It’s an attractive idea – a drug-free way to fight migraine symptoms. But although studies are somewhat promising, and some migraine patients have found relief, researchers have been wondering why tinted lenses offer relief.
First, a little background. One clue into migraine disease is that the brains of migraineurs tend to be hypersensitive. They can especially react to certain stimuli, leading to, for example, headaches.
Certain patterns, or alternating patters, are an example of something that can trigger migraine attacks (the same patterns that will make most people uncomfortable – and can trigger seizures in some with epilepsy).
This research, published this month by the journal Cephalalgia and coming out of Michigan State University, used these patterns to test precision tints.
The subjects viewed patterns with no lenses, with grey or control coloured glasses, and then with precision ophthalmic tints (POTs).
The POTs were specifically prescribed to each person using the Intuitive Colorimeter, which basically assigns a tint based on maximum comfort and reduced distortion.
Wearing the POTs resulted in 70% discomfort reduction. Why? The researchers discovered that the lenses supressed activation in certain parts of the brain.
Not only are migraine attacks triggered by visual stimuli, many migraineurs experience significantly increased discomfort all the time, not just during a migraine attack.
Could precision tinted glasses reduce migraine attacks, and promote more comfort and improved vision in general? The answer seems to be yes for many with migraine.
But the research won’t just help us with glasses. It may give another clue into the chain-reaction of migraine, and why some treatments work well for some patients and not for others.