Hi I’m Jamie and I’m extremely sensitive to light. Unless you know me in real life, chances are you don’t know that I have extreme light sensitivity. I suffer from chronic vestibular migraines and vestibular neuritis. Yes, I’m finally coming out with this. I have found many tools that help me combat my struggles with certain lighting conditions. Consequently I feel it is imperative to share what I’ve learned with others. Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that when clicked on may result in a small commission to this site, but all opinions are mine. This is more serious than you think. Many people who suffer like I do are housebound. I used to be bedridden. Between this and my severe autoimmune illness, I was until about one year ago stuck in bed for two long scary depressing years. While I am no longer bedridden, I am still affected daily. Through a series of trial and error and much research I have found things that work for me. In this entry I am going to focus on one of my many triggers: indoor light sensitivity. Flickering light, for me, is the worst light trigger. Strobe lights. Candles. Blinking Christmas lights. You get the idea. But by far the most difficult to avoid are fluorescent lights as they are used in most stores and airports. Without special lenses I instantly become dizzy, get tunnel vision, basically cannot see what is in front of me, my cognitive processes slow way down, and I get many other neurological and vestibular symptoms. This has rendered it impossible for me to spend much time in stores at all. As a style blogger, I am invited to events, spend time in airports (vestibular hell), and I like to shop (hello, I do a style blog). Hence, this makes normally fun activities quite stressful for me. Or should I say made? I have a solution now!
Special lenses for us light-sensitive people!
I reached out to therapeutic migraine specialty eyeglass company, TheraSpecs , and asked if I could try out their glasses for this honest blog review. To learn more about why their FL-41 lenses are so highly regarded, I suggest clicking here. TheraSpecs has 9 frames to choose from and you can choose between indoor and outdoor lenses (prescription and non-prescription). You can also send in your own frames and have TheraSpecs FL-41 lenses put in. My two favorite styles are the Audrey style and TheraSpecs Pilot style, ultimately I chose the Audrey in blue. Testing out my special lenses! I tested my new TheraSpecs non-prescription Audrey style glasses in multiple stores with fluorescent lighting. The improvement is quite literally phenomenal. I was able to spend as much time as needed in stores! This is something I haven’t been able to do in years. I feel like I will be able to commit to more engagements , enjoy time at museums, and finally participate in grocery shopping again (my partner, Kevin, has lovingly shopped for me for years. He even regularly surprised me with snacks!). Conclusion: YES YES YES. TheraSpecs definitely help! I do think that larger glasses would be more therapeutic and I recommend the TheraSpecs Wrap Glasses for those who want or need the most protection. I want to send my own frames to TheraSpecs so I can personalize my style. Also I could really use a pair of prescription lenses so I don’t have to wear contact lenses under my current TheraSpecs to see. Other things that have helped my sensitivity to light: *Please research and check in with your doctor(s) and pharmacist before trying anything that is on the following list.
- For my inner ear vestibular disorder (not my migraines), vestibular rehab therapy helped me tons! If you don’t live in a town with a dizzy clinic, check YouTube for exercises!
- Feverfew has caused an 80% reduction in migraines for me! A miracle! Of all my supplements this is the one I credit with helping me the most. I found that Solaray was the most helpful, but I typically purchase Nature’s Way Feverfew because it’s cheaper as it comes with more pills. I take one in the morning and sometimes one around dinner time.
- Antihistamine: I learned that in emergency room migraine concoctions contain antihistamine. With his knowledge, I decided to try Claritin. It helped a lot and the cheaper version by Members Mark works as well. Some people prefer Benadryl or the Member’s Mark formula for an evening antihistamine.
- Motion sickness: I occasionally get sick to my stomach with my migraines and I like to take ginger Nature’s Way Ginger Root. I won’t travel without Dramamine.
- I take magnesium each night. I use Bluebonnet Albion Chelated Buffered Magnesium , but most people in my Facebook migraine groups swear by Pure Encapsulations – Magnesium (Glycerinate).
- I also take Solgar – Vitamin B2.
- If you are looking to control your migraines with food read up on Heal Your Headache way of eating (helps you identify common migraine trigger foods), Charleston diet for migraines or Ketogenic Neuro Diet. These aren’t really diets as they do not focus on weight loss, and if they work for you, chances are you will want to eat that way for life. I am currently testing the Keto Neuro way of eating (not the same as the popular Keto diet, it has different ratios for maximum brain health). I’m only about two weeks into it, so time will tell. Honestly, I don’t like eating like this, but if it’ll help me neurologically it’ll be worth it.
- Check out awesome supportive Facebook groups!
I feel it is important to add that I was on prescription drugs for years. I developed side effects, some very serious, from my many medications. I am sensitive to meds, so they might work for you. Don’t give up. I want to say to the many of people who are suffering with chronic migraines, please don’t lose hope. Even if the world seems insurmountable right now, you might feel better tomorrow. Some people outgrow their migraines, eliminate migraine causing foods, move to a climate with less barometric pressure changes, move out of the city with its migraine causing pollution and extra stimuli, and find many other things that cause a dramatic reduction in migraines. There are new medications and holistic heal practices that have helped many. What works for me, might not work for you. Hang in there, I know it’s hard. I know it’s isolating. I know that many people in your life may not understand. Find your community online and vent. You are worth fighting for. Thank you for reading! Please share your experiences as everyone is different. I only offer one perspective.
Thanks for the post. I just got tested by Irlen Institute and had a pair of glasses specifically made for my light sensitivity and chronic daily migraines. The rose colored tint look a lot like the Theraspecs even after being tested with hundreds of different color combinations- blues, greens, oranges, etc. I had them put in my own frames, although I think the Therapec frames are cute and pretty stylish. I too struggle with wanting to be stylish yet being in miserable pain every day. It it hard to walk around all the time with sunglasses on. I think people think I think I’m trying to be a rock star. When in reality I’m simply trying to get my daily tasks done in the midst of horrific pain! The Irlen Institute will also make contact lenses that are your specific shade so I’m looking into those. But as you know all these treatments are all expensive and when you are unable to work it’s hard to pay for them all.
Thank you for your comment. I am going to look up the Irlen Institute, as I’m not aware of it. Rose lenses are the most common color (from what I understand) that help with migraines. Before I was diagnosed I wore regular dark sunglasses everywhere day and night.They didn’t work that much, but I wanted any relief. I received so many comments on wearing sunglasses at night. Like your experience, I think people thought I was trying to be a rockstar. All the best to you.
Invisible illnesses can be so tricky to explain! I’ve been debating recently wether or not to go into it on my own blog, so I really respect your decision to write about this. So brave and genuine. Also I can’t wait to see what other specs you choose cuz you have amazing style!
Yes! I want to get the TheraSpecs lenses in large square or round glasses! And… Oh, I get it! For many people, if they cannot see the illness it isn’t real. Very frustrating! I have another invisible (rare) illness and I’m often like… “hmmm how do i talk about this?” I’m sorry you have an invisible illness too… but am grateful that are getting where I am coming from.
Thanks for this post. It’s prompting me to look into my symptoms more!! I get what I defined as headaches frequently, not daily but probably once every week or two and more often at that time of month. I also got what I would class as a full blown migraine once every couple of months. I have inner ear issues on the left side that are reoccurring (since a bump to the head a few years ago that I got the all clear from despite them not taking a proper look). One of my issues that seemed to prolong or at any rate not help is my job is based in an office sat at a computer with terrible lighting and im wondering if these frames might help for when I feel it coming on…. its debilitating and really affects my ability to do anything! I’ve tried a few things, like monitoring diet to see what my triggers are but have come up blank so far.
This however has given me food for thought and its time to try and find ways that solve this without popping pills (that aren’t even helping anyway). It’s been really getting me down and has made me miss out on a few things and can be quite isolating. I’d been doing the “just live with it” thing but it isn’t working out. There is hope in knowing people have found ways to manage it that don’t involve heavy duty pain meds. And that I’m not suffering alone.
And, well the glasses are stylish as! 💜
Bryoney, Thank you for your comment. For the longest time I just tried to live with it! I kept thinking it was only temporary. Migraines & inner ear issues are so hard to diagnose & often require a lot of trial & error & experimentation to see what works. A cool thing about the glasses is they have a great return policy, so if they dont work for you, you can return them. I sincerely hope you find relief soon. This is a difficult thing to live with! ❤️
Wow, this article is fastidious, my younger sister is analyzing such things, therefore I am going to let know her.
I’m so thankful for this post Jamie!! I just bought myself a pair online now!! I’ll let you know how it goes when I get them and try them out for awhile. I have an upcoming trip to Europe (feeling brave) and anything that can possibly help my VM symptoms is worth trying. I love your style to btw!
Thank you, Carolyn! Please let me know how you like your glasses! Enjoy your trip to Europe! I have a trip coming up and I’m excited to try my glasses in airports!