Study Suggests Wearing Precision Tinted Lenses Can Ease Migraines in Some Patients

Published: 21st June 2011
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The study suggests that precision tinted lenses can help reduce the discomfort experienced by some migraine sufferers by normalizing activity in the brain. Some people who suffer migraines are highly susceptible to stressful visual stimuli. The stimuli produce discomfort and perceptual illusions such as illusions of color, shape and motion. Moreover, this susceptibility to visual stimuli is linked with excess activation in the brainís visual cortex. The excessive brain activity, in turn, can sometimes induce a migraine. The special tinted glasses, he found, may normalize the brain activity.

Some researchers made lenses known as precision ophthalmic tints for each person- 11 people with migraines and 11 without. They also made two other pairs of lenses, gray sunglasses and colored sunglasses, as comparisons. Then, the participants were placed in a functional MRI machine and exposed to a range of striped patterns with different likelihoods of triggering distortion and discomfort because certain striped patterns can trigger migraines in some people. Patients reported some relief with all the lenses, but the precision ones worked better.

Wearing the control lenses reduced the degree of visual discomfort by about 40% compared to that without lenses, and wearing the precision ophthalmic tints resulted in a 70% reduction, The precision lenses suppressed brain activation in those with migraines.Moreover, both the migraine and migraine-free patients responded in a similar way to the non-stressful striped patterns. It shows that although wearing sunglasses could help those with migraine to reduce visual stress, wearing individually prescribed POTs [precision ophthalmic tints] may further reduce the visual stress significantly in comparison to that with wearing the sunglasses.

Some other professors think that the idea of using tinted lenses to reduce migraine and visual discomfort is not a new one. While the visual stress for the study was produced by an experimental stimulus in the study, it can also result from such activities as reading, watching TV, or working on the computer. Therefore they suggest those filter lenses are useful in patients with migraine headaches or other light sensitive conditions. The use of the MRI showed something in the brain changed with the lenses, rather than replying only on subjective reports of reduced visual discomfort.

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