The cause of migraines is not fully understood. But experience and some research indicate that the quality of light may play a role. Specifically, blue light seems to trigger or worsen migraines. While there are many sources of blue light—sunlight, LEDs, computers, tablets, and phones—fluorescent lights are one of the most ubiquitous blue light emitters. Practically every office, retail store, supermarket, and school is awash in blue-tinted fluorescent light. For migraine sufferers, this light can be hard to escape. That’s why many migraine sufferers run to a dark room at the first sign of a migraine. However, there are some ways to minimize the risk of fluorescent light. In places where you can control your lighting a bit, decorative light panels for migraines may be one possible solution.
Blue Light and Migraines
Research suggests that a large majority of migraine sufferers are photophobic, meaning they have a strong aversion to light during a migraine. Some studies put the percentage of photophobic migraine sufferers as high as 80%. That means that blue light from unfiltered fluorescent lamps is a serious contributor to migraine pain.
What Triggers a Migraine
Researchers are still unsure of the exact cause of migraines. However, several factors can contribute to migraines.
One common factor in migraines is hormonal changes, especially in women. In children, boys are more prone to migraines. But among adults, women are three times as likely as men to suffer migraines. Estrogen and other hormones may fluctuate naturally with the menstrual cycle. For many women, migraines are more common in the days just before or during a period, when estrogen drops. Others may experience an increase in migraines during pregnancy or menopause. Medications that affect hormonal levels, such as hormone replacement therapy and oral contraceptive, can also affect migraines. Some women may find that these medications increase the number of migraines. However, the science behind the changes is unclear, as some women experience fewer migraines while taking these medications.
Another significant factor in migraines is food intake. Some salty foods, highly processed foods, and aged cheeses have been correlated to migraines. In addition, the amount of food intake can affect migraines. Skipping meals or fasting can trigger migraines. For this reason, it is important for migraine sufferers to plan meals carefully and make sure to eat at regular intervals. Maintaining a steady diet can help reduce migraines.
Just as certain foods can trigger migraines, certain drinks have also been shown to increase the occurrence of migraines. Alcohol may be one trigger. However, wine seems to have a stronger effect than other forms of alcohol, indicating that further research is necessary. Caffeinated beverages may also cause migraines. This may be due to the body’s stress response, which can be a response to caffeine intake. Again, further research is required to determine the exact link.
Stress, Sleep, and Other Migraine Triggers
Some people find that stress can be a trigger for migraines. In this case, fluorescent lights may be a part of the problem. Many people experience elevated stress at work. While some of this may be due to the pressures of the work environment, many are surprised to learn the role of lighting. Most offices are lit with unfiltered fluorescent light. The blue-tint, imperceptible flicker, and harsh glare of fluorescent lights can increase stress levels, eye strain, and fatigue. All of these are factors that can contribute to the onset of a migraine.
Changes in sleep-wake patterns can also induce migraines. As a general rule, getting adequate sleep on a regular schedule tends to reduce migraines. However, fluorescent light can disrupt normal sleep patterns. Sunlight has a blue tint. So when the body perceives the blue tint of fluorescent light, it may incorrectly interpret the light as the midday sun. This sets the body’s internal clock to high-energy mode. It also inhibits the release of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. Sitting under fluorescent lights for a large part of the day can throw off the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and increase the likelihood of migraines.
Strong stimuli are also known to induce migraines in some people. The most common migraine-inducing stimulus is bright light. This may be sun glare, but could also be bright artificial light, including the glare of unfiltered fluorescent light. Both types of light shine in the blue end of the spectrum. Because the light of the midday sun is in the blue range, the body is programmed to react to this kind of light by increasing energy and suppressing melatonin. In addition to its effect on sleep, this can also trigger a stress response that leads to migraines.
Scientists still don’t know the exact mechanism that causes migraines. For this reason, finding a single, completely effective cure has been difficult. Traditionally, doctors have offered two ways of dealing with migraines. The first method is medication. However, many medications have serious side effects or can be dangerous when taken for too long. For this reason, many doctors suggest that the best form of prevention is to avoid migraine triggers. In fact, avoiding the stimuli that seem to initiate migraines can be one of the most effective tools in preventing migraines. However, it is not always possible to control your surroundings to eliminate all triggers.
One common trigger that you can control is fluorescent light. It is true that many public spaces are lit with old-fashioned fluorescent lamps. In these cases, a good pair of rose-colored sunglasses can help. But for places you live and work, there is another answer. Instead of placing a filter in front of your eyes, filter your light! Octo Lights offers a wide variety of decorative fluorescent light covers. These covers filter out harmful blue light and unnecessary glare, while still letting through enough light to keep your room looking bright.
Decorative Light Covers
The Octo Lights decorative light panels are referred to as decorative because our light covers do more than just filter light. With beautiful nature-inspired images, our light covers can transport you to anywhere in the world and beyond. One of our most popular light covers is also a classic. A simple image of white, fluffy clouds against the backdrop of a clear blue sky brings to mind the most pleasant spring days. Installing one of these lights can transform any room. Many customers say that these light covers feel just like sunroofs, except that the sun is always shining.
If you are looking for something a little more “out of this world”, you can try any of our astronomy-inspired light covers. These decorative light panels feature stunning full-color images of night skies, galaxies, and nebulae. Their unique appearance is perfect for budding astronomers who are just becoming interested in space. They are also great for adults who find a night sky relaxing and easy on the eyes.
In addition to our sky images, Octo Lights offers images of rugged mountain landscapes, relaxing tropical beaches, and underwater worlds. You can let Octo Lights decorative light covers take you away to whatever location suits your mood.
We make all of our light covers of UL certified self-extinguishing material that is safe to use in any room. They are easy to install and can transform any room. With Octo Lights decorative light covers you can defend yourself against the harsh glare and blue tint of unfiltered fluorescent light, to lessen the impact of fluorescent light on migraines.
So if you are ready to experience better light and fewer migraines, check out our selection of light covers and order yours today!