Relieve Migraines with Soft Contact Lenses


Only looking at some certain visual patterns, like stripes can trigger a severe headache for many migraine sufferers. It can be especially problematic when the models involve flashes of lights, maybe when driving in a wooded area or when exposed to almost imperceptible flickering lights. Tinted lens, glasses, has been used to relieve pain and decrease photophobia in patients with various ophthalmologic conditions. The soft contact lens is made up of a hydrophilic disc which floats on the cornea of your eye. Just like prescription glasses, the contact lens has been shaped primarily to direct light into the retina. However, unlike eyeglasses, contact lenses cover your cornea and correct your entire field of vision.

A study in the USA in 2005 showed relief from migraine pain in most patients that tried red colored contacts. Using tinted contact lenses for a migraine is not a new idea, many migraine patients find relief from photophobia, with quality sunglasses or precision tinted lenses. Patients with migraines typically feel a pulsing or throbbing pain on one side of the head which can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to lights and sounds. Occasionally, they see flashing lights, wavy lines or other visual oddities called auras that warn of an upcoming migraine attack. Migraine headaches can be an inherited condition and are caused by blood vessels under the skull dilating to create the throbbing pain.

Migraines plague approximately 28 million Americans, according to information from the National Headache Foundation, and are three times more likely to occur in women than in men. More than 50 percent of migraine patients say that their productivity at work or school is cut in half as a result of headaches. Almost 40 percent stated that they sometimes miss days from work. Tinted contact lenses were chosen over regular glasses with tinted lenses because the latter allow too much glare to reach the retina, both from the side and above, for sufficient filtering. In contrast, corrective contact lenses applied directly on the eye provide optimal filtration, Dr. Garrison said.

The human retina uses three cone types, with three different absorption spectra, to resolve the wavelength composition of light. These three types of cones, L-, M-, and S-cones, represent classes of photoreceptors that are primarily sensitive to long-wavelength light (L), medium wavelength light (M), and short wavelength light (S) within the visible spectrum.

The lenses used in this case series blocked 90% of wavelengths of 600 nm or less and admitted 90% of wavelengths of 700 nm or more, effectively excluding stimulation of M- and S-cones and allowing selective stimulation of L-cones only

Since preventing and treating migraine can be so frustratingly difficult for so many people, PTLs may be worth a shot—especially since they might enable you to reduce or even eliminate the need for medications.