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How a Pair of Glasses Could Help Migraine Headaches

How do glasses for migraine relief work? | What is a migraine headache? | What glasses are best for migraines? | Photochromic lenses | Other migraine sunglasses | Can blue light glasses help with migraines?

By Hannah Tinning
Reviewed by Sharlene McKeeman FBDO
Sharlene is a qualified dispensing optician with over 7 years optical experience, a member of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians and registered with the General Optical Council.
Migraine and tension headaches are known to cause vision and eye discomfort. Luckily different lenses can help reduce these symptoms.
How a Pair of Glasses Could Help Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches cause sensory discomfort, which often affects our vision and eye comfort. It is estimated that almost half of the world’s population suffers from headaches, with 42% suffering from tension headaches and 11% from migraines.

Thanks to improving lens technology, you can relieve migraine symptoms with migraine glasses like transitional lenses, reflective sunglasses, tinted lenses, and blue light-blocking glasses.

How do glasses for migraine relief work?

How do glasses for migraine relief work?

If you’re prone to light sensitivity, migraine glasses can relieve headaches by filtering out certain types of bright lights, like fluorescent lighting, that can trigger migraines or worsen symptoms. These glasses typically have special light sensitivity lenses that can block blue light and other certain wavelengths known to trigger migraines in some people. 

By reducing the amount of triggering light levels that reach the eyes, these glasses can help to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine episodes, improving your quality of life. 

If you are experiencing headaches, it is essential to research your symptoms to determine what type you have to know which glasses you need to wear for relief. Migraine glasses may not be effective for other types of headaches, such as tension or sinus headaches, which require different treatments.

What is a migraine headache, and how are they caused?

What is a migraine headache, and how are they caused?

It is believed by researchers that migraine episodes result from abnormal communication between nerves, chemicals, and blood vessels in the body and brain. Migraine attacks usually start with an intense throbbing on the side of your head. They can spread all over the head and to the back of the neck as they worsen.

Migraine headaches
Migraine Headaches

Eye strain is one factor that can bring on migraine attacks. When our eyes are fatigued from prolonged use, such as staring at a computer screen for long periods, the brain can become overstimulated and trigger a migraine.

Eye strain can also cause tension in the muscles around the eyes and neck, contributing to migraines. If you’re experiencing migraines, be sure to speak to your eye doctor to rule out vision problems.

DID YOU KNOW?
While there are no glasses specifically made to combat migraine headaches, different lenses with red tints, blue light blocking filter, or photochromatic add-ons can help reduce the frequency and intensity.

What is the difference between tension and migraine headaches?

What is the difference between tension and migraine headaches?

A tightening feeling around the head is often a sign that you’re suffering from a tension headache; intense throbbing indicates a migraine. Though not always the case, moderate to severe headaches can clearly show signs that you suffer from a migraine rather than a tension headache.

According to the Health Line (Health Line 2023), Scientists believe there is a spectrum of headaches, with tension headaches at one end and migraine at the other. It’s possible to have a mixed tension migraine with characteristics of both a tension headache and a migraine headache.

What are ocular migraines?

What are ocular migraines?

Ocular migraines, or retinal migraines, are a rare form of migraine that is characterized by blurry vision or even temporary vision loss in one eye. It is believed that spasms of blood vessels cause this type of chronic migraine in the retina.

While rare, ocular migraines can cause permanent vision damage, so you must see a doctor if you believe you’re experiencing these symptoms. Ocular migraines cannot be treated with glasses alone.

Ocular migraines vs. migraine auras?

Ocular migraines vs. migraine auras?

Ocular migraines are a type of visual migraine, while auras are a symptom of regular, recurring migraines. A migraine “aura” is a sensory disturbance, such as flashes of light, blurry vision, or other vision problems before a migraine strikes, and can last anywhere from 5-60 minutes. 

Although no glasses are developed to treat migraine auras specifically, you can significantly reduce the effects of migraine auras as you would with migraine photophobia, opting for eyewear to protect the eye from certain harmful light rays.

What is photophobia?

What is photophobia?

While there are many symptoms of migraines, one of the most painful and commonly reported migraine pains is photophobia or extreme light sensitivity. Photophobia is not a condition but a symptom of another underlying complication, such as migraine attacks. It results from the connection between the cells in your eyes that detect light and the nerves that go to your head, making it a common complaint among migraine patients.

What glasses are best for migraines?

What glasses are best for migraines?

Migraine glasses
What glasses are best for migraines

When choosing glasses for migraines, looking for lenses that can effectively block harmful light and reduce eye strain is essential. Some of the best migraine glasses include those with FL 41 lenses, which can filter out certain wavelengths of light that are known to trigger migraines. It’s important to note that at SmartBuyGlasses, these lenses are not stocked.

Other glasses you can buy at SmartBuyGlasses that may be beneficial for migraines are those with photochromatic, polarized, or blue light lenses, which can reduce glare, block certain colors, and improve visual clarity. Anti-reflective coatings and red-tinted glasses can also be useful for reducing glare and minimizing eye strain.

How can photochromic lenses help with migraine headaches?

How can photochromic lenses help with migraine headaches?

Photochromic sunglasses can help with migraine episodes by reducing the amount of light that enters the eyes. Photochromic lenses, also known as transitional lenses, are eyeglass lenses that darken in response to ultraviolet (UV) light. They contain special molecules that react to UV light, causing the lenses to darken when exposed to sunlight or other UV light sources.

Photochromic vs polarized
Photochromic vs polarized

A migraine attack can often be triggered by bright light or glare, which can cause discomfort and pain in the eyes. By wearing glasses with photochromic lenses, you can help reduce the amount of light that enters your eyes, which can help reduce migraine frequency and intensity. You can easily turn your prescription glasses into photochromatic glasses to reduce eyestrain as well.

What other migraine sunglasses are there?

What other migraine sunglasses are there?

Reflective sunglasses are one type of migraine sunglasses that can help prevent migraine triggers by blocking bright light and glare. They are designed with a reflective coating, helping to reflect harmful UV rays and reduce glare. Wearing sunglasses with reflective lenses is also helpful for people with light sensitivity, as they help to reduce the brightness of light that enters the eyes. 

Another type of migraine sunglasses that can be beneficial is those with polarized lenses. Polarized lenses have a unique filter that blocks reflected light, reducing glare and improving visual clarity. They are particularly useful for people who suffer from migraines triggered by bright sunlight or glare. They can be combined with other lens features, such as prescription glasses, anti-reflective coatings, and UV protection, to enhance their effectiveness and provide maximum eye protection.

Can blue light glasses help with migraines?

Can blue light glasses help with migraines?

Blue light exposure from digital screens has been linked to triggering migraines, so blocking blue light with specialized glasses can help reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks. Additionally, blue light glasses can help reduce eye strain and improve sleep quality, which can be beneficial for migraine sufferers who experience these symptoms.

blue light glasses

However, it’s important to note that blue light glasses may not work for everyone and should not be used as the sole management strategy for migraines. Identifying and avoiding other migraine triggers like light sensitivity, fluorescent lighting, and harsh light is still crucial. We suggest speaking with your eye doctor or seeking medical treatment if necessary.

Do migraine glasses really work?

Do migraine glasses really work?

While there is no cure for migraines, glasses with specialized lenses can help with light sensitivity and reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine episodes and ease photophobia symptoms. Transitional lenses, reflective sunglasses, tinted lenses, blue light-blocking glasses, and polarized lenses are just a few types of prescription lenses and glasses that can benefit migraine sufferers. Speak to one of our online opticians to see which lens type will be best for you.

Reference list

Reference list

Health Line. (2018, September 3). Mixed Tension Migraine. Health Line. Retrieved March 22, 2023, from https://www.healthline.com/health/mixed-tension-migraine

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