Backgrounder: An ECP’s Guide to Migraine Glasses

Migraine Glasses

Migraine is a genetic neurological disease that causes symptoms like throbbing painful headaches, numbness of the limbs, vertigo, sound sensitivity, and more.

So what does this have to do with eye care providers?

It’s been found that over 80% of people with migraine have light sensitivity. Light is taken in through the patient’s eyes and affects cells on the retina at the back of the eye, including intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGC). That plays a role in regulating how the patient responds to bright light situations, regulating the body’s melatonin production, and affecting migraine pain level.

Light sensitivity can be addressed with migraine glasses. A study in 2016 found that blue, red, amber and white light increased migraine-related headache pain intensity, while green light was found to be soothing. That’s why people who experience migraine and light sensitivity need a comfortable lens that absorbs light in high percentages at multiple bands of wavelengths (colors), does not distort color perception, and is manufactured accurately and consistently. 

If you’re looking to add a migraine sub-speciality to your practice and prescribe migraine lenses, it’s important to know that not all lenses referred to as “migraine glasses” truly are. Blue light glasses, sunglasses and dark colored tints, clear lenses and FL-41 lenses all have their limitations, whereas evidence-based and clinically proven Avulux lenses truly absorb the most harmful wavelengths of light that are linked to migraine.

Let’s take a closer look.

Avulux Light Transmission Graph

Blue Light Glasses

Blue light lenses are an option that your patients may have considered. However, the problem with most blue light glasses is that they don’t target the correct wavelengths, or they don’t prevent enough of that wavelength from entering the eye, to reduce the impact on someone who is light sensitive. In addition, most blue light glasses have never been clinically proven to help with migraine headaches and light sensitivity (photophobia).

Sunglasses Or Dark Colored Tints

Some people try sunglasses or dark colored tints to help with light sensitivity. But this can backfire: if the lens is too dark, eyes adapt to the darkness and eventually allow in more light and the patient then becomes even more light sensitive. In addition, preventing too much of any one color of light from entering the eyes will cause color perception to be off.

A lens that distorts color perception in this way may be removing too much of the beneficial light spectrum. Remember, green light is beneficial. Not all light is bad.

Clear Lenses

A lens that is too light, or nearly clear, is not blocking enough light to eliminate the negative effects of light on people with migraine and severe photophobia.

FL-41 Lenses

FL-41 glasses are an older technology and were originally created for light management related to fluorescent lighting only. The focus of FL-41 was not on migraine related photophobia, and FL-41 mainly targets just one band of wavelengths near the blue light spectrum.

Avulux Migraine & Light Sensitivity Lenses

Avulux Migraine & Light Sensitivity lenses directly align with the most recent science linking the impact of light on people with photophobia and/or migraine. The Avulux team created a migraine and light sensitivity optical lens that has been clinically proven through independent clinical trials to precisely and effectively filter harmful light, which may help those living with migraine.
Avulux is effective because:

  1. It is the most precise and effective in absorbing the light that’s been found to have the biggest negative impact on people with migraine.
  2. It does not distort color perception. The patient soon forgets they are even wearing them as their vision adapts and colors remain vibrant and distinct.
  3. It does not cause dark-adaptation and it will not make the patient more sensitive to light.

Avulux Is An Advancement In Light Filtering Technology

Avulux lenses were developed using the most up-to-date science and research to precisely filter harmful light and prevent it from entering the eyes. They absorb specific harmful wavelengths of light in high percentage across multiple bands (colors) of light in the spectrum, which sets them apart from other so-called “migraine glasses” on the market – and why they’re the right technology to support a migraine sub-speciality into your practice.  

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