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Big News for Relief From Photophobia & Sensitivity to Fluorescent Lighting (CFLs)

I have big news today! I’ve mentioned a couple times that I’m able to blog again in part thanks to some special glasses. Hart had them made for me based on a recommendation from my headache specialist and a bunch of research he read. They’ve been so helpful for me and the people we sent sample pairs to that we’ve decided to make them available for purchase. Yep, Hart and I are starting our own business so anyone who suffers from migraine can use these awesome glasses. (Well, Hart’s really starting the business; I’m more like his muse and provider-of-different-perspectives.)

These glasses have a precision tint called FL-41 that research shows can help with painful sensitivity to light (photophobia), fluorescent light/CFL sensitivity, eye strain, and even reduce the number of migraine attacks wearers get. One FL-41 study showed participants went from an average of 6.2 to 1.6 migraine attacks per month — that’s 74% fewer attacks.

The tint was suggested by my headache specialist who was concerned that I was over-sensitizing my eyes by wearing sunglasses indoors. I ordered standard eyeglasses with the tint. While helpful for computer time they let in way too much light, which means the glasses didn’t effectively manage general photophobia or protect me from fluorescent lighting, which is a big trigger for me.

After hearing me complain about them (and seeing me always wearing them with a baseball cap) Hart set out to see if he could do better. He wanted to to create FL-41 glasses in frames that would better protect my eyes. He worked with an optical lab and talked to countless different companies before finding just the right lightweight, flexible, wraparound frames — in short, the perfect glasses for a migraineur. The flexibility of the frames and their light weight mean that they don’t put pressure on a head that’s already sensitive from migraine and they also fit a wide variety of faces with no pinching or squeezing.

Wearing these glasses, I no longer fear fluorescent lights at grocery stores, friends’ houses, or doctors’ offices. (I can even go to Ikea without a meltdown!) I also wear them around the house whenever I have a migraine and they really cut down on the pain. At the risk of sounding cheesy, what these glasses really give me is freedom from fear and a sense of control over migraine triggers and symptoms.

The glasses were great for me, but we wanted to be sure they would work for other people, too. We sent some pairs out for feedback and waited nervously. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with testers reporting many of the same benefits that I did. Besides photophobia relief, testers found the glasses especially useful for blocking fluorescent lights and for screen time in front of the computer or TV. Some of the feedback was so touching that it brought me to tears. Once we knew the glasses could help a lot of other people, we also knew we needed to make them available.

Hart is hard at work putting the final pieces of the business into place and getting the glasses made. We hope to have them available for sale in a few weeks. If you’re interested in learning more, enter your email address below so we can contact you when the new company’s website is up. (We promise not to sell or share your email address.) Update: The website is up! The glasses are now available at www.theraspecs.com.

I’ll post again to let you all know when they are available, too. We both hope these glasses can help you as much helped me!

34 Responses to Big News for Relief From Photophobia & Sensitivity to Fluorescent Lighting (CFLs)

  1. Theresa says:

    I was just wondering if these glasses work for prescription lenses as well since they are wraparounds I know that they sometimes have a hard time getting certain RXs to fit in certain frames.

    • Kris says:

      I have been diagnosed with MdDS and my sensitivity to light is linked to the tocking I feel daily. Fluorescent lighting makes me feel worse. Has anyone with MdDS commented on these glasses helping with this condition. Thank you Kris

  2. Ashlie says:

    I second Teresa’s question.

  3. Sarah says:

    As do I! My prescription is -7, so I have a hard time getting lenses to fit in a lot of frames.

  4. Hart’s working on a solution for prescription glasses wearers, but the first glasses we’re making are for people who don’t need glasses or who wear contacts.

    Kerrie

  5. Liz says:

    Couldn’t we prescription glasses wearers have the tint FL-41 added to our prescription lenses? It wouldn’t be wrap-around, but surely would be a big improvement.

  6. Jolén says:

    I would like more information. Fluorescent lights have always been bad for me and now that I work full time in office lights, I would imagine that this could be helpful.

  7. Hart’s looking at a bunch of different possibilities for people who were prescription glasses. One option is making normal non-wrap prescription glasses with the tint. As you say, it would not be as good as the wrap but it would be something. We’ll have more information on this soon!

    Kerrie

  8. Sue says:

    I have been fortunate enough to be one of Hart’s guinea pigs. These glasses are truly amazing. Life-changing …..that kind of amazing!

    One particular HUGE difference for mr was going into our local hospital as part of my job. Before the glasses, my time in the building had to very carefully planned out because I never knew when my headache would kick into high gear. Now I put on my glasses as soon as I enter the building and the difference is nothing short of astounding.

    Seriously, these glasses are a game-changer for me. Where I had been thinking about long term disability because this part of my work had become so unbearable, now I don’t instantly panic when I have hospital visits to do. Awesome!

    I do have a problem re:what to do about needing my reading glasses on when I use the computer. I am sure they would help, but I need the readers to see the screen.

    Thanks again Hart & Kerrie!

  9. Nikki says:

    The prospect of these make me very excited. I am a student in university and these migraines are just getting worse and worse. It doesnt help that I live on the computer. My major/job is based on computers so these I think would make things so much better!

  10. Marta says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now as I feel my life story is similar to yours in so many ways. You have no idea how excited your posting made me:) I suffer from migraine attacks (since I was 4 yrs old) and then I have daily headaches on a left side (for the past 4 yrs now). I found my eyes very sensitive, I usually wear my regular polarized sunglasses to watch TV, but, well, headaches are still my painful reality. My vision is perfect, my eyes are healthy, actually I’m very healthy except for my headaches 🙂 so I can’t wait to be able to try Hart’s glasses! I live in Toronto, hopefully that won’t be a problem.

  11. We’re planning on shipping internationally, so Canada’s no problem!

    Kerrie

  12. Steve says:

    Exciting news on two fronts – delighted to hear you have found something to make things better for you and excited for Hart’s entrepreneurial venture – tell him I said it sounds like a true blue ocean and let him know I’m available if he is looking for a partner, employee, or two-bit investor.

  13. Sandy P. says:

    Hi,

    I’m interested in these glasses with the FL-41 tint, but I wear reading glasses at work. Do they come in bifocals or even tri-focals? Is that too much to ask? How dark do they get? Will I be able to see work that I am writing?

    Thanks,
    Sandy

    • Sandy,

      You will definitely still be able to see the work that you are writing. The indoor TheraSpecs are designed to block the problematic wavelengths of light without darkening the lens much. The outdoor TheraSpecs are much darker and polarized.

      We are working on solutions for people who wear prescription glasses, but do not currently have them available. In the meantime, it might be possible for us to create a pair for you if you send us frames. If you’re interested in that, send us an email through the contact page (http://www.theraspecs.com/contact/) and we’ll sort out the details.

      Take care,
      Kerrie

  14. Scott Steinman says:

    As a former vision researcher (before going on disability for daily migraines that have lasted 12 years), I can state that any yellow or red lens will significantly cut down on blue light. Darker lenses will also make you less sensitive to flicker. Both will help with sensitivity to fluorescent lights.

    Without a careful reading of the clinical research’s methodology, subject selection and statistical data, it’s difficult to know if the results of the studies are meaningful. It’s possible that particular types of patients were preferentially selected, or that an insufficient number of subjects were used, or the wrong statistical test chosen. I’ve served as a reviewer for both excellent and horrible studies where the results can be either convincing or iffy.

    By the way, from my own anecdotal experience (your mileage may vary, and the FL-41 lenses may be good for you) I’ve used NOIR lenses usually prescribed for patients with ocular diseases, for outdoors. I suggest trying a few types of lenses to see which specific ones work for you.

    • Thanks for the input, Scott. Some of the studies did compare to FL-41 to other blue-filtering tints and found it to be the best one. We believe that is because it focuses on cutting out the portion of the fluorescent spectrum that has the most flicker. In fact, it lets through more blue light than some of the other tested tints! It was also reported as the most pleasing to subjects that were suffering photophobia. If you’d like to look at the research itself many of the papers are linked off of http://www.theraspecs.com/details.

      Take care,
      Kerrie

  15. Janis Jones says:

    I am definitely interested in something that would fit over my prescription glasses – I can’t see the computer screen without them and rarely read without them. I’ve been having migraines since I was age 8. I’m also on disability, so I hope they won’t be too expensive.

  16. Lindsey Fulton says:

    I too am a migraine sufferer with extreme light sensitivity. This may be an option for me.

  17. Noorjahan Shaikh says:

    Hi. I am interested in seeing the product – do you have an image? Are they wrap around? Big lens? Do you sell them in Toronto? Thank you!

    *****
    We do ship to Toronto and have a variety of styles and lenses that provide excellent coverage. You can see them at http://www.theraspecs.com.

  18. Jason says:

    These glasses do provide a bit of relief but are far from a cure. I have 2 pairs of these glasses and I still get migraines all the time. They helped a lot at first now It seems they don’t help as much. I’m Interested In the cure to this crazy problem. I don’t understand how I can go 27 years without any Issues then one day I can’t tolerate fluorescent lights anymore. Every single person shares this same Issue. They are fine under fluorescent lights for years then one day they can’t tolerate them anymore. I have suffered with this problem for 6 years. I made quite a few YouTube videos about It. Stop by and leave a comment If you want. Especially If anyone has figured out a real cure for this problem. Just type crazy picard fluorescent lights you should easily find me. Vitamin B2 helped a bit In reducing migraines. That Is about the only break though I have made.

    • Jason,

      There are, unfortunately, no magic bullets and no cure for migraine. These glasses help with light sensitivity — for some people that means lights are no longer a trigger, for others it means that lights no longer bother them as much during a migraine. And all brains are different, so what helps one person doesn’t necessarily help another. Though we’ve never heard of them working at first, then no longer working. Best of luck finding your combination of effective treatments.

      Kerrie

  19. Janet Jones says:

    Kerrie..
    My sunglasses have no script above..but they’re bi focals..I need readers…so my sunglasses have my reader script at the bottom…can I get thera spects???

    Blessings
    Janet

  20. Jo Fisher says:

    Are they available in Australia?

  21. Hudson says:

    Do you think these glasses will help if one is experiencing photosensitive/reflex – visually induced seizures from fluorescents?

  22. How do i get these gkasses ??? I havent been able to go to ANY stores in many years nor any functions my daughter has in school…because of the florescent lights. ..my life is limited !!! Pleaseeeeee help me!!! I been going through this for years now!!! I cant even shop for myself!!! Please i beg u help!!!!

  23. Nana1988 says:

    Hei ,

    Can this glasses also help those with Palinopsia? It is like moving your hand and seeing a light things following the pattern of your hand movement! I feel my symptom is very similar to the disease called Palinopsia! Can these glasses solve such issue as well?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Nana, while there are no studies on the glasses for palinopsia, some customers have reported relief using TheraSpecs. There’s a 60-day guarantee so you can try them out to see if they will help you and can return them for a full refund if they don’t. You can email contact@theraspecs.com for more information.

      Take care,
      Kerrie

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