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Light sensitivity to fluorescent lights

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.


This discussion is related to Light sensitivity to fluorescent lights?.
93 Responses
Avatar universal
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.  
Avatar universal
-funny how these doctors who are there to "care" for us think we don't know how we feel.I know I'm sic.k. If they don't understand something it must be bunk, right?
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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?  
Avatar universal
34 and lived my whole life with this. Started at 15 and hand numb , face tingle ,massive headache for hours
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.    
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.  
Avatar universal
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!
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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...
Avatar universal
Hi Holly,
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?
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.)
Avatar universal
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!
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
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!!!
Avatar universal
hiiiiiiiiii can u plzzzzzzz write me and let me kno what u did for ur floresentlight sensitivity?? i am at the end..i dt kno what to do anymore.
***@**** write me
Avatar universal
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!
Avatar universal
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!!
Avatar universal
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.  
Avatar universal
Hi Holly
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.
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
My eye Dr. stated try putting a regular light facing a wall around you. I have done this now for 3 days and no headaches..yeah
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.  
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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!!
Please reply!!
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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..


There are two herbs like this on amazon that are famous for curing migraine ..They are named.. Feverfew and butterbur..

Read their reviews on amazon ..

Leme know if they work for u too :) :)
Avatar universal
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!
Avatar universal
Soooooo...........what did they suggest??
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
I'm hoping someone can relate to this. I guess I'm hoping it's the fluorescent lighting and not something more serious. I was in the lower lever today of Macy's with my grandson. We were having lunch. Very very hard to describe what happened. At first it seemed as if maybe the lights had started flickering, then in my peripheral vision there was intense light flickering and a lot of distortions. I almost asked the lady next to me if something was going on with the lighting. It then go so bad I knew I needed to get out immediately!!! Or I'd either fall, pass out or needed to call 911!! Very strong, intense eye and light distortions!! Anyone out there that can relate????
Not sure why all the strange mistyped errors. My iPhone did something funky!!
Avatar universal
Have you looked into Irlen Syndrome? I found that through a lot of research on the Internet, there are glasses or contacts for this.  
Hi I have a problem with fluorescents and the issue is the type of light with the frequency and wave length. My problem is it gives me axentiy and makes my mind and whole body stress out I also lose train of thought and I can't think under them them. I been to Irene. And that didn't help plus I didn't want to have my world in colour. I did find a pair of sunglasses that works tho but to be honest everyone just makes you feel weird in the office wearing them. Plus people can't see your eyes which puts up a barrier. If you can get the light changed to leds sky lights it's a different type of light with no flicker or mercury chemials in them so no UV and they worked perfect for me and now I'm not stressed and can think clear. To be honest I think the future of lighting should be LEDS and would probably help a lot of people and child with disabilities and my is to do with my dyslexia. Hope this helps you.  Dave. Email ***@****
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