In the quest to find a drug-free way to deal with migraines, scientists and researchers have come up with something that claims to be helpful in relieving chronic and painful headaches. There are so many known migraine triggers that it’s implausible to find a way to deal with all of them. This is why scientists decided to concentrate on one particular headache trigger that a lot of migraineurs have reported to have caused a lot of their migraine attacks.
Stressful visual stimuli such as bright or flickering lights have been known to trigger headaches in a lot of migraine patients. Even those who don’t suffer from migraines also feel a certain level of discomfort when exposed to these various visual stimuli. Aside from light, there are particular visual patterns, including certain striped patterns that can trigger a migraine. Other visual stimuli that can be considered stressful to the eyes include reading for a long period of time, the flickering lights coming from the television screen, or the glare of a computer screen. These visual stimuli trigger certain activities in the brain that cause the pain and discomfort migraineurs experience when seeing bright lights and patterns that are stressful to the eyes. The severity of the headaches that occur because of these visual triggers usually depends on the sensitivity of the migraineur. In severe cases, these visual stimuli can also trigger seizures in people diagnosed with epilepsy.
People who have visual migraine triggers often wear sunglasses or tinted glasses to reduce glare and to soothe the eyes when coming in visual contact with a pattern that can trigger their headaches. While this is already quite effective, researchers have found that wearing Precision Ophthalmic Tints (POTs) work even better. A POT is a type of lens that is specially designed to normalize activity in the brain when exposed to stressful visual stimuli. It is more effective than dark or regular colored glasses because it is tailor-made for the wearer’s eyes, providing maximum comfort even without being exposed to visual headache triggers. While this doesn’t work in preventing migraines triggered by other factors, it is a big help in reducing the frequency and severity of headache episodes.
Light and visual stimuli aren’t the only causes of migraines. A lot of times, the food we eat or the environment we are in can also trigger a migraine attack. When migraines occur due to food or other environmental triggers, the POTs no longer function as a preventive measure, but as a tool used to soothe one of the main symptoms of a migraine headache, which is sensitivity to light. It filters out the particular light rays that are mostly responsible for the pain, but it’s not too dark to make the pupils dilate and cause the headaches to increase in severity. When the eyes are no longer sensitive to light, the pain of the migraine is reduced, making it easier to get back on your feet and overcome the headache.
Tests done to see how effective POTs are have shown that migraineurs who wear these prescription lenses have less activity in parts of the brain associated with pain and visual stress. These special glasses may not be the ultimate solution to preventing migraines, but it’s definitely a huge step in the right direction.