Those of you with migraines probably have experienced extreme sensitivity to light, sound, smell, etc. I’m not sure if these superpowers are the causes or the effects of migraines, but it seems that they can be both. It just seems to be all wrapped up together when the “beast inside is awakened.” The desire to avoid the triggers at all costs is as intense as the misery they cause, limiting my involvement in work, leisure, church, and social gatherings. However, the desire to figure out how to be able to participate is also strong. As a result, I have spent much of this summer trying to figure out how to wrestle with the Vision Superpower.
So, how do you block the light enough to be able to think past the sensory input but still allow enough sensation in to be able to see what you are doing? Axon Optics and Theraspecs propose that blocking a certain wavelength of light is the key issue for migraine sufferers. Eager to explore the option, I ordered an indoor pair and an outdoor pair of lenses to try over my current prescription glasses. I found that the indoor pair did help to reduce the intense feeling of light from the sun coming in the window, computer screens, and headlight glare on the road at night. The outdoor pair did not help AT ALL when outside. The sun was still simply way too intense; I needed major light blockage of more wavelengths to be able to survive outside. Both pairs were extremely heavy and uncomfortable to wear over my prescription glasses. Axon and Theraspecs do not offer refunds for glasses with prescription versions of their lenses. I have a complicated prescription, and my optometrist always works with me to get the lenses correct before I complete payment. So, I turned to him next rather than end up with a non-refundable pair.
For the outdoor glasses, I tried 2 different pairs of prescription sunglasses. The first was a wrap version that is commonly used for sports, like biking. These felt fantastic, because the gasket material that is used to block sweat for bikers served to seal out all light from the top, bottom, and sides for me. The glasses were also very dark, blocking a high percentage of many wavelengths. The problem for me though was that the distortion of the bent prescription lenses was so severe that I felt like I would kick into my migraine-induced vertigo with the slightest movement of my head or eyes.
Next, I tried safety glasses with prescription sunglass lenses. These weren’t as ugly as you can imagine; they were actually very sporty. The great part was that it appeared as if a major portion of the light from the sides would be blocked by the side panels. In the trial pair, the lens portion was as flat as my regular glasses giving me the impression that I had finally found something that would meet my needs. I was surprised when I tried on the pair with my prescriptions though. Evidently, prescription lenses are thicker than sample lenses which caused the frames to bend in a way that they wouldn’t even stay on my ears. I gave up on prescription sunglasses at this point, went back to my old Jonathan Paul Fit Overs, and decided that I would do my gardening in the evening rather than the bright afternoon sun. BTW – the Jonathan Paul Fit Overs, are lightweight and block a good portion of light, but they just seem to be too big for my narrow face. It’s the best I’ve got for now.
My indoor option hasn’t been as difficult. I now have new prescription glasses with tiny magnets in them that match to magnets in rose-colored clip lenses from Chemistrie. The Theraspecs website states that all rose-colored lenses aren’t necessarily blocking the correct wavelengths for migraineurs. However, my own logic tells me that there is probably a wider band of wavelengths that could help as demonstrated by the fact that Axon’s lenses are pink-ish and Theraspecs lenses are orange-ish. I have found that my Chemistrie clip lenses (rose-colored) have reduced my pain when shopping in big box stores with flourescent lights, working where glare is present, looking out the windows of my house, and worshipping at church where the chandeliers can cause problems for me. I do note that they do not work with my computer screen, because I basically just see rainbows. I don’t think that I had this problem with the Axon Over-Rx during my trial of them. However, the Chemistrie tinted clip is amazingly easy to put on, take off (leaving me with just un-tinted prescription lenses without the clip), and store in a slim sleeve for the next use. It is also helpful in many situations that used to cause me problems. They are darker than I had expected (block around 50% of the rose wavelength), but I am actually finding that I like it this way. When I need the blockage, I’ve got it! When I don’t, I can get rid of it quickly and easily. An added bonus: the clips are much more attractive than the Over-Rx:)
I saved the best for last. The least expensive and most helpful tool for conquering the Vision Superpower is this visor from Scala. Wow – this thing blocks light in EXACTLY the way that I need it to. It is much much more effective than any hat or visor I have tried yet. The band is very soft so that I don’t initiate any head-squeezing-migraine-coming-on kind of feeling. I find myself wearing this……..all……..day………long……..sometimes, because it blocks the direct light from bulbs overhead without preventing me from having enough light on my tasks. My recommendations are to purchase the navy blue so that you don’t have reflection from a lighter color and to remove the “lovely” bow that is attached to the back by a few simple stitches:)