You know how it feels when you have a migraine and your head is pounding, or you can’t see because of the light? Of all the symptoms that come with migraine headaches, photophobia — sensitivity to light — is one of the most distinctive and it’s not just an inconvenience.
It has been found that people who suffer from migraines often face social isolation as a result. Light sensitivity in migraine also requires special treatment for those who need glasses to see things clearly.
But what causes this symptom? How does it make you feel? What can be done about this discomfort so we can live our lives any way we want? This article will explore these questions and more!
What is Migraine?
Migraine is a condition that can affect people of all ages. It manifests in many ways, including recurrent headaches and other symptoms like light sensitivity, nausea, vomiting, etc. It is often accompanied by extreme pain and discomfort.
Generally, the risk of getting migraine increases with age. However, children can also fall prey to this condition. Before puberty, around 3 – 9% of the population is estimated to suffer from migraine headaches; during adolescence it can jump up to 15%, and then only decrease again in adulthood (to around 5%).
The causes of migraine are not entirely understood, but genetic predisposition and environmental factors have been found to influence the chance of developing this condition. A brain-based dysfunction is often assumed to be a culprit for migraine headaches as well, but it’s difficult to find a direct link between these two so far.
What Causes Light Sensitivity in Migraine?
Migraine is not just a headache. It can also lead to some other symptoms that are less common, including sensitivity to light. This is called photophobia, and it’s one of the most distinctive symptoms of migraine. Learn more about its causes, how it makes you feel, and what you can do to reduce the discomfort so you can live your life any way you want!
This symptom is often considered because of high levels of serotonin in the brain, but there are also those who argue that it isn’t directly related to serotonin. In fact, some studies have shown that photophobia affects females more than males. It has been proposed that this condition is caused by ocular blood vessels becoming more dilated and sensitive to light.
The good news is that there are things we can do to reduce this discomfort, so you can enjoy life again! Keep on reading for more details about this symptom and how to treat it.
How Does Photophobia Feel?
People who suffer from migraine headaches with photophobia tend to experience eye pain and discomfort because of visual stimuli. That is because photophobia tends to be triggered by bright lights, or sunlight that enters the eye through glass or water. It can also come with other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, pain in the jaw joint, fatigue, depression, and confusion.
What Can Be Done?
There are several ways you can reduce or prevent photophobia.
Lying in a dark room with your eyes closed is probably the most effective way to get some relief from this symptom of migraine headaches. However, it may not be possible for everyone all the time, especially when we need to go outside and live our lives! So, what else can we do?
There are also glasses that can be worn to offer relief from photophobia. These act as sunglasses, but they come with blue light-filtering lenses. That means less visual stimulation at the same time!
These types of glasses tend to work by reducing the intensity of the blue light our eyes experience. They lack this colour in artificial lighting, so they can be helpful in preventing migraine headaches with photophobia.
Also, wearing sunglasses outside is a great idea as well. It may also help you avoid other eye-related problems like dry eyes and red eyes that come from being out in the sun for too long. Make sure you always protect your eyes!