By Suzanna Fitzgerald, for The International Travel Herald
Best Sunglasses for Migraine Sufferers
First, what are the best sunglasses for migraine sufferers? Does a “best” exist? Obviously, there is no one perfect pair of best sunglasses best sunglasses for migraine sufferers. Yet, this article may help you to better enjoy your travels as a migraine sufferer. Or for anyone with light sensitivity. For instance, did you know that the right kind of sunglasses could help reduce your migraines? Surprisingly, as a migraine sufferer I thought I already knew that. We live and learn. So read on.
As a result, I rarely leave the house without my sunglasses. And yes, even on a cloudy day! More importantly, I’m not safe to drive without them. The glare from the sun and headlights distorts my vision. And that causes changes in distances and angles. Humm. Maybe everyone wear sunglasses sunglasses in the bright sun! Not a bad idea.
Also surprisingly, I didn’t know there are prescription sunglasses made specifically to help migraine sufferers. So, I hope this article on “Best Sunglasses for Migraine Sufferers” also helps you. And of course, your children. Children suffer as well. So protect their eyes too.
Why Sunglasses Help with Light-Sensitivity & Pain
Recently, medical research has shown that two pathways exist from your eyes to your brain. First, one transfers vision. Second, the other transfers pain. Obviously, both are important. However, the latter protects us from when we stare into a damaging light source. Like a solar eclipse! Honestly, did you do it?
Furthermore, some people have a condition known as Photophobia. In this instance, a medical condition making a person super-sensitive to light. Light actually hurts their eyes. Moreover, Photophobia can be genetic. That is, a condition you are born with. Or, it can develop as a result of other issues. Such issues as migraine headaches. Cataracts and mild brain injuries can also cause photophobia.
Most importantly, for those who suffer light sensitivity, sunglasses help. They offer hope for this issue. And one of the ways is by cutting down on glare. in addition, they filter US rays. Furthermore, they filter out those light spectrums in sunlight and artificial light that trigger pain symptoms. This improves quality of life. Children benefit as well. So have them checked for light sensitivity. For instance, if they do not want to play outside. They may just not want to say it hurts their eyes. So be aware of this. They may be watchful of reasons not to go outside. It may not be the fault of video games after all.
Are All Sunglasses Created Equal?
Unfortunately equality for all doesn’t extend to sunglasses. Different kinds of sunglasses have varying levels of effectiveness. Just like sun screens. What the Best Sunglasses for Migraine Sufferers means to one person may be different for another. Consider these issues.
- UV Protection First
If photophobic, strongly consider outdoor for UV protection. Furthermore, if you are photophobic, a very good idea may be to start wearing your sunglasses indoors as well. Without a doubt, ultraviolet light waves harm your eyes without protection. And these ultraviolet lights come from more than just the sun. Tanning bed lights and fluorescent lighting also contain ultraviolet light.
Even artificial light sources rated safe – fluorescent lights for example – still emit small amounts of UV light. Photophobia and migraine sufferers feel the effects.
- LCD Monitors. LCD screens are backlit by a fluorescent bulb. The UV light spectrum is supposed to be absorbed by a protective coating in the screen or bulb protector. However, you may still experience painful symptoms.
No matter what type of sunglasses or monitor glasses you shop for, you need to make sure that they have a good level of UV light protection. Look for at least 99-100% of UV and UVB light protection.
- Polarized Anti-Glare
When light reflects off of snow, water, or metal, you get an effect called polarized light. As a result, the light molecules gather horizontally. This creates a harsh glare causing severe eye strain.
Polaroid sunglasses help to reduce glare and relieve eye strain. Further, they help to protect you from bright lights, both indoors and outdoors. These are the type of sunglasses that I have always used.
Funny story – the one time I tried driving without my polarized sunglasses I managed to clip a tree and bent my side mirror. Fortunately, I didn’t cause any damage to the car, or myself, but it was a very valuable lesson.
You can’t use polarized sunglasses with computer screens. Computer screens come with their own Polaroid coating which makes it impossible to read the screen while wearing polarized sunglasses. Also, this includes checkout monitors at the grocery store.
If you suffer from migraines, headaches, and sensitivity to light then you should definitely get a pair of strong Polaroid sunglasses.
- Spectrum Filtering Glasses
These are new to me! In fact, despite suffering migraines for years, I had never heard of them.
I’m really excited about the opportunities provided by these specialized sunglasses. I haven’t had a chance to try any yet. They are also quite pricy. Although, the cheaper ones cost about the same as a very good pair of polarized sunglasses.
Sunglass Manufacturers for Migraine Sufferers
Three different companies rank highest online for making these specialized sunglasses.
- Axon Optics
Axon Optics is a leader in the field, and provides a lot of great information on their website. They are also a bit pricier, which they appear to be equating with their high value and authority.
Indoor: For indoor use, the cheapest pair available on Amazon is the SpectraShield FL-41. It is super-light to help reduce the effect of tension headaches. Also a problem for glasses wearers.
They are made to fit over regular glasses, but aren’t dark enough to replace outdoor sunglasses.
This specific pair lists for $129.00 USD on Amazon, and has an average ranking of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Top reviews rave that they are very effective, and should definitely be tried for migraine relief.
Outdoor: You have to visit the Axon Optics website to order a pair of outdoor lenses. Their outdoor lenses seem to range between about $150-$170.
TheraSpecs Pilot Glasses – offered singly – for indoor and outdoor use. On Amazon, however, you can get both kinds together, saving thirty dollars. This listing runs $198 for both pairs and a great option if you want to get both types more conveniently. The Pilot glasses really do look like the stylish sunglasses worn by pilots. Yet, they apparently offer wrap-around protection.
The two pairs together have a ranking of 4.3 stars out of 5 on Amazon. That is an excellent score.
The Migralens Model 1002 approved by the Migraine Association of America. It is primarily for indoor use, but probably can also be used outdoors. They list for only $64.00 USD on Amazon, making them one of the cheaper options available. The Migralens 1002 ranks of 3.6 stars out of 5.
Do You Need Prescription Sunglasses?
These options may not work for you. See your eye doctor. Due to the varying causes of migraine headaches and photophobia, individual results will vary. So a doctor’s advice is best. Don’t take chances with your eyes! See an eye doctor!
Furthermore, studies have shown that wearing these types of sunglasses creates a 2X improvement. And for migraine sufferers, clinical studies show that sunglasses helped reduce migraine episodes to just two a month over a six-month period.
Axon Optics, claims that their sunglasses help reduce migraine symptoms by 80%. I certainly like the odds. Yet, it is wise to consult an optic professional. They might be able to write you a prescription for a lens that’s not on the open market. Or even recommend the best option of those available.
- The right pair of sunglasses can greatly reduce your travel headaches, and chances of a car accident if you drive.
- The Best Sunglasses for Migraine Sufferers are the ones that are right for you. Get them before you go, so you know!
- When travelling you should always have a back-up pair of glasses in your luggage. Sunglasses, no matter how expensive, are an easy item to lose or break. I’ve lost a few favorite pairs over the years.
- If you intend to travel mostly out-of-doors, then a pair of outdoor sunglasses may do the trick.
- If you intend to spend a good deal of time indoors at museums or hotels, or for business, an indoor pair will likely prove an invaluable traveling investment.
- Because the right pair of sunglasses can represent a significant monetary investment, it’s also worthwhile to make sure that your sunglasses are protected. Use sturdy hard cases if available. You may even want to include them in insurance policies.
- Especially for expensive glasses, if you intend to wear your protective sunglasses constantly, a soft case may do the trick if you have a purse or travel pouch to keep it in.
- Keep a lint-free cloth handy at all times. Many glasses come with scratch and smudge resistant coatings, but there are no guarantees in life. You don’t want to risk damaging your glasses by wiping them off on the hem of a T-shirt. Tip: You can also use an extra camera lens cleaning cloth. Lint free of course.
- Lens cleaner or monitor solution will help to remove stubborn smudges. Also use a lint free cloth.
The Best Sunglasses for Migraine Sufferers are the ones right for you. Consult your eye doctor. We want to hear from you. Do you you use indoor or outdoor spectrum glasses? Do you treat your migraine symptoms with a pair of polarized sunglasses? If so, please leave a comment. Let me know about your experiences! We want to know what the Best Sunglasses for Migraine Sufferers means to you. Enjoy your travels with reduced sensitivity to light. And reduced headache pain! Travel works for migraine sufferers too! So, just do it!
About The Author
Suzanna Fitzgerald is a writer, photographer, and online marketer. She has fifteen years of writing experience in all several genres. These include fiction and non-fiction. Her published novel, Loner’s Clan, is her largest foray into the print world. In addition, she has published dozens of items online, especially in the form of a blog.
Her marketing company, Fitz’n’Jammer: Online Marketing & Design, is dedicated to helping clients increase their online presences and marketing campaigns the smart way – with clarity engagement marketing.
You can find her on her company website, http://www.fitznjammer.com.
In writing this article, I did some extensive online research. Here are the reference articles I used: