765048 tn?1234585450

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
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.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
I recently developed a similar problem.

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.

Avatar universal
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!

Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.
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