According to a study published in 2009, 70% of fibromyalgia sufferers have photophobia (a.k.a. light sensitivity). If you’ve never experienced light sensitivity before, it’s very similar to that familiar feeling you get after exiting the movie theater. The piercing, blinding light leaves you squinting in an effort to minimize the light reaching your retina. However, photophobia suffers have that feeling very frequently, but more intense and more often.
This is a guest post written by John Martinez in association with Axon Optics.
Sunglasses can Make Photophobia Worse
For most, their solution is to just wear regular, old-fashioned sunglasses – both indoors and outdoors. Unfortunately, though, if you wear sunglasses long enough, your photophobia will eventually get worse! A study published in Elsevier Survey of Ophthalmology concluded that, “the use of sunglasses indoors must be strongly discouraged. By wearing dark sunglasses indoors, patients are dark adapting their retinas and aggravating their sensitivity to light.”
In a nutshell, when you dim the environment around you from a pair of sunglasses or by deliberately sitting in the darkest part of your office, you adapt your eyes to the darkness. Sure, it gives you immediate relief, but in the long- term, it’s not the correct solution. After a while of doing this, even the dimmest of lights could cause immense aggravation, even though it didn’t before.
If sunglasses aren’t the right solution, then what is?!
According to neuro-ophthalmologist and professor at the University of Utah Medical Center Dr. Bradley Katz, “right now, we really don’t have any pharmacologic treatment for sensitivity to light. What we do have are optical treatments or natural treatments.”
And one of the optical treatments is FL-41.
Finding Light Sensitivity Relief
Fl-41 is a specialty eyewear tint created decades ago to help people with photophobia.
The tint works much, much differently than sunglasses because it only blocks certain wavelengths of light (blue and green) – the harmful light that’s causing the discomfort! As opposed to sunglasses, which blocks all forms of light.
Dr. Katz, along with nine other ophthalmologists conducted a pair of studies where they discovered that FL-41 tint offered superior light sensitivity improvements over other lenses such as gray and rose.
After realizing its potential in treating photophobia, Dr. Katz co-founded a company called Axon Optics to help make them available to the public when they were only previously available in labs.
Axon Optics’ fl-41 tinted glasses are designed for people with chronic migraine or people who suffer from photophobia.