Ever seen some glasses worn by celebrities and thought, wow, these glasses are so stylish and beautiful!? I have thought so too. Well, not all glasses are worn just for fashion’s sake or for eye problems. Some glasses are specifically for people with migraines, who are photo phobic or are sensitive to light. But, do migraine relief glasses work? If so, what are the best migraine glasses?
Waking up with a splitting headache? Suffering from light-triggered migraines? Then, maybe migraine relief glasses are what you need.
Here is what you will get in this article. We will talk about what migraines are, their types and some other details pertaining to it.
Also, given this is a review article we will review the best migraine relief glasses, their specs, strengths and weaknesses etc. We will also guide you choose which one is best for you.
We can’t dive into what migraine relief glasses are, without getting an idea on the nitty-gritty about migraines. Knowledge about migraine will help us to understand how migraine relief glasses work.
So, what is really the migraine?
What are Migraines?
Migraines are severe headaches that are often characterized by throbbing or pulsating pain in the head, which can last for a few hours or for some days. These headaches are often followed by nausea, vomiting, extreme light and sound sensitivity etc.
They believed to occur due to neurological conditions where the cause is yet unknown.
According to a survey carried out by the American Migraine Foundation (AMF), they reported that migraines occur more in women than men. They also reported that people initially start to have migraine between 10 to 40 years of age. But, there are exceptions to this.
Note, that migraine is different from other types of headaches. Migraines are often intense and are often preceded by symptoms and also accompanied by symptoms on and after its onset.
Stages and Symptoms of Migraines
Normally, before a migraine episode occurs, it gives warnings or symptoms days before the actual attack.
Migraines have various stages, all accompanied by symptoms. These symptoms very different from individual to individual and also in intensity.
Here are some of the symptoms of migraines according to the stages of a migraine.
Stage 1 or Prodrome Stage
These symptoms often occur two or three days before the actual attack.
Some of the key symptoms are below.
- Mood swings. Ranging from excitement to depression
- Cravings for food more than usual
- Stiffness in the neck
- Constant or frequent yawning
- Increased thirst
- Constant urination
Stage 2 or Aura Stage
Aura are reversible symptoms of the nervous system.
Not only people with migraines experience aura. Some people who do experience migraine aura, either experience it as a separate attack or together with the actual migraine attack.
Some of the symptoms of migraine aura stage are below.
- Temporary loss of speech or difficulty when speaking or slurred speech.
- Temporary loss of vision or blurred vision
- Uncontrollable jerky movement
- A feeling of spinning or vertigo
- Ringing in the ear, also called Tinnitus.
- You may see “vision” or shapes, flashes of light or bright spots
- You may feel a tingling or prickling sensation on the arms, legs, faces etc.
- One side of the body may be numb or weak
- Confused experiences
Stage 3 or The Actual Migraine Attack
The duration of this attack varies from a few hours to some days if left untreated.
The symptoms are:
- Intense throbbing or pulsating-like pain in one or both sides of your head. It can also occur in the temples and back of the head.
- Vomiting and nausea
- Sensitivity to light, sound, smell etc.
Stage 4 or Post-drome Stage
After the actual attack, you may feel happy or excited or exhausted, drained and depressed. Sudden movement may resurrect head pain and also, a dull ache may persist.
The rate of occurrence varies in different people. Some experience migraines once a month, while others can experience migraines many times in a month.
Now, let’s find out about the different types of migraines, to understand how migraine glasses can help each type in the latter part of the article.
Tip: Heard about Cefaly Anti-migraine Device? If not, you would find our review interesting. Just follow the link.
Types of Migraine
Migraines are of different types.
The main 2 types are: migraine without aura (common) and migraine with aura (classic).
Listed below are the various types of migraines, please note it is not an exhaustive list of all possible types.
- Common migraines
These are migraines without aura.
Like the name, it is the most common type of migraine. This type of migraine occurs in 80% of people.
They often start slowly and may last longer than classic ones.
- Classic migraines
They are also called complicated aura.
They are migraines with aura.
About 25% of people have this type of migraine.
Since they occur with aura, they are more severe than the common migraines.
- Retinal migraine
They are also known as Ocular migraine.
This type of migraines causes a temporary loss of vision in one or both eyes. This loss of vision is often unrelated to aura vision changes. This loss of vision can last for days or even up to a month.
The good news, however, is that it is often reversible.
It is important you consult your physician following a retinal migraine episode.
- Acephalgic migraine
It is also known as silent migraine or “migraine without pain”. This is a type of migraine in which you don’t experience headache or throbbing pain.
People who have this type of migraine may experience aura along with it.
- Abdominal migraine
This type of migraine often occurs in children below the age of 14 years.
Here, instead of a headache, the person may experience stomach ache. The ache can be felt around the belly button or they may just complain of a sore stomach.
- Hemiphlegic migraine
It is a type of migraine that often mimics the symptoms of a stroke. It often presents itself as a temporary numbness and weakness on one side of the body, visual disturbances, faintness etc.
This migraine mimics the symptoms of stroke, so closely that you can’t differentiate it. It is important that you contact your doctor immediately before or during the episode to make sure it’s not a stroke.
Causes and Triggers of Migraines
Doctors and researchers are still in the dark about the cause(s) of migraines. However, they believe that it may be as a result of brain changes, genetics, decreased levels of serotonin (a type of brain chemical). All these are just speculations, more research needs to be carried out to verify.
However, It has been found instead that there are things that can trigger migraines. Here are some of such triggers.
- Bright lights
- Hormonal fluctuations in women due to menstruation etc.
- Certain types of food and drinks
- Loud sounds
- Dieting and skipping food during meal times
- Dehydration etc.
Treatment of Migraine
There are no cures yet for migraines. However, there are many alternatives employed in managing this illness. They range from over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs, therapeutic glasses, migraine surgery etc.
The most important thing, however, to keep in heart is being aware of your triggers. This will go a long way in effective management.
For example, the onset of migraines for most people are often triggered by light. Also, as we have seen earlier, light can also exacerbate it.
When we understand our triggers and also what makes our migraines worse, we can go ahead to take measures to reduce its occurrence. Like for example, wearing migraine relief glasses.
Migraine relief glasses are the main purpose of this article so hang on! We will turn on to it now.
What are Migraine Relief Glasses?
Migraine relief glasses are glasses that filter light rays entering our eyes, thereby preventing or reducing migraines. It does this by allowing some kinds of a light wavelength which are pretty harmless.
In a research trial involving people who suffer from migraines, it was discovered that 73% of people who participated in it complained that light often made their migraine worse during an attack. On the contrary, 29% of people said that exposure to bright light often triggers an attack.
What these researchers are trying to say is: light is a major issue for people with migraine.
Unfortunately, we can’t stay in a dark room all day. That’s why migraine relief glasses offer us so much relief and flexibility.
They allow us to be fully involved in our daily activity without fear that light might trigger an attack. While also providing relief during migraine attack by blocking the glare of the sun or allowing a kind of light wavelength.
Furthermore, it makes sure that our eyes get accustomed to the light, just not the “bad light”.
When we choose sunglasses instead of migraine glasses, it’s harmful. In other words that it can lead to a condition called dark adaptation. This is the condition where our eyes get accustomed to the dark that it makes us more vulnerable or sensitive to light.
Tip: Do you know eye massagers such as Osito Electric Eye Massager can do miracles?
How Light Triggers Migraine?
The part of our brain that receives and processes light stimulus is the occipital (or back) lobe. In people who are hypersensitive to light, that part of their brain is overstimulated. This over stimulation occurs in the presence of bright light with certain wavelengths or colors of light. This results in throbbing or pulsating pain, visual problems etc.
However, not just any light can trigger a migraine. The ones that can do that are the ones of certain wavelengths between 480 and above. For example, blue-green light that our computers and phones emit, fluorescent light, sunlight or any other type of bright light.
Another way light triggers migraines is through light perception stimulus. In this situation, the alternation of light or hues can trigger a migraine.
For example, the flickering of light when driving through a wooded area i.e. the alternate light and shadow (dark).
Also, striped patterns, polka dots can trigger migraines.
What are Precision Tinted Lenses (PLT) for Migraines?
Precision Tinted Lenses are a type of tinted glasses which may be produced by dying them in hot organic dyes.
They can be of any color range, from green tint to amber to red to blue tint.
They are said to provide relief for people suffering from light sensitivity, migraines etc. They filter certain light of specific wavelengths.
Effects of Red Tinted Glasses vs Blue Tinted Glasses for Migraines?
Red Tinted Glasses
Red tinted lens glasses have been shown to filter out light of short wavelength and high frequency. They are also said to provide instant relief when worn.
They are really beneficial for people who are suffering from light sensitivity, migraines etc.
Blue Tinted Glasses
Blue tinted glasses are especially suited for people who spend more time in their computer and phone screens.
They reduce eye strain, fatigue, dry eyes, headaches, insomnia etc. However, they don’t offer much protection from migraines.
How Does Migraine Relief Glasses Work?
Remember, that we mentioned earlier that not all light wavelengths can trigger or worsen migraines.
Well, the main technology behind migraine relief glasses is the FL-41 filter or any tinted glasses. What it does is that it filters or stops certain wavelengths of light from reaching our eyes, while allowing other wavelengths. This means we can see clearly and we are not restricted to only dark glasses.
What is a FL- 41 Filter?
FL- 41 filters are special tints that are incorporated into migraine relief glasses.
They are what makes the migraine relief glasses so special. They are usually known for their distinctive “rose” color.
The “FL” in FL-41 denotes fluorescence. They came into existence due to an experiment carried out in the 1980s by Dr. Arnold Wilkins.
Dr Wilkins was a doctor from Cambridge, whose patients constantly complain of eye strain and pain due to fluorescent light. He and his team started tweaking and experimenting on glasses that will provide relief from certain “fluorescent light wavelengths”.
The experiment was successful, and his patients found it extremely useful, so this led to a whole generation of research that results in the distinctive “rose” color in contrast to the previous “red-brown” color.
Do Migraine Relief Glasses Work?
Yes, they do. Though people very, at least 90% of people who use these migraine relief glasses say it works for them. They went ahead to explain that it reduces the number of times they have an attack in a month. And, when they do have a attach, the attack is lesser in intensity thanks to using of an anti-migraine glass.
Tip: Did you know that biofeedback training can help you manage migraines and emotions better?
Therefore, while it is not guaranteed 100%, there is a larger chance that migraine relief glasses will work for you. The scale is in your favour. However, don’t only take our opinion for it, here is what research says about migraine relief glasses and their effectiveness.
What Does Research Say About Anti-migraine Glasses?
Apart from the successful results that Dr. Arnold Wilkins saw when he prescribed his initial migraine glass model other distinguish researches who also carried out on anti-migraine glasses are: Dr Peter Good and Dr. Katz.
Their research highlights are below.
- Dr. Peter Good, seeing the success achieved by Dr. Wilkins, decided to test this migraine glasses on a group of children who were diagnosed with migraine. He used the migraine glasses with an FL-41 tint (Originally red-brown color) and migraine glasses with a blue-tint on the children.
The result showed that both groups showed improvement. However, the children who used the red-brown tinted glasses showed continuous migraine reduction.
- During the late 2000s. Dr. Katz altered the original red-brown color design to the “rose” color. He tested the effectiveness of this type of lens on patients with Blepharospasm, another type of light-sensitive condition. The condition of these patients improved greatly.
Who Should Wear Migraine Relief Glasses?
Migraine relief glasses are generally recommended for people with the following conditions.
- People with migraine
- People with Blepharospasm condition
- People who are suffering from visual snow
- People who are suffering from eye strain and fatigue due to the constant use of computers and phones
- People who are suffering from post-concussion syndrome (PCS) or traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- People with Ocular migraine condition
Who Should Not Wear Migraine Relief Glasses?
If you are not suffering from migraine or any light sensitivity condition, I don’t see why you should wear Migraine relief glasses, unless for eye strain. Also, you can choose not to wear it if directed not to by your doctor or specialist.
Possible Side Effects of Migraine Relief Glasses?
There are no known side effects of migraine relief glasses.
Tip: Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation or TENS based devices such as XFT TENS Machine with Acupuncture Pen can help you with migraine headaches too.
Can Anti-migraine Glasses Cure Migraine Headaches?
There is no scientific evidence that says that these glasses can permanently cure migraine attacks. What these glasses do is that they help manage and reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks.
What to Look for When Choosing Migraine Relief Glasses?
Choosing the right migraine relief glasses can be a challenging task, and you don’t want to buy the wrong choice. So, here are criteria to keep in mind when choosing migraine glasses.
You wouldn’t want bulky frames that are too heavy for you. Choose migraine glasses that are lightweight and comfortable.
- Curved or contoured frames
Light may seep or enter through the sides of normal migraine glass frames. If that is a problem for you, you may want to choose the wrapped or curved frames that block light from entering from the sides, tops and under.
This is criteria important if you are buying migraine relief sunglasses for outdoor purposes or driving. It blocks the glare from the sun or any other type of reflective light.
- FL-41 tint
Filter out harmful light. They are usually rose-coloured tint. However, there are other coloured tints that can help in migraine prevention and relief.
- Return or refund policy
This criterion is important especially if the glass is damaged or not to your taste etc.
The 5 Best Migraine Relief Glasses – Where Do They Stand?
Do a google search and type in “migraine relief glass”. You will see an overwhelming result from different brands and people all hyping their own products.
However, to cut down the stress for you, here are the five best migraine relief glasses as of this year. This is based on the quality of the product and the above noted criteria.
Here are the top 5 brands of anti-migraine specs.
- Axon optics
Now let’s explore each brand’s migraine range, so you know what they are about.
This company was founded by Hart Shafer and his wife, Kerrie Smyres. It was created because of the quest by Hart Shafer for suitable glasses for his wife, who was suffering from light-sensitive migraine.
This company has a wide range of products all produced specifically for migraine relief for adults as well as children.
Their products are created to last long, are lightweight and provide relief to their customers.
We will review below their leading product among their wide range of products.
Here are the features of TheraSpecs Haven.
- The frames are available in 3 different colors: blue, black and brown or tortoiseshell color.
- FL-41 tint.
- Comes with a stainless steel rim designed to last longer.
- Available in two separate types: an indoor migraine glass and outdoor migraine glass. The tint of the indoor lens is lighter, while the tint of the outdoor lens is darker.
- Temple rim is made up of TR-90 aerospace plastic, whose tips are easily adjustable.
- The nose pads are made up of silicone which is flexible and soft.
Benefits and Pros
Here are the strengths of ThraSpecs Haven.
- The frames are lightweight and comfortable
- Haven TheraSpecs for outdoor purposes are better than sunglasses in the sense that apart from it being polarized. It has a FL-41 tint that is darker but allows certain light, just not the harmful ones. They are 100% UVA/UVB.
- They have a 60-day refund or return policy, just in case it doesn’t suit you
- It’s a unisex product.
- The lenses cups or wraps around your eye, hereby blocking light entering from the peripheral. That doesn’t mean it blocks your peripheral vision.
- They come with microfiber carrying bag.
- They provide a discount, if you buy the two indoor and outdoor settings.
TheraSpecs comes with some limitations too.
- It comes in soft microfiber carrying bag instead of a hard case shell, which is cool but doesn’t offer much protection from damages.
- The frames are the major source of concern, it loosens as time goes on and may slip off your face. However, you can send in your preferred frames.
- Some users say the outdoor glasses is not cell phone friendly
If you are more worried about damages or frames, Axon Optics can be a better alternative. Find more details of their range below.
Final Verdict, we give it 4 stars out of 5 ratings. This is based on our customer experience.
Migralens founded by Ian Pyzer in 1997.
They are a range of products with a mostly greenish color. They are designed to provide relief for people suffering from migraine triggered or worsen by light, reading etc.
Their products are categorized into: Migralens prescription range and Migralens non-prescription range, all according to your needs.
Out of their range, Xwrap Style is ones of the most popular, so we will review that here.
Migralens XWrap New Unisex Style
- Available in gray or black matte
- Can be fitted with a non-prescription or prescription lenses
- The lens are dark green in colour
- Thick frames
- Wrap around contours
Pros or Benefits
- Customizable frames.
You can send your own frames to be fitted into the lens
- They block blue and red light and protects from the glare of the sun or computer screen.
- You can choose or send in your prescription frames.
- It’s unisex.
- It has a 12 months warranty.
- It fits comfortably in your eyes, preventing light from getting around the sides to your eye.
- It fits too tightly and is uncomfortable. That may be because the size was too small. You can always send in your frames.
Final Verdict, we give it 4.0 stars out of 5 ratings.
3. Axon Optics
This company emerged due to research led by the neuro-ophthalmologist and scientist called Dr. Bradley Katz. They are known for their quality, wide range of frame options, lenses and ongoing research etc.
The leading product of their migraine glasses range is the Flex Curve.
AxonOptics Flex Curve
- The lens are wide and curved
- The frame is gray or gunmetal color
- The frames are made with titanium memory flex material
- This glass is available as an indoor, outdoor or transition lens piece
It is easy to adjust AxonOptics frames. Just watch the below video.
Pros or Benefits
- They are not bulky, this is one of the lightest migraine glass from their product range.
- The frames are flexible and can be twisted to suit the wearer.
- FL-41 filter
- The lens options (indoor, outdoor or transition) offers you the opportunity to choose the one that suits you.
- You can choose or send in your own frames.
- Can be fitted with a prescription glass.
- They are too light and can often be regarded as flimsy or fragile.
Final Verdict, we give it 4.5 stars out of 5 ratings.
This company was originally founded by an American company before it was sold to an Italian eye wear conglomerate. They deal in different luxury eye wear which includes: sunglasses, prescription glasses and tinted eye wear etc.
From the Ray-Ban migraine friendly lenses range our favorite is the Green Classic G-15 lenses.
New Wayfarer Classic: Green Classic G-15
- It is available in small, standard and large sizes
- Available in gloss black, matte black, gloss tortoise color
- Can be fitted with prescription lenses
- Available in a polarized and non-polarized piece
- Polarized one offers protection from light glare
- Can be customized
- They are expensive
- They are most suitable for outdoor purposes, not indoors
We would prefer Axon optics and Theraspecs over it, as they have both outdoor and indoor option.
We would give them a 3.5 rating.
It was founded by Jordan and Kelly Burr. They have a wide range of Somnilight products ranging from migraine relief glasses, insomnia glasses and reading lamps.
Their anti-migraine is called Somnilight migraine prevention and relief glasses. Let’s find out more about them.
Somnilight Migraine Prevention and Relief Glasses
- They come in separate pieces
- The migraine relief piece has a red tint, while the migraine prevention piece has an FL-41 tint.
- They come in thermoplastic frames.
- Comes in a hard shell case, with a padded interior.
Pros or Key Benefits
- The migraine relief glasses with the red tint provides instant relief when worn during a migraine attack.
- Protection from UVA or UVB rays.
- Free shipping if you’re in the U.S.
- 60 day return or refund policy.
- Too dark for use indoors.
- Not suitable for use while working on a computer.
It is not an all in one kind of product like TheraSpecs and Axon Optics.
Each product range has a specific use or function, this is frustrating and can make you spend more.
We will give Somnilight 3.5 ratings.
While there are different types of precision tinted tenses, including the FL-41. Migraine glasses with the FL-41 filter is the one recommended for use by doctors and specialists alike. Also, when buying migraine relief glasses keep in mind the above criteria listed earlier.
Also, note that these migraine relief glasses only work for approximately 90% of people. Feel free to test any of them, and if it doesn’t work for you, you can always return them, as they have a return policy.
All in all, migraine relief glasses are non-invasive methods of managing migraine and light sensitivity.
Tip: Heard about Cefaly Anti-migraine Device? If not, you would find our review interesting. Just follow the link.