Many of us have found that too much screen time can be a Migraine trigger. Given our high-tech world, a sensitivity to electronic screens puts us at a disadvantage. It can limit our ability to communicate with others, engage in social activities, and limit our career options. Even entry-level jobs require the use of technology. Fortunately, we have options. There are a few tools that can minimize the impact of light triggers. These tools help us participate in a world that would otherwise be harmful to our Migraine health.
Just as there are hearing aids for those with hearing loss and eyeglasses for those with low vision, there are apps and devices for those of us with sensitivity to electronic screens. We don’t necessarily have to give up technology to avoid a Migraine attack.
F.lux is a free software download that allows you to adjust the lighting on your computer screen. It is an improvement over simply adjusting the brightness of your screen. Instead, it blocks the light spectrum that is a common Migraine trigger. This same light can inhibit our body’s natural production of melatonin. When we use electronic devices late at night, light from the screen can interfere with sleep. Flux filters out this light, allowing us to maintain healthy sleep patterns even when we must use our electronic devices at night.
Blue Light Filters
Blue Light Filter is a free app that can be downloaded to your Android mobile device. IOS devices have a built-in Night Shift Bluelight Filter. Both apps block the spectrum of blue light that interferes with sleep and may trigger Migraine attacks.
An FL-41 tint can be applied to your prescription glasses. This tint filters light in the same way as f.lux or Blue Light Filter. The advantage is that you can wear them everywhere, blocking harsh lighting in stores, office buildings, and even outdoors. The tint is also available in non-prescription sunglasses. There are two companies that offer this tint: Axon Optics and Theraspecs. Both offer a variety of frames and will make lenses for your own frames. Only Theraspecs makes bifocal lenses.
I regularly use all three of these tools to minimize light triggers. By using these simple tools, I avoid a potent Migraine trigger and enjoy more Migraine-free days. The harsh lighting of department stores, florescent lighting, and even movie theater screens no longer cause problems. These simple, non-invasive, non-prescription options allow me to live life on my own terms without worrying about the next Migraine attack.
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Headache disorders counselor and advocate Tammy Rome maintains a private practice specializing in treating clients with Migraine and other headache disorders. She also volunteers as vice chair of the American Headache and Migraine Association and as president of The Cluster Headache Support Group. You can read more of Tammy’s work on her website and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.