Gravity's Rainbow

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Through rose-coloured glasses


Lost Lake by 5u5 on Flickr

Lost Lake by 5u5 on Flickr

I didn’t know I could be outside without being in pain.

Light is not a migraineur’s friend. Migraine attacks make just about everyone sensitive to light. Many people with migraine have attacks that are triggered by different kinds of light, like bright sunlight or flickering fluorescent lights.

I have chronic migraine and find anything brighter than a dim lamp annoying at the best of times and excruciating at the worst. Sunglasses help, but not much. Stepping outside even on a cloudy day was uncomfortable for me no matter how well I felt.

Not a cure, but a balm.

Not a cure, but a balm.

Last year I bought a pair of TheraSpecs, specifically the sexy things to the left. TheraSpecs filter out certain wavelengths of light that seem particularly bothersome to migraineurs. And they work: since getting mine, I’ve been able to go outside without pain.

In the middle of an attack when anything above pure darkness is uncomfortable, they don’t stop the light-induced pain. But on days when I’m not in the middle of a bad attack, TheraSpecs make it so that I can go outside without worrying that the light is going to make me sick. When I am outside during an attack, they are a soothing balm to my eyes and head.

I got the outdoor version of TheraSpecs that fit over my prescription eyeglasses. They also really help with indoor lighting and computer screens, but are too dim to use indoors unless absolutely necessary. When I can afford it, I’m planning to get an eye exam to find out my current prescription and get new TheraSpecs lenses in my old glasses frames – one for indoors and one for outdoors.

In the meantime, I’ve found f.lux helpful on my computer and Twilight helps on my phone with the screen color and brightness.

TheraSpecs make it easier for me to be in the world, but they also make the world a more beautiful place to be in. The world really is nicer through rose-coloured glasses.

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  1. I have dark blue tinted Irlen lenses. They help me read text without jumping all over the place but they also help me deal with light. I wear them all the time except when driving at night when they are too dark.
    When I’m outside I wear polarised fitovers over the top and it means I can function in day light. I still get pain and migraines if it’s really bright (or if my neck is tight or the other dozen things that set me off) but it’s so much better.

    I wonder if these would work over my blue lenses or if they would sort of cancel each other out.

  2. I think that I’d have trouble just from wearing 3 pairs of glasses, actually!

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