triggers, meaning that they may experience noticeable benefits from wearing tinted lenses designed to reduce visual stimuli.
Wearing sunglasses on sunny days for reducing visual discomfort caused by photophobia may reduce the visual stress that causes or results from migraine attacks.
Talk to your GP or pharmacist for advice on preventing or managing migraines, or ask your ophthalmologist if you think that tinted lenses may benefit you.