I just started working fulltime in an office two weeks ago and am having increasing problems with my vision and headaches, which I feel is related to the frequency of the fluorescent lighting. Since I've never spent so long under fluorescent lighting, this is a new experience for me. I have spells where my eyes go strange, not fuzzy because I can still focus, but strange because I can't see clearly, like a skewed TV screen in a way. Difficult to describe. After the vision disruption, which in some spells lasts about 20 minutes, I have a headache which can last for hours. When the spell passes, I'm normal again with no vision problems.
I need to know how I can protect myself from this negative lighting environment so I can keep working to pay my keep.
I hear that 25% of the population suffers with sensitivity to fluorescent lighting, which is way too many for any healthy society. I think it's important that we keep incandescent lighting around for those who are made ill by fluorescent lighting.
I also have a sensitivity to fluorescent lighting, my eyes get so tired I can hardly stand it. As soon as I leave the room I'm fine. I've noticed this for years. I wear a light pair of reflective sunglasses, and it helps. If you wear glasses I'd get a pair of lightly darkened reflective glasses for work and play. I don't so I use regular sunglasses.
We all just remain untreated and very live live limitted by our situation. I am unable to be around flourescent lights because they cause vision disruption, dizziness, and after long exposure (especially to the older style) loss of consciousness. Dr.s just shrug and tell me that it is strange or look at me as if I am crazy. We can't all be hypochondriacs. For those who suffer as I do, there are discussions and websites out there trying to bring light to this subject if you google it. Sunglasses do help. It is embaressing to wear sunglasses to work or the grociery store, but they do help. I am looking for non-prescription, u-v protectant contacts in hopes that they will help enough to enable me to finish graduate and medical school. Good luck to all
What I learned about fluorescent light is that not only is the 60-cycling is obnoxious (yes) but that the light spectrum that it heavily requires (visible blue) which is responsible for the light's brightness and excites the retinas improving visibility - but is also fatiguing for some guaranteed. It happens. It doesn't help to deny it and doesn't let your patients feel as if you are their advocate, as I believe you are supposed to be. Or maybe ought to be.
I have had lighting engineers tell me that you have to be 40 feet away from fluroescent to not be affected by it. Was also told by these people that most lighting engineers are too lazy to do the geometry that would actually result in more appropriate placement of fluorescent fixtures. One 40-watt fluroescent tube is = to 150 watts incandescent. I asked a PG&E conservation expert, just in general, how many watts would you put overheard in an office. He said... "100, 150" and I then asked him why would you put the equivalent of 600 watts (4 tubes as was common at the time) in fluorescent installations. Not to mention spaced every few feet. Especially when you are trying to conserve energy? Why use 4X the amount of necessary overhead light. He had no answer, but got back to me and said I could not use his quote in the report I was writing.
Why indeed? Well, using only 1 40-watt tube overhead would create a sickly gray light. There has to be more used in order to create what would simulate decent lighting.
The result is excessive (for some) overhead lighting and This Is Only My Opinion, but based upon my own experience, the excessive lighting overworks the retinas (of some) which in turn overwork the eye's muscles, extending to surrounding facial muscles and into the neck as well.
Since it doesn't happen to everyone, doesn't mean it doesn't happen to some and herein lies the problem with medical "science": they only work on averages. What affects the average person and then operate from there. Unfortunately, if your diagnosis doesn't fit in with this average, they are wont to tell you it is all in your head.
Clue: I learned this in interior design. Appropriate lighting should be task specific, not glaring overhead light to accommodate a whole population. Overhead lighting should be AMBIENT, not the task.
Once I'm exposed to more than just a few minutes of fluorescent light, I will get eye pain, eye strain, and facial muscular pain. After a while, it goes to my neck as well. They ARE all connected, you see. But the eye pain, one sided, is the worst. And here is the kicker: if I am not exposed to fluorescent, I won't get any pain at all.
I do have to be careful with bright outdoor light as well, so always wear sunglasses. Always, always always. And taking care with computer use as well. But the fluorescent? Even the tiny little devil bulbs they are forcing us to use? Yes, those are also too bright for me.
Sometimes, it takes up to 4 days after exposure for the migraine to occur. So it isn't an easy, perfect little package for diagnosis. But that is what it is for me and I suspect some others as well.
Not defending the opinion on indoor lighting- but I am very light sensative to the point that techs have a hard time even holding the eye open to take pics. Indoor lighting at some of the bright stores require that I wear a light yellow tinted sunglass that allows me to see a bit better yet seems to help with eye discomfort. All my light sensativity issues are related to medical conditions and side efects of intense laser surgery. If you are light sensative you may be developing mild dry eye ( you would know if severe ). Also eye fatigue seems to make the light issue worse for me. I would discuss this with your eye doc. It is true that many seem to push the light sensativity issues to the back burner because as one doc said " sometimes things we don't see and can't touch are not addressed because it just doesn't hit us like a retina tear " My everyday pain level was severe if I went outside or even shopped at a brightly lit store- now with two pair of glasses It is much less an issue. If your doc doesn't think your pain and discomfort is an issue simply tell them it is and even if they can't fix it there are ways to minimize the discomfort. ND filtered prescription sunglasses outdoors in sun ( partially sealed if you have bad dry eye ) Lightly tinted ( yellow works for me ) wrap around sunglasses inside and of course prescription so you do not strain your eyes which causes pain as well .
I certainly understand being upset about a docs non reaction to light sensativity- been there myself--if nothing else find a new doc. If your light sensativity is severe enough you will not find what you need at " supermarket" type eye centers- Full service eye clinics can usually fix you up though.
Anxiety,stress etc can also cause increased sensitivity to light,sound,touch etc
Its true that some people may be allergic to fluorescent lights,but we have to consider that millions of people all around the world uses this technology one way or another like display in computer,tv,mobile phones etc & most people are comfortable with it,so when such a sensitivity problem arise we have to look into eye problems,psychological problems like severe anxiety,stress etc etc not just blaming upon technology.alone.
I have been undergoing extensive testing for 2 weeks now to find the cause of a 20 day headache with 5 migraine flair ups with nothing found in any test results. After being off work for 5 days, new medications prescribed for relief of the pain, I returned to work yesterday. Just 2 hours in, my headache returned! And, no I don't have a stressful job like you may have just been wondering.
I had my Carotid Arteries checked today by way of ultrasound and am currently awaiting for the results to come back. The technician did tell me that my brain is getting blood flow to both sides and all looked good to her but will need to wait for Cardiologist findings to rule out any plaque build up that could be causing pressure in the vessels.
After returning from the Dr's. today, I started researching flourescent light sensitivity, because I had told him the lights at work were recently changed and seemed much brighter now and when he turned the light off in the office, my squinting was much less than when they were on. What I found today was that a study was done last year that found people suffer more illnesses when exposed to flourescent lighting than incandescent lighting. Even the "mini" bulbs can put off what is referred to by scientists as "dirty" energy... almost as much as the "tube" type flourescent bulbs. When compared side by side the "mini" flourescent gave off close to 4 times the "dirty" energy that incandescent lighting put off. The GS units (dirty energy) was only 65 from the old style incandescent bulbs compared to 298 GS units from the Mini flourescent. When "dirty" energy was removed from the homes of people suffering illnesses caused or triggered by it, they showed signs of improvement, almost instantly! I myself am going back to incandescent lighting today because I feel the savings from the new bulbs could never equal the savings I will be making to my health by switching back!
It's sad that Doctors from other parts of the World are taking this problem, which affects so many individuals, more seriously than most in our own country and then chalking up complaints to vision problems, rather than reading the conclusive results found in the reports of many qualified Scientists from around the World. Patient complaints made to one's Physician should never be viewed so lightly and given a standard answer with no real explanation or research put into it first.
Just a quick Question for the Docs... Do you always give out the same answers for this type of question no matter how it's worded? I've seen several posts on this site but worded so differently and they are always given the same answer... "go see your eye doctor". Well, I did that 6 months ago, got new glasses costing me a small fortune, and now my Dr is telling me that my glasses are probably causing yet more strain on my eyes which in turn isn't helping my migraines... Go Figure!
I have a problem that is similar, but different. I've had it since grade school, and it always happened in classrooms. Now that I work under numerous fluorescent lights (I can see about 6 from my desk) it happens every day. My problem is this: under fluorescent light I don't squint, but instead the light I perceive gets blindingly bright. So bright that I can barely focus on things and people around me. It comes and goes in waves. The light around me is not changing, but the light I perceive varies in intensity. Does anyone else have this problem?? Also, since I've started working under these lights, my eyes twitch a lot more.
I'm now 37 years old - and after about 13 yrs of the unexplained misery and uncoutable tests for awful headaches & even worse horrible dizziness & blurred vision, etc - I was recently FINALLY just diagnosed with MIGRAINE-INDUCED-VERTIGO. And guess what... an ENT dr. immediately noticed that the flourescent lighting in his office was bothering me, and found out that it's a TRIGGER for my headaches, dizzy spells, vision problems, etc!
I had been suffering terribly at work (an office setting) day after day & year after year, and always HATED my overhead flourescent lights but I couldn't ever explain why... I just knew they bothered me! So I climbed up on my desk & I unscrewed several of the bulbs around my office to reduce the brightness, and then brought in a couple of desk lamps to sit around. This did make a difference but my doctor told me I should not use flourescent lights AT ALL if possible since we know it triggers my symptoms, so I turned off my overhead lights and used strictly lamps with regular bulbs which made a huge difference!
I since then started a new position at work, and I don't have the option to turn OFF lights anymore, so I had to go on preventative migraine/vertigo medication... and I've noticed now that the lighting is really bothering my eyes daily. I purchased a "MONITOR HOOD" for my computer (cost around $30). Its not just one of the screen covers. It helps with privacy but also does wonders for the light/glare because it goes around the monitor almost like a box that surrounds the screen which blocks the lights from above, and since it sticks out on the monitor forward, it also stops the glare on my keyboard and on my desk too right in front of my PC which is nice!
Unfortunately, there are WAY too many flourescent lights in my space (all around my area not just over my head) so my eyes are irritated & feel dry and burny all the time!! I feel like I need to wear sunglasses at work! But I do customer service so I can't wear sunglasses all day, and even if I were allowed I wouldn't want to have the conversation of WHY with everyone that I deal with all day long! My vision is perfect, so I don't wear prescription glasses, and therefore I can't just get them "tinted" to help this either...
I decided I'm going to call an eye doctor which I had seen a couple of years ago (when I was in search of answers about my headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, etc) and see if he can recommend anything to help my eye strain, burning, irritation, etc from these stupid, bright, ridiculously overused flourescent lights!!!!!!!
All I can say now is - Thank God that I got lucky and ONE doctor out of sooooooooo many that I've seen over the years - randomly noticed that the flourescent lighting bothered me, and found some answers for me, otherwise I'd still be suffering much worse than this!!
I do know how HORRIBLE it is to have a doctor (several) not take you seriously, and not truly LISTEN, and also not do everything possible to help find answers. So I know I was finally blessed to come across a Doctor who did that for me! I wish all doctors would realize that although we're all human, we're all different in some ways and symptoms are REAL and we need answers and relief!
Here Here yes I agree some are sensitive to light Im classic example I had chronic asthenopia in simple terms eye strain when the wrong glasses prescription was given to me for one year I wore these I was also using a laptop it got to the point the eye strain was that bad it dimmed my vision i was on a laptop it freaked me out to the point I had something terrible wrong with me spotlights were around me cause I worked from home. No doctor found out what was wrong with me I went to numerous specialists I also had awful neck pain it caused an horrendous eye type migraine with muscle twitches and I was sensitive to light until the strain finally came off you need to protect your eyes and you put your health in professionals hand to give you the best care in my situation it didn't happen so I do agree computer use with glare from screen and lighting above and other lighting can affect certain people we don't all come under certain brackets some have good eyes others poor some have other issues like tiredness jobs that involve driving which can contribute to discomfort but I believe overuse of the eyes computers anything which strains the eyes etc or just out the blue lighting does affect eyes how come we cant stare at the sun long hours its bright ok said my peice alison UK
I work in an office where my seat orientation faces banks of fluorescent lights overhead. Within about 5 minutes I am squinting and in an hour my eyes are tearing and I cannot see to do my work. In defence of this, I purchased a visor and wear that all the time I'm at my desk. It leaves an indentation on my forehead, but that's nothing to the pain of having the lights shine into my eyes as I work. Thank you to all before me posting sensitivity to fluorescent lights.
I also have had problems with the flourescent lights where I work since they changed them around 15 years ago. There was an immediate difference for the worse when thy changed from the old flourescent bulbs to the new "more energy efficient" ones. There was a co-worker of mine who that same week started wearing sunglasses inside because they bothered him so much. He wore them constantly until the day he retired some years later.
I bought one of the monitor shields someone in this blog mentioned and then attached a lightweight canopy (Krispy Kreme box) to it so I ould sit under it and not have to look directly at the lights.
My office is very bright and I work at a computer. When I'm working at the computer, within 1-2 minutes the muscles in my face begin to tighten up. When I went to my eye doctor she couldn't believe that the strain happens so quickly. It is a truly scary problem that doctors and co-workers think it is something just in your head. It made me sick thinking about going into work.
I've had some of the lights turned off in the office and it seems to help the problem.
I'm glad to know there are other people who understand. I work in an office setting directly under fluorescent lighting. Sometimes I feel like I'm "in a fog"...can't see clearly. Sometimes I get a migraine. I am sooo frustrated because I feel like people don't believe me. I've reported this to my Maintenance dept but they don't seem to take it seriously. It's to the point where I wonder how I can continue to work although I have to...don't know what to do!
Older types of fluorescent lightings can induce epilepsy type of reaction to some individuals. Consider changing the lightings to the high frequency w/out magnetic ballst type of flourescent lightings.
It's a common problem in workspaces, especially in ones converted from a previous use to a primarily business/corporate/computer use.
At a previous company, we moved to an entirely new building. There was an overkill of overhead fluorescents, that the entire team complained of screen glare and inability to focus on the screen. We asked the building owners to take out some of the tubes to bring down the brightness, but they refused due to safety standards and insurance, fearing a lawsuit if someone fell due to inadequate lighting. So some got creative and attached posterboards to clips to hang over the monitor/cubicle and behind their chair. It was only a bandaid solution. I eventually left mainly due to the inability to be comfortable at work.
I've worked with computers for nearly two dozen years now. Light sensitivity is a huge issue with me.
1. Find a workstation where the lighting above is behind you rather than in front of you.
2. Remove the tubes above your workstation. Removing a tube or two will not affect the general brightness of the office. Office lighting tend to be a bit bright to maintain certain level of illumination, though they can be a bit overkill.
3. Replace the fluorescent lights with LED lights. Its save more energy than flourescent lights.
In my opinion, the best idea would be to retrofit your fluorescent lights, which means changing the magnetic ballasts that have a lower frequency (a lower frequency means that the light will flicker more slowly). Replace the magnetic ballasts with electronic ballasts that these days basically eliminate light flicker. When you replace a magnetic ballast with an electronic one, you must replace the lamps, or bulbs. Magnetic ballasts use a T12 fluorescent bulb, and electronic ballasts require a newer, T8(recomend) or T5(don't recomend) bulbs. Sometimes, changing the light color or color rendering index (CRI) may effect things in a good way. The light color is measured in Kelvin temperature--the lower the number, the more red, or more yellow the light will be, and the higher the temperature, the bluer, or whiter the light will be. Changing the CRI basically means that the colors in the room are going to be truer as the CRI number goes up (which is good for the eyes). I usually recomend somewhere around 4100k color for office environments, which is kind of in the middle of the spectrum, and and 840 CRI. If there's windows in the office, light harvesting can be used to ease the fluorescent light intensity. Light harvesting will dim the lights as it gets brighter outside (wal-mart does this).
Yes, take your reactions to flourescent lights seriously. As a professional researcher, I would add an observation. You cannot prove a negative and people almost never do. People have not researched flourescent lights to show they have_no_adverse effects for_anyone. It is simply assumed. This is not science, it's just faith. There are enormous commercial factors at play. There is a long history of people, including scientists, assuming things that are commonplace are safe until proven otherwise. Tobacco smoking is perhaps the most salient case in point. Of course, I am not suggesting that flourescent lighting is as harmful as this for most. The point is simply that something being commonplace is simply not evidence that it has no adverse effects.
I get twitches/spasms in the eyelids, then strained vision, eventually fatigue and general feeling of strain and malaise. It's utterly predictable--I can take about an hour in flourescent lighting before the effects become strong, then they escalate quite dramatically. I only need a relatively short break to come back to normal, provided I don't stay in an enironment in which the light is all from a flourescent source for 3 hrs or more, roughly. Fortunately, I don't get migranes, though it is a very predictable reaction that ranges from difficult to endure through to extreme stress and strain on my nervous system.
I also have begun to have severe eye strain and migraines when looking at a computer all day under fluorscent lights. This is especially aggrevated by the window with bright light coming in all morning, no matter how much I block it from my screen. My eyes have been tested normal and this does not happen to me any time or any where else. I changed by word processing screen to a gray vs white background, which helped some. Our electrician told me there are red fluorescent lights to replace the bright white ones that are now recommended for offices. I'm going to check that out. I also am getting an anti-glare screen to make my screen darker, even though it is already anti-glare. Short of turning off all the lights and putting darker shades on our office's windows, that's all I can do. Turning off the lights does help a little.
I'll try to keep this short and concise as there's a ton of reading required and that doesn't help we who suffer from the use of the infernal PC and fluorescent lighting.
I was (mis) diagnosed with Benign Positional Proximital Vertigo when sudden onset of dizziness took over my life. For those that don’t know simply put that’s a problem with the balance organs in the inner ear.
I also started to get migraines on a very regular basis, not suffered since childhood.
I think the ‘experts’ are all wrong, and yes I had the eyes tested, the ct, mri, and any other test and machine induced intrusion carried out with the result….. B.P.P.V.
Then I went on the net.
After A LOT of work I came to a few conclusions……
Suggestions from the web are to turn your monitor back light down as low as you can and still be able to read the screen. If you do it at night you'll find it might be too dull during the day.
Change all fonts on the net browser and outlook express-e-mail, word docs etc to Verdana (designed for pc 's).
Go on line and look up Microsoft's 'clear type tuning' and adjust your monitor view accordingly.
Increase all font settings to medium or higher (larger).
I also changed the screen for an LED back lit model (now very reasonably priced compared to a few years back).
Migraines cleared up within a few weeks with the exception of one in 6 months NOT 1 a week or more……
I did A LOT more internet browsing and removed ALL modern power saving fluorescent lighting from my home and replaced it with power saving Halogen bulbs, now made to replace the old style light bulb and just as good if not better light than either of the other types.
I also now do this on a daily basis, without fail …….
Look up and down 20 times. Start slowly at first, then speed up.
Look from one side to the other 20 times. Start slowly at first, then speed up.
Hold up one finger at arm's length. Focus on it. Move it slowly in towards you and out again 20 times.
With your eyes open, bend your head forwards, then backwards, 20 times. Start slowly at first, then speed up.
With your eyes open, turn your head from side to side 20 times. Start slowly at first, then speed up.
As the dizziness improves, repeat the head exercises with your eyes closed.
Shrug your shoulders 20 times.
Turn your shoulders to the right and left 20 times.
From the sitting position, bend down and pick up objects from the floor, and sit back up again. Repeat 20 times.
Move from sitting to standing up, and back again, with your eyes open, 20 times.
Repeat with eyes closed.
Throw a small ball from one hand to the other, above eye level, 20 times.
Throw the ball from hand to hand at knee level, 20 times.
Turn around 360 degrees on the spot, eyes open.
Repeat with eyes closed.
As vertigo lessens, speed up.
Moving about exercises (special caution advised)
Walk across the floor with your eyes open 20 times.
Repeat with eyes closed.
Walk up and down a slope with your eyes open 20 times.
Repeat with eyes closed.
Walk up and down steps 20 times with your eyes open.
Repeat with eyes closed.
Any game or exercise that involves stooping, turning, bending, stretching and hand-eye coordination - for example bowling, tennis - is good for improving your balance.
After 6 weeks my vertigo has almost disappeared, I still get odd spells where it’s bad but no longer days and days with constant headaches.
I must add I no longer go into stores which use fluorescent light if I can avoid it (my long suffering wife will do so for me). If I do have to I am in and out FAST!
Ok, so sometimes I think it’s all in my head (NO pun intended!) until recently. Feeling SO much better I went to a friends for our weekly poker night and (with their understanding) replaced the horrible overhead ‘power saving’ fluorescent with a bulb I brought along for just such an evening having decided I had lost enough money due to onset of headaches during the evening games!
Yes an improvement, for a while. After about an hour the familiar feelings began to creep into my head and a depression took over. I guessed I was wrong after all.
I then noticed a small table lamp within reach with a long shade on it. I asked if it was a ‘power saving’ fluorescent. It was. I had no idea, couldn’t see the bulb and assumed it was a regular bulb all these weeks thinking no one uses the ‘power saving’ fluorescent in a table lamp. I turned it off.
Within an hour my head began to clear and by the time we left for home I was nearly back to ‘normal’. We still lost!
So if it is all in the mind I am a clairvoyant!
My dizziness/vertigo continues to abate as do my headaches and I work VERY hard at avoiding all ‘power saving’ fluorescent, even refusing to visit with friends if they have them and won’t turn them off.
If this helps anyone then I feel I have given something back for all the help the internet and NOT the Doctors has given me this year.
Good luck and don’t stop searching, there is an answer out there but you will need to believe in yourself and do what is required to achieve some respite from these infernal devices.
P.S. I now have a not inconsiderable cost changing recently purchased flat screen TV’s (back lit by ‘power saving’ fluorescent) for the new models that are now LED backlit. I wonder why ‘they’ are changing the way they light TV monitors so soon after the launch of flat screens……………..one reason put out there is the new LED are even better at saving energy, right.
Nobody is right and nobody here is wrong either. What is normal to some maybe abnormal to others and we can all agree to disagree. What we read on the Internet is as good as it gets. Some are reliable and some are just plain rubbish I have been on this forum, on and off, for three years. Many non-medical trained members have been giving advices based on personal experiences, which is fine Some slso give home-made remedies, for medical conditions that could potentially be serious. One just has to be discernible enough.
Now back to the subject on fluorescent lighting. I am an engineer and I have heard a couple of cases from fellow engineers that older type of fluorescent lightings induced epilepsy fits to a few individuals. But these are rare. My office has started to replace some fluorescents fittings to LED type as part of energy program. Interestingly few colleagues have complained that the new lightings give them headaches (not eye strain). So there you go. Some like it but some hate it.
"I have spells where my eyes go strange, not fuzzy because I can still focus, but strange because I can't see clearly, like a skewed TV screen in a way. Difficult to describe. After the vision disruption, which in some spells lasts about 20 minutes, I have a headache which can last for hours. When the spell passes, I'm normal again with no vision problems. "
Geez, this is the classic--and I mean classic (google it)--description of migraine with aura. People in a migrainous phase are enormously sensitive to both light and sound, often well before the headache strikes. The pain will come on no matter what, but humans are designed to look for cause and effect, and since the light and/or sound as irritating, they are assumed to be the cause.
Interestingly, migraine may show up in some people only as scotoma (the strange visual effects) or only as dizziness, as described here:
And I'd suggest you have *no* problems as related here. Your link is interesting in that it concerns itself with those that make money out of unproven 'cures'. That is not what has generally been mentioned here.
Apart from which, what harm can it do to, for instance, to change from fluorescents to other forms of lighting? Emotional?? It clearly works for me and frankly I don't mind if people think it the work of a 'charlatan' if it appears to work. I disagree (des900) that halogen is harmful in comparison to fluorescent. I don't know of any Halogen bulb that contains mercury for a start!!
BTW, the eye excersises are from the 'respected' medical world and suggested/recommended by people working in the field of B.P.P.V. or the effects of damage/injury to the brain or balance organs (eyes and ears) with resulting balance problems (Labyrinthitis to name but one), so not the result of 'Unscientific and Unproven' work.
I recently saw a neurological ophthalmologist who specializes in migraines at the Moran Eye Center in Salt Lake City. There is a solution for the fluorescent light sensitivity - it's called the FL-41 filter. You'll need an optometrist who knows what it is to apply it to your lenses. You can get it on corrective lenses or just regular sunglasses but it does wonders. You can have it done lightly for indoor office work or darker to wear outside as sunglasses. Until we can convince our offices to do away with bad fluorescent lighting, we'll just have to look cool while we work. ;)
A little research in photopic and scotopic light frequencies and the varying effects they produce will be to your benefit. There is growing evidence that a significant statitistical population - at this point certainly not the aforementioned 25% - may indeed be experiencing disorientation, dizziness, fatigue, irregular heartbeat,and/or headaches due to exposure to certain frequencies of light and certain photopic/scotopic ratios in artificially lit environments.
I must comment on the why businesses must have such bright lighting. In my business, my trade organization and inspection agencies require so many CANDLES or they will shut you down. One reason for this requirement is to make sure there is enought light to see vermin and insects. All those objecting to the lights must contact your White House and demand that they quit putting regulations like this on businesses.
""""""I have had lighting engineers tell me that you have to be 40 feet away from fluroescent to not be affected by it. Was also told by these people that most lighting engineers are too lazy to do the geometry that would actually result in more appropriate placement of fluorescent fixtures. One 40-watt fluroescent tube is = to 150 watts incandescent. I asked a PG&E conservation expert, just in general, how many watts would you put overheard in an office. He said... "100, 150" and I then asked him why would you put the equivalent of 600 watts (4 tubes as was commonCommon coldat the time) in fluorescent installations. Not to mention spaced every few feet. Especially when you are trying to conserve energy? Why use 4X the amount of necessary overhead light. He had no answer, but got back to me and said I could not use his quote in the report I was writing."""""""""
Feeling that you're in a 'dream state' is a classic symptom of an emotional disorder called 'depersonalization.'
It can be a symptom of anxiety or panic disorder, as well as other problems such as drug dependence or drug withdrawal. Generally, when you experience it, it's a good plan to talk with your friendly local mental health counselor to find out what's really going on in your life.
I am so elated to find this comment strand. My eyes/head have been giving me so many problems the last few years. It has gotten to the point where I cannot even drive at night. I am only 31, but feel like I am 90 when I tell people I can't drive at night! I have horrible headaches, nausea, and so many other symptoms, and yes I can identify with the "dream state" description. It can't be explained which is why medical doctors generally can't help. I do not think the "dream state" description indicates mental disorders, it is merely a way of describing your state of vision. I recently found something called FL-41 coating on lenses, which is a rose colored lens that deflects the light developed by a Utah doctor. Their is a company called Axonoptics that sells these glasses. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will help! The company is also working on contacts and glasses that are completely clear with no tint. The rose colored is better than walking around in the super dark glasses I really want to wear all day. Thanks again to everyone for sharing your experiences! I no longer fear I have a brain tumor or neurological disorder : )
I noticed that when I was having fractional laser therapy for sun damage on my face, I had to wear these glasses. They actually stopped the eye strain that I get within one minute of being under flourecent lights. The Doctor who wrote earlier that we are nuts, dosen't know his *** from a hole in the ground. there are solutions, check out safety glasses.
I was diagnosed by a neurologist. Flourescent light sensitivity does exist. I can see them flickering even in my peripheral vision, which creates a strobe like effect. It leads to extreme fatigue (and not just eye fatigue), a "brain freeze" headache then eventually migraines. I had a headache and/or a migraine every day of the week for 2 years while I worked in an office. After removing myself from that situation and getting out from under the florescent lighting, I've had ZERO migraines. I still get headaches from eye strain using the computer, but not the same kind as under the florescents.
There IS a problem with that type of lighting. Doctors today simply cannot dismiss what they don't know or are not aware of or what they are not willing to diagnose (or they just simply don't know how).
So, for those of you who say there is no such thing...I hope you never have to a reason to find out.
I have extreme sensitivity and vertigo to fluorescent lights that physically debilitates me. I had an incident in May 2011 where a man's elbow hit me hard on the side of my head and caused an immedate migraine. The following day I started down the path of daily vertigo, headaches, migraines, and extreme light sensitivity. I remember getting a lot of eye strain, dry eye, headaches, and facial muscle tension prior to the injury as well, but never as severe as it has been since the injury.
I work in a large office, on a computer, in a cubicle. We have INSANE amounts of fluorescent lights similar to the type used in department stores (long bulbs w/plastic covers). I have covered my cubicle with a black plastic tablecloth (as much as I can, light still enters from the left and above) and lowered my (old bulky) computer monitor to the lowest brightness. I can't handle being at work due to the lighting. I have now been completely gone for 4 months on short term disability (which was just recently denied for the 2nd time).
I have been to my doctor too many times to even count. I've seen a Neurologist as well. I've been in the Emergency Room with numerous drugs stuffed down my throat while an IV was stuck in my arm. I've had CAT scans, an MRI, physical therapy, and the therapist also did a videonystagmography test which showed rotation of my eyeball (up and to the left, physical proof of vertigo).
Before this happened I was a very active 28 year old woman. Now I spend my days at home dealing with daily pain, irritiability, sensitivity, nauseau, and extreme fatigue!
The funny thing is, if I'm not exposed to ANY fluorescents, my symptoms are definitely able to be handled and I'm able to function. The second I'm exposed to the lights though, all the symptoms start to hit. The longer I'm the exposed, the more extreme they get until I get to the point where I have no balance, my head is pounding, and I can't function anymore. I can walk outside into the normal daylight when symptoms are tolerable and they will completely disappear. After an extreme exposure, it can take hours or days for the symptoms to go away. Extreme exposures normally result in 2-3 days of migraine, vertigo, and nausea (with no further exposure during those 2-3). They have lasted upwards to 6 days as well.
There's so much more that COULD be done for us sufferers if Drs would just look into the issues further and really care to study, investigate and treat these issues that are a direct result, or highly exacerbated, from fluorescent lights.
I'm a single mother with a denied short term disability claim, out of work for 4 months completely (almost 6 months since starting to miss work), and about at the end of my rope with this medicial disaster we call America.
I wanted to add that my vision from the fluorescents tends to be almost a wavy effect, like I'm looking through wavy water? It's very hard to explain but everything is like bobbly and wavy. I also have extreme car sickness now since all this started. I really feel that forcing myself to work the first few months under those lights is what caused these symptoms to be exacerbated to the point that they are now. I remember always feeling relief within minutes of leaving the lights before, but now they seem to stick around after the extreme exposures.
I'm in Australia. I've been having problems with office computers and lighting on & off for over a year now. My work has become intolerable.
My eyes start to sting and burn which gives me headaches and fatigue. I can barely speak or make any sense. I walk around in a daze and feel like collapsing.
The days and week of work are a long drawn out hell. I wake up every morning feeling like I've been out all night on a bender with a massive hangover.
I yawn all day, my head and cheeks are hot like I have a fever. I'm basically very sick every day at work. Every day is a nightmare. I only recover by Sunday, then the hell starts again on Monday morning.
I went from being a very good worker to now very average as a result. I continue to work because it took me years to get where I am so why should I give up on my talents. My co-workers must think I am on drugs.
I been to gp's, optometrists, eye doctors, specialists they all say my eyes are fine. So why do I feel so bad so much.
The only thing I can think of is my eyes start stinging from a mixture of the office lighting and outside lighting when using the computer.
I feel like I'm dying. I hope someone can help me.
I haven't read the other comments, but hopefully I have an answer for you. I have photophobia and in addition fluorescent lights can give me a migraine at worse and make my eyes water excessively at the least. The biggest problem stems from working in an office with no natural light where a fluorescent lights blinks at certain intervals and if you are using a computer it often blinks at another interval. These 'flashes' are not seen by the eye, but cause a great many problems. I solved the problem, or a good part of it by bringing in my own lamp from home with a regular 'good old fashioned' light bulb. It had a darker shade so the light was kept to my working area. It made all the difference, so I suggest you give it a try. I have to say I dread that regular light bulbs are going to be banned in the future so I'll be stocking up on the old fashioned type as I can not live in fluorescent lighting. I hope this helped.
Sue in MA
i been going through this floresent light situation too .i cant go in any stores or doctors office.even the doctors look at me as i was crazy.i feel like i am alone out here.its not easy to live like this because it limits our daily life.i dont kno what to do when i have to go see a doctor.cuz all offices now have these lights.i am so tired of this.please help
im 16 and going through this problem
my grades dropped so much in the beginning of soph yr. b/c of how fatigued i was from the fluorescent bulbs
i could barely see b/c of the sensitivity and was like confined to my bed
my parents dont believe me and wont buy me incandescent bulbs
child neglect =/
its getting better tho
going through it right now while posting this
It is good to hear you mention your skin......my husband thinks I am nuts.
I used to waer a cap when I was in a corporate environment as the lights definitely affected my eyes. As for my skin, it becomes irritated and burny.
My eyes are sensitive to fluorescent light as well, but it is mostly a problem if I am looking into the lights (lying down, looking up), or if the light is directly reflected into my eyes. This causes severe headaches for me that can last several hours even after leaving the area.
I noticed my condition got worse after the building where I work added in chrome reflectors underneath the fluorescent tubes to try to get more light from them, but this just reflected the light to my eyes and made the problem so much worse.
I can generally deal with the lights if they are mounted on high ceilings, but I can't even walk down the fluorescent light display aisle at a hardware store such as Home Depot or Lowe's. It's an instant headache, which makes sense because you can't walk down those aisles without looking directly at the lights.
I feel really bad for those that can't stand fluorescent light at all, they are everywhere you go. At least the mandatory phase-out of incandescent light bulbs was changed, so that there will still be choices besides fluorescent lights for those of us that have issues with them (more efficient incandescent, LED, etc.)
Oddly, I have an old white neon light sign that I found many years ago, and that doesn't give me any problems whatsoever. It's actually rather soothing to look at. I'm going to look into this issue more.
I experience this also.
Back in the days when I used to work in an office I was once nicknamed "the mole" because I kept the lights off in my office so I could be a more productive paper shuffler. One place I worked let me bring in my own pole style plug in light. And a halogen bulb desk light.
I think it has something to do with the flickering that makes me feel so ill and tired with those lights. In some stores I have to leave so that they won't trigger a migraine. And they don't give enough light either, just cast a sickly little pallor on everything.
I'm quite enamoured with the halogens now. They give a nice crisp steady non-yellow light and I think they are still more energy efficient than incandescents. For maximum energy efficiency I still think the most effective solution is to simply turn the lights off when they aren't needed.
Count me as one of the hoard of fluorescent light sensitives who are struggling to function in a painful world. I currently have 8 banks of fluorescent lights within a 10-foot range of my desk and there are a total of 21 within my vision (maximum 30 feet from me to the wall). They seem to have switched to an even brighter bulb which causes my eyes to begin watering as soon as I arrive at my desk and results in an inability to focus after only a few minutes at work. I am perfectly fine on the drive to work and the walk into the building, but once inside under the fluorescents my eyes begin to water and my vision becomes blurred. I'm not even going to mention the horrific headaches that accompany these symptoms. I contacted our Facilities Engineer to ask how many lumens these lights put out and he said it was designed to simulate the noonday sun. My question to him was, "who works on their computer in the noonday sun without wearing sunglasses?". That was a question he couldn't answer, so he just replied that he had to follow the design. I then contacted our HR department and they said I would have to get a note from my doctor saying I needed special accommodation but even then they couldn't turn off or remove any of the lighting. Apart from wearing a visor (which I am going to look for online after submitting this comment), ARE there any special accommodations for we sensitives?
Too many people suffer from light sensitivity - thousands of people complain under fluorescent lights and California Schools even allow children to take tests or work in classrooms without such lighting. Perhaps there really is a problem and you're not aware of it so you are choosing to ignore it. There are a laundry list of side effects to medications as something that and plenty of other items that are routinely sold, such as coffee, have proven to illicit reactions in numerous individuals - but they are still on the market. Dismissing the negative effects of fluorescent lighting as something that would simply be taken off the market is naive at best.
One possible solution for Light Sensitivity are Irlen Filters. The right colored filters for each individual can block out the colors in the light spectrum causing the problems. While they don't work for everyone, they have been very effective for people all ovr the world since the alte 1980s. I know a couple of people who have had much success with the filters. They went from frequent headaches, especially under fluorescent lights to very few headaches ever. With checking out at Irlen.com.
I have been having issues lately being exposed to fluorescent lights for short and long periods of time. I get lightheaded, blurred vision, vertigo, migraines and hearing sensitivity. I sometimes get a pounding in the back of my head that pounds three to four times then it goes away. It comes back on and off.
I also have issues with my hearing where it sounds like its getting muffled then amplified like a pulsating sound. It gets to where my vision seems like it's pounding too in and out. I get that a lot when people speak loudly in meetings or around the office.
I've been experiencing issues with chronic issues with a pain above my left eye in my inner eyebrow, which feels like a toothache pain when pressed on. I think this is related to the issues with dust allergens though.
Lately, it's mostly the lightheaded feeling and vision issues. I went on vacation for two weeks and didn't have any issues aside from headaches in the beginning from travel discomfort.
I didn't have this light sensitivity as much at my old job, but they took out some of the lights by me and I used an incandescent lamp. Unfortunately, my newer company won't remove bulbs. There are more lights than I've seen a any company.
I read that transition lenses glasses might help. I'm near sighted, but I'm thinking about getting them just for helping in the office. My night vision and peripheral vision are not so hot anymore even though my regular vision is about 20/25. My depth perception is especially poor when it is darker out.
Could all of this be due to fluorescent lights? I almost passed out at a store yesterday due to the lights. I've been concerned about my headaches, but the blurred vision, lightheadedness, vertigo and hearing issues have me more concerned.
Thanks so much for the hint. I have been trying to find sunglasses to wear in the store that are just the right tint without much luck.
I get that same fuzzy feelling, like being high onsometing. The worst part is that my eyes almost close and I become soooo tired! It happens in stores, doctor's offices--wherever there is fluorescent lights. It goes away as soon as I am in sunlight.
AMEN!!!!! I agree with EVERYTHING you said! I am growing more and more desperate to find a way to deal with my challenges with fluorescent lighting. I can change the lighting in my home and office. But I can hardly tolerate grocery shopping, and almost never take my daughters to the mall because the lights give me headaches and make me nauseous and irritable. And I get soooo irritated by doctors who think that a problem doesn't exist just because they didn't tell them about it in medical school!
Within 10 minutes of walking in a grocery store, kohls, walmart, I start seeing big white spots, get dzzy feel blind. it is so bad I have trouble driving home. Any other time my vision is fine. I just had a eye exam 2 weeks ago, I was told my eyes are healthy. I need to look for protective lenses not just sunglasses.
I too have just developed this problem. I am 70 years old and cannot go into Kohls, Wallmart or bright sunlight now without feeling dizzy, my eyes feel like they want to cross and my vision is strange. I left Ross store today after about 15 minutes because I was so dizzy I thought I might pass out. Had to sit in my car for awhile before I could drive home. At home everything was fine. This is happening every time I go shopping and getting worse each time. At first my sunglasses helped and I could finish my shopping. Now even they don't help. I find it interesting that there are so many people with the same or similar problem.
I too have just developed this problem. I am 70 years old and cannot go into Kohls, Wallmart or bright sunlight now without feeling dizzy, my eyes feel like they want to cross and my vision is strange. I left Ross store today after about 15 minutes because I was so dizzy I thought I might pass out. Had to sit in my car for awhile before I could drive home. At home everything was fine. This is happening every time I go shopping and getting worse each time. At first my sunglasses helped and I could finish my shopping. Now even they don't help. I find it interesting that there are so many people with the same or similar problem.
I'm with you!! Look how long they kept using asbestos, even though they knew it was killing people. I think we've all learned by now that there are too many people who will keep right on with even deadly products if there is money to be made.
The flourescent lighting bothers me as well...I tend to slink off to my own little corner and turn off all the lights every chance I get.
Do fellow suffers know of a good online support group? I start a new office job in a few weeks after being out of work for 3 years and im DREADING what the lighting situation will be and having to explain on my first day that i need to wear sunglasses at work.
Flourescent lighting is used in many office settings because it produces bright light at less cost than incandescents. The issue with incandescents is they produce an "orange" light, not a natural multihued or "white" light. Also the bigest problem with incandescents is they produce 90% heat and only 10% light from the energy that is flowing through them. So that means that for lighting they are wasting as much fossil fuel energy as your gasoline cars at 15% efficiency. That also means we are continuing to import foreign oil and burn tens of millions of tons of coal a day as well as 19 million barrels of oil a day. That is wonderful for the wealthy coal, oil and gas industry, but bad for the country and bad for the people. It is a medical fact that over 10,000 people a year are dying prematurely due to air pollution and we have an epidemic of children with Asthma in American large cities. LED lighting and the new ESL (Electron Stimulated Lumisence) are alternative sources of inside lighting that use far, far less electricity & has no mercury as do CFL's. Those two technologies are expanding in manufacture, so their prices are coming down. Also LED's last over 50,000 hours, (regular incandescents last about 5,000 hrs) so while LED's are somewhat expensive, they use so little energy, they will pay for themselves, and then you're both saving money and helping the environment & all of us and our children with cleaner air. Electric cars are also a vastly superior mobility technology. Now, if you combine a house that is built using AICF's to be ultra efficient, with Solar heat, electricity and lighting, geothermal cooling, low energy use appliances, and electric cars, then you can save thousands of dollars a year not buying fossil fuel at all. That a net "Positive Energy Lifestyle". You can Google that phrase to learn more; if interested in saving thousands of dollars annually.
Yes! I too agree that it actually happens. I too have met an eye specialist and he told that you have an allergy from light and he just told me to wear specs which protects the eye from light but i just cant understand for how much time i would have to use specs. I am a student so it affects my studies as well. Is there no cure to it ? If yes please help...
I also have issues with fluorescent lighting. It starts with eye strain to headaches, dizziness and I have also started experiencing irregular heart beats. I started a job awhile back that had numerous fluorescent lights and at the time i did not associate the heart palpations and dizziness to the lights but after my contract was up, slowly kinda like a drug withdrawal, i started recouping. To this day now, if I go even into Kmart, I can feel the ill effects after about 5 minutes of entering the store. I now where a stylish paperboy hat that helps when entering a kingdom of fluorescent lighting. I just wonder if there is a deficiency we all suffer from?
I have the same issue with Kohl's and Kmart...anywhere with those pesky lights. I started wearing a hat with a rim that helps also. I just started a new job that has the fluorescent but at least has light covers over them and I also wear a hat. Looking into some uv eye glasses also.
If you have problems with fluoros, or glare/contrast, or get headaches/tired from bright lighting, check out Irlen syndrome. www.dyslexiaservices.com.au, particularly the brain scans on page 3. Research it further.
I experience all the symptoms of fluorescent flicker and glare/contrast issues, even under the new high-quality fluoros. The lenses help but do not remove all the fluoro flicker - for me about 70% improvement, including reduction in tiredness. Way better than not having them. The lenses help significantly with glare/contrast/tiredness issues under bright lighting of any sort.
Oh, and Irlen isn't an 'eye' problem - it's a brain issue. So optometrists, who check eyes, not the brain, can't pick it up and attribute it to 'ageing'. My latest optometrist, who assesses with *and* without Irlen support during the same session, told me the difference in my optical prescription with and without. She didn't clue me in at all on what prescriptions she was putting in front of my eyes. It was the difference between a changing and strong prescription and just ending up with having plain Irlen coloured lens (nothing special except the colour sprayed on) with a x0.5 magnifier to help a little and no other prescription. That's a significant difference IMO. BTW, my ability to continuously focus on words on a piece of paper moving towards my face was 10cm closer with the Irlen support than it was without. Go figure. (She tried it 4 times during the session just to cross-check the effect was real.)
(Critics who say Irlen syndrome 'hasn't been proven yet' are totally correct in that there has not been a fully funded double-blind crossover study done to verify it - it doesn't mean the problem isn't real. Could a rich critic kindly fund it for those of us who have it so we can have the 'medical' discussion finalised? Irlen can't do it of course - that would be biased.)
I have the same problem, but mine didn't start until after getting the measles for a second time as a teenager. We had French exchange students who brought over a new strain.
I had to quit my job at Starbucks because of it. For years I dealt with it by turning of the fluorescent light over the sink, which was at eye level, and all my managers and fellow associates were fine with it. Then one day, we had a new assistant manager (they're in training, and stay only for a few months before getting their own store) and this chick was INSISTENT that I keep the light ON, and wouldn't compromise, even though I told her that I get migraines from the light staring me in the face.
I came in the next day with sunglasses, and she told me that I wasn't allowed to wear them unless they were prescription sunglasses. Then I tried to get a coworker to switch responsibilities with me, and the assistant manager wouldn't go along with THAT either.
No matter how I tried to do my job and avoid the light (which was a direct violation of the CA Health code because it did NOT have a cover on it) this chick wouln't work with me. I didn't want to get fired for insuboordination, and I KNOW that if I tried to complain to upper management about it, they'd find a reason to BS and let me go, and I also knew that going to the Labor Board wouldn't work, either. You just can't fight corporate, so I had to quit, even though I'd been there 5 years without incident.
I hadn't thought about getting tested for Lyme disease, but I HAVE been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, so I wonder if there's a connection. Good thread!
I sympathise very much with this, and thank you to all the fellow sufferers for posting. I have had the same difficulty with fluorescent strip lighting for years, I get very bad headaches and sore eyes from this type of lighting, it is very difficult when you are in a workplace which has these evil things.
Natural lighting and tungsten filament lighting are far superior and do not give me these problems.
If many people experience the same problem a good sciertist would try and find out what was going on - not dismiss it out of hand or ignore it because it doesn't fit some theory. In 50 years time medical knowledge will have moved on and see how bad these lights are - I believe they are actually banned in German hospitals and prisons. http://www.hans.org/magazine/699/The-Dark-Side-of-Compact
I recently discovered I have an issue with fluorescent lights, too. I was moved from an office (where I always kept the overhead lights off out of preference) to a cubicle that is way over-illuminated with overhead fluorescents. By the end of the first day I felt like I was being tortured with light--I had a headache, my eyes hurt, I couldn't focus properly, and I felt very anxious. All I could think of was crawling under my desk! Myworkplace refuses to simply unscrew the bulbs over my head but has agreed to look into buying full-spectrum bulbs. In case that doesn't work, I have ordered some Blublocker sunglasses to wear at work.
I have many years of light sensitvity and I find the BEST solution is to wear a hat with a small brim. The light in plaza'a comes from overhead and the brim is fantastic. Without a hat (brim) most of the time I would be in big trouble.People are accustomed to seeing me in restaurants, church almost anywhere now with a nice hat with abrim. 15 yrs and doing fine thank you
i realy think u full of it and dt kno what u talking about .i been suffering from this for over 1 year too now.u cant even imagine how it affects someones life!! so plz just dt make any comment dr...whoever u are and diagnose other problems that u kno about .like a simple cold or something!!!
Hi Holly. I have had extreme sensitivity to florescent lights (acutally - any lighting except in candescent or sunlight) for the past 25 years. Milder senstivity since 40 years ago. I have multiple sclerosis. I have had neurologists tell me it is NOT ms. And others who say it IS. I wear dark amber glasses (green or gray do not help) almost everywhere since the offensive light is everywhere! I get extreme headaches -often migraines - even with the amber glasses on. Then I get exhausted and have to sleep. I feel so isolated because I can go nowhere. I cannot believe there are no answers for us. So very frustrating!
I have had this problem for a while now and thought this could be the issue. I work in a small cubical yet full enclosed office with a 2x2 light over head with (2) 35 watt lights in it. Been trying to get approved for a cover to maybe take the glare away. Working under that light and on the computer ALL day kills me!!
I also have a problem with fluorescent lighting. I have nystagmus (involuntary jerky eye movement) and this may be why fluorescent lights make my eyes feel so tired. My vision is also affected. It's hard to explain, but everything looks slightly "grainy". I notice this when grocery shopping or when I'm sitting in the waiting room of doctors' offices. I'm retired, so I'm not subjected to fluorescent lighting every day.
I get sore eyes followed by a headache and inability to concentrate and think clearly after being under fluorescent lights. I wear red/amber tinted contact lenses which help a lot. The are the same as the Nike Maxsight amber sport lenses which have been discontinued. But I get mine made from a local contact lens manufacturer.
light sensitivity --WEAR A HAT WITH A PEAK - been having a problem for years, plaza's and stores and offices especially. Just a peak of some sort works great. Keep a few in the car always ready, sunny days, plaza's etc etc. The light also makes my eyes a bit dry, but lubricating drops help.
Hope this helps Donna
I feel absolutely wiped when I come into the office. I spent over a year trying to figure it out - getting bloodwork done .. ensuring I get enough exercise and sleep .. etc. They had a power issue one day with the lights -- all lights were out .. and I noticed that my productivity increased and my eyes were not sore that day. That clued me into it. I went to an optometrist and asked if I could see someone regarding light sensitivity. As it was explained to me .. fair skinned people have little pigmentation .. that same lack of pigmentation exists in the back of the eye, and it causes a sensitivity to light. The only thing you can do is to wear darkened glasses or glasses with an anti-reflective coat - but this won't fix the issue - it'll just assist. Darkened glasses will cause eye strain if you are working on a computer. The best solution is really to turn out the lights. Many people with their own offices do that - its us cubicle monkeys that cannot.
I've had my eyes tested and have up to date prescriptions, yet simply cannot tolerate bright fluorescent light. I have to reposition myself in a dark spot in the office - fortunately I have an understanding company.
If I have to sit under one for prolonged periods, I get a migraine. It's horrible.
Irlen lenses are coloured filters which are overlaid onto prescription or non-prescription lenses. The colour is selected by an Irlen practitioner to find the best colour for your specific condition. There is a lot of information on the Internet. The syndrome is known as Irlen-Meares Syndrome, or Irlen Syndrome, or Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome. It is, as someone pointed out above, a condition relating to the way the brain processes visual information, so eye doctors and optometrists may not be looking for this condition because they are diagnosing physiological eye problems. An example site is here:
(Suggestion: try the different coloured backgrounds available on that site by clicking the coloured glasses icons at the top of each page on that site.)
I was diagnosed with this condition in 1999 and have used coloured filters ever since. I still get my prescription lenses but have them overlaid with the correct colour.
Although it doesn't completely solve my sensitivity to fluorescent light, it helps a lot with reading. I find the flicker of the fluoro lights makes my condition a lot worse than using well placed, not too bright natural light, or an incandescent lamp.I just bought an LED lamp which can be adjusted for brightness and the colour can be adjusted to warm or cool light.
I came to this site because a manager at my workplace suddenly decided to turn all the fluoro (that's Aussie language, pronounced "flue-ro", LOL) lights back on in the building, thereby ignoring the needs of a number of people who have sensitivity to fluoro lights. I have been told I have to be reassessed by the Irlen people and to get a report from them outlining the adjustments I need in the office. I have had the adjustments there for many years but for some reason they have "forgotten" that and I have to start from the beginning again.
It's good to see so many people here sharing your experiences, and frustrations.
2 yrs agao I had a cataract removed and a lens implanted. Several weeks ago, I had a laser procedure to clean the cloudiness off of it. Ever since then whenever I go into a Walmart store I can make it through bout 1/2 way and things get REAL blurry. It is all I can do to make it home. I can read the billboards things are that blurry. In talking to my brother last night it came to me that it is the florescent lighting in Walmart that is causing it. Why now and not before the procedure, I don't know. The eye specialist and my eye doc both say I have a little bit of nearsightedness and I can wear glasses for distance if I want or not, it's up to me. I felt crazy until I fount this site! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am going to get me some uv sunglasses and see if that helps. At least I have things I can try now. Hugs and good luck to all! DeLoris
EXACTLY! I'm glad it is not just me! When I go the the big store the lighting makes me lightheaded and it also feels like I am moving through heavy air. I have to really concentrate to make it through my shopping. I instantly get dizzy when I am under fluorescent. My vision during those times is what I would call "disconnected". I'm seeing, but my brain is having extra trouble compensating. I did have laser surgery 15 years ago, but just noticed this within the last 5.
I was about to respond the same EXACTLY. I feel like I'm having an anxiety attack whenever I enter a mall or large store with bright fluorescent lighting. My brain feels like it's buzzing, my heart rate increases, and I'm afraid I'll pass out. I haven't had cataract or laser surgery, but my eyes seem more sensitive to my contact lenses.
I began to first notice the connection between florescent lights and migraine for me 9 years ago. In the past 4 years it has become unbearable. These lights are my #1 migraine trigger. In fact, this is the cause 80% of the time. Not only do florescent lights bring on a really bad migraine.....they make me instantly irritable like I am under assault and I can feel the energy from them like pulsations of energy hitting me in the forehead and the face. My skin will look as though it is sunburned in the middle of winter. Nausea is a factor and I completely loose my ability to concentrate. I have been a medical sales representative for 20 years calling on physicians and nurses and live in the midwest of the USA. This is NOT a well known issue for most people and my manager in my last job would not allow me to wear sunglasses in meetings. I worry for my livelihood. I seldom shop in Target, WalMart, HomeDepot as I have to run in and out ASAP and still even 10 minutes of that will trigger a bad migraine. I take preventative medication for migraine as well as a triptan (Maxalt) and all the recommended supplements such as CoQ10, magnesium, etc. I have narrowed my migraines down to ONE PRIMARY CAUSE and that is Florescent Lights. I am not sensitive to the good old sun, nor do I have any other health issues. These lights put out a strong EMF electromagnetic frequency and so there is a scientific reason. Some of us are more sensitive to EMF's than others. I am going to check into purchasing a pendant to wear from EarthCalm which protects from EMF and see if this helps. Otherwise my nephew is soon to graduate from mechanical engineering school and I am hoping to interest him in inventing a protective device for those of us who are EMF Sensitive.
I had an experience recently...I was changing the lights outside my house...theyre 3 watt COB LEDs and after changing them I kept the lights switched ON while screwing the cover back on...it was for a span of 1 - 2 minutes where I screwed the cover back on and I was in close proximity with the LED light although I was not directly staring at it...specially my left eye...after this I experienced some sort of dizziness and unusual disorientation which I have never felt before...can this happen within a span of 1 - 2 minutes while changing the LED bulb??
If this can happen, how many days does it take for me to get back into a normal state? The outer cover of the buld DOES say that do not look into light directly as it may cause harmful effects to your eyes...I assume that's if you look into it for a longer period of time!!
I've recently started getting head pressure, ear pressure and eye strain and it is most worst in supermarkets or department stores. I don't even go shopping anymore n just shop online because if I even go to the local supermarket for 10 minutes, I start feeling head pressure, swaying feeling and general fatigue. Then my anxiety flares up and heightens the symotoms!! Could this be sensitivity to the lighting? And is it possible to suddenly start? I was never like this before! It was only after I was diagnosed with low iron, vit D and b12. I started treatment for them and as I started to feel a little better, this started
Although I do not feel immediate or severe discomfort when exposed to ambient light from fluorescent bulbs, I am EXTREMELY sensitive to direct sources of blue light such as television and computer screens, oncoming headlights from cars during evening/night-time driving, etc. Within a minute my face will begin tensing up and I will get a migraine, pressure in my eyes and face, in general fatigue and malaise. My whole face and complextion will change significantly soon after. The pain is unbearable and very debilitating. I am completely fine if I avoid such triggers. I have recently started using sunglasses with red lenses to block out the blue-wavelength light as well as sometimes yellow lenses. These work very well. In cases of very bright light, I have to double up on the sunglasses and will wear my regular dark brown underneath another pair of sunglasses with red lenses. It is that bad! I do recommend red lenses though. If you have not given it a try, it is absolutely worth doing so. The one issue I have is the cosmetic appearance of wearing sunglasses indoors. I have heard of red contact lenses for severe light sensitivity/photophobia but am researching options as I want something dark enough to be able to help me. I do not want to waste money on lenses that are not dark or red enough and are non-refundable. If anyone knows of where I can get such lense in Connecticut or around New York City, I would appreciate it very much.
In short summary. I have searched for exactly 5 years now for a remedy for migraines. The medicines doctors give have SERIOUS effects on health. One that even young ones like me can't bear those medis.. I have found a solution I think..
See this amazon link and people's ratings about this herb helping in migraine..
I just wanted to say that I used to suffer from daily migraines and vision problems proceeding the migraines; exactly what you are describing. It took me years to figure out what my problem was but it turned out to be artificial sweeteners.
These sweeteners are found in all kinds of products from diet drinks to bubble gum to cough drops, etc. Did you know there are only a couple of old fashioned bubble gums that only contain sugar now out of the 100 different kinds sold at stores.
I am not saying this is your problem but I have not had a headache in a year since I stopped eating artificial sweeteners of any kind. Many products contain sugar/corn syrup and artificial sweeteners; go figure.
I am a very very scientific person which is why I was even able to figure out what was triggering these migraines. I actually quit diet soda with that suspicion at one time but my headaches did not go away because I was still chewing artificially sweetened bubble gum and eating artificially sweetened cough drops and yogurt etc. When I quit everything I got my life back and it is wonderful!
I think I can relate with all that you have suggested. I also notice the sensitivity level sometimes becomes a little mild then later surfaces again. So I figured it could be something I must be doing. Changed my lifestyle completely but could not trace the cause until recently. It got soo severe I could barely manage to watch the tele even with the tinted glasses I bought from Theraspecs. I begun wondering what has changed significantly to bring me to that point. The CULPRIT was SOFT DRINKS and FRESH YOGURT. As soon as I stopped taking them I started noticing a gradual improvement. Not completely disappeared though but a lot lot better now. I believe in some few weeks down the line Florescent light will never be a bother to me. Thanks for sharing. It has reaffirm my believe.
Well I have this same problem. I am a student and I go to school in a classroom with fluorescent lighting and we work on a computer for at least an hour. I get these episodes of unfocused vision too and I recently got glasses that protect against blue light and I put them on whenever these episodes start and it immediately stops them. So glasses that fend off blue light helped me. They should be able to help you too
Interesting to read this thread, as it's been progressing over seven years. Sadly most people are offering suggestions to treat the symptoms, but not keep them from happening. Also disheartening to see others completely dismiss the issue. No idea what prompts a person to log-in and post something condescending.
I started looking into this after experiencing what others have. I have a history of migraines, but they were worsening since I started my current job. I also other issues. My vision at work wasn't clear, a bit cloudy, and I wasn't able to fully focus visually. I was also getting regularly nauseated. I brought this up with my employer (I work in a cubicle farm, in a long row, rows of lights all around) after doing some research. I had concluded it was the lighting, as I can see the bulbs flicker, and peripherally the glare distorts my vision. My employers first reaction was to have an ergonomic expert come out, but even he admitted that he has no expertise in lighting (but he did a really good job testing my posture). I shared my research, and even brought in a note from my doctor stating the lighting gives me migraines. They offered to move my desk....to another area with the same lighting, but mostly tried to avoid the discussion by delaying each response (if not ignoring my questions). Eventually they ended the discussion, by sending an email stating that their lawyer looked into it, and stated they were under no obligation to help further.
That said, two years on, the new maintenance guy offered to look into on his own, so there's hope.
I've found a few things that might help, so will list the basics, you can do the research. I haven't tried these yet, still in the research stage, but it seems some have had success with them.
1. Colored glasses (as noted several times earlier in the thread)
2. Someone suggested use 'neutral density' GAM tubes, used by the theatre/film industry. Basically plastic covers for the light tubes. http://www.gamonline.com/catalog/gamtube/index.php
3. Similar to #3, filters that change the spectrum. These look like they might last longer than above. They also sell sheets that can be placed over the light covers.
4. 'Sky Panels' are similar to #4, don't think they were made to block any specific spectrum, but they reduce direct glare and look nice in the process. I've seen these at a hospital, and they look quite nice.
5. Changing the magnetic ballast to an electronic one. I saw this above, and on a few other sites.
I'll be suggesting filters to maintenance, and will post back if I have any success.
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