This may be a bit off topic for the usual course of this blog, but I had to share an experience I’ve had in the hopes that it might help someone else. Ever since I was young, I’ve suffered from migraines. For the longest time, the only triggers I could pin down were lack of food and lack of sleep. Then I’d get the headaches randomly even when I ate and slept well which I attributed to no trigger at all. One thing that was very consistent was that nearly every Sunday after church I had a migraine. I could not figure out what at the church might be triggering the migraines except that it had been a long week and maybe I hadn’t slept enough?
Then last year, I volunteered at the city hall setting up exhibits for our town fair. I was at city hall for a good part of four straight days and every day I went home with a migraine. It was horrible. About the third day, all I wanted to do was turn the lights off or go outside where there was sunshine and it dawned on me that maybe the lighting in the building had something to do with my headaches. I thought it was a crazy idea, but then went home and googled it and sure enough, some people get migraines from fluorescent lights. Then I remembered my church headaches–probably the same thing. It was like the little light bulb came on in my brain (and not the energy saving one!).
So I did some more research and found the Moran Eye Center. They have done studies on people with fluorescent-triggered migraines and developed a rose colored tint for glasses called FL-41 that counteracts the effects of the fluorescent lighting. I thought it couldn’t hurt to try the glasses out, so I ordered a cheapo pair of glasses online and sent them up to the Moran Eye Center for tinting. It turns out that not every lens material takes the tint well and whatever polycarbonate stuff the cheap place had made my lenses out of didn’t take it at all, so the Moran Eye Center contacted me and offered to make new lenses for my glasses with the CR-39 material which is the standard plastic lens. It also works best if there are no coatings on the lens like scratch coat or whatever. So I had them make the new lenses which added to my cost, but I was sure glad I didn’t have to go through the hassle of hunting down another pair of glasses with the right lenses in them. Just check if you’re ordering glasses for this tint and see if you can start out with the CR-39 lens. The Moran Eye Center can also make you a full pair of glasses–they’ll just need some information from you to do it. I wear contacts, so I had them build lenses with no prescription to wear over the contact lenses, but they can also build prescription lenses there.
They can apply any amount of tint to the glasses and recommended 35% for indoor use which was what I primarily wanted them for. They also said that if it was too much or not enough I could send them back and they’d adjust the tinting. That is like magic.
When the tint was applied, they called me and let me know they were done and the total cost, then shipped them out to me with the bill. I got them back about a week and a half after I sent them. It might take a little longer if you don’t live as close to them as I do. The total cost of the cheapo glasses, new lenses, tinting, and shipping was around $80. I was thinking this was a pretty pricey experiment. But guess what? It worked.
Now I wear my rose colored FL-41 tinted sunglasses to church and go home every Sunday afternoon fully functional and able to spend the day enjoying my family instead of nursing a migraine and taking a nap. I also wear them other places when I know I’ll be around fluorescent lights. The best part was this fall when I volunteered to set up exhibits at the city hall again and left every day feeling fantastic because I wore the crazy pink sunglasses in the building. Amazing.
I also have a daughter that gets frequent headaches. We just got her some new glasses ordered to adjust her prescription and we’ll see if that makes much of a difference. But guess what they light the school with? Yep, fluorescent lights. So if the new prescription doesn’t cut down the headaches, I’ll be looking to get FL-41 tinted lenses in another pair of glasses for her to wear to school and church because maybe, just maybe, she’s got fluorescent triggered migraines just like her mom. And it would be worth the cost of the glasses if she can have fewer headaches in her life.
So, hopefully you or someone you know can use this information and my experience and have a few fewer headaches to have to deal with.
For more information on the FL-41 tint, check out the Frequently Asked Questions page, the Research History page, or contact the Moran Eye Center–their contact information is at the bottom of every page of their website. This is not a sponsored post, just information I wanted to share because it changed my life. :)