By

FL-41 Precision Tint Glasses Photo & Update

Several people have asked me what the wraparound FL-41 glasses that Hart and I are making look like, so here is a picture of them on on yours truly. One of the comments I’ve heard frequently (and so did testers) is people like that they can see my eyes when we talk, unlike when I wore sunglasses all the time. So I feel less cut off from the world, too.

Upon arrival from Italy, the frames were held up in customs for a few days. After they were finally delivered at noon on Friday, Hart took them straight to the optical lab that makes the precision-tinted lenses. We hope they will be ready sometime this week. The website and shop will be up and running as soon as they are!

So exciting! So scary!

By

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!

By

This Blog Does Not Contain Medical Advice (But What Should it Contain?)

I am dismayed by the number of people who told me they read my post on magnesium and immediately started taking 700 mg of the supplement. They didn’t look into recommended dosages or side effects, they just started taking as much as I said helped me. In the almost seven years since I began The Daily Headache, this is the first time I’ve felt like what I’ve written has been misconstrued as medical advice. Fortunately, magnesium is fairly safe and the effect of taking too much — diarrhea — is pretty obvious. But the situation did get me thinking about this blog and its purpose.

I blamed myself because I didn’t include details about magnesium and its potential dangers in the post. I resolved to not post (much) until I had written a thoroughly researched piece on magnesium. Hence the dearth of posts for the last couple weeks. As much as I want to, I simply don’t have the energy to research and write the post. Because I have chronic migraine, I spend a lot of time feeling too brain dead to write. When I feel good, sitting at a computer is the last place I want to be. I love writing and research and, yet, I spend so much time on my butt that I want to be cooking or cleaning or talking with friends when I feel OK, not isolated at the computer.

Since I began blogging again in November, my posts have been more my personal experience and less about what’s in the news or researched headache or migraine information. Being on the computer is no longer a trigger — I have special glasses that help with that — but what I’m interested in writing about is different than it was seven years ago. People tell me that my own stories are actually the most useful to them, but I struggle with feeling like all I care about is myself. Now that one of my personal posts has lead to people taking medication without further research, I’m conflicted.

So now I’m wondering: How do I balance sharing personal experience without being self-centered? Should I restrict the topics that I write about if I’m not up to doing research about them? What should this blog be? Do I write about what I’m thinking about or what I think readers want to read? What do you think?

By

Why I’m Doing Better, Part 2

I’ve changed my promised follow-up to Why I’m Doing Better, Part 1 because the format felt wrong. I have plenty to write about the strategies that have made me feel better, but I want to do so in descriptive individual posts instead of a couple all-about-me lists. I think my new approach has far more value to you than my original plan. Expect posts on exercise, meditation, finding my “third space,” lifestyle changes (like diet and sleep), and special glasses. I’ll let you know when a post is related to my improved health.

I’ve never been more aware that there’s no one solution to chronic migraine. It has taken an assemblage of treatments and tweaks for me to feel better. The tendency is to search for one total treatment, but, much like diabetes, migraine is an illness that has to be managed on many fronts.