The Science of Migraine Glasses
A 2012 experiment found that blue wavelengths of light were more likely to cause irritation to photophobic individuals (those with an aversion to light caused by migraines or cone disorders) (Kardon). This experiment helped to explain numerous earlier studies which had found rose and red photophobia glasses to be an effective way to both prevent and manage migraines. Precision tinted glasses work by blocking the majority of blue light while allowing other wavelengths of light through.
The first study on migraine glasses took place in 1991, finding a strong preventative effect of rose glasses on the frequency of migraines. The researchers took 20 young patients who had been suffering from frequent ocular or optical migraines and found that “children wearing rose tints sustained this improvement up to 4 months…the mean headache frequency had improved from 6.2 per month to 1.6 per month (Good and Mortimer).”
A 2005 study concluded that red migraine contact lenses provided “rapid, safe, nonpharmacologic relief to most patients with acute migraine pain” (Mahoney). This experiment, conducted by Dr. Richard Garrison, instructed 33 patients with severe migraines to insert red lenses at the during a migraine attack. The experiment found that red migraine “lenses brought immediate pain relief to 31 of the  patients.” Indeed, “All but 5 of the 31 migraine-only patients had total pain relief” and five patients even reported total pain relief in the first 10 seconds of applying the red lenses (Mahoney).
Migraine Glasses Reviews:
SomniLight Migraine Glasses Review
Price: $49.99 (free shipping)
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The red tint of SomniLight migraine glasses blocks 99% of the blue and green wavelengths which can trigger or worsen migraines. Red tinted migraine glasses can reduce the occurrence of migraines by up to 74% and decrease migraine pain in as little as 10 seconds. Find SomniLight migraine glasses here. Now also available as FL-41 Migraine Glasses.
Pros: Blocks both blue and green wavelengths, which have been shown to trigger migraines.
Cons: Only available in a few styles.
Price: $198 (free shipping)
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This bundle from TheraSpecs offers both a dark tinted outdoor pair and lighter indoor pair of migraine glasses, so you can prevent migraines 24/7, whether you’re on driving in the afternoon or working late at night on your computer. Both pairs can fit over prescription glasses or be worn alone. Find Theraspecs Migraine Glasses here.
Pros: Now available in a wide number of styles!
Cons: A little pricey.
Migralens Migraine Glasses Review
Price: $64.99 (+4.99 shipping)
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While some migraine sufferers report experiencing relief from green lenses, there have not yet been any trials. Find Migralens glasses here.
Cons: likely effective for a smaller number of migraine sufferers than either rose or red tints, as green wavelengths are a particular trigger for many photophobia sufferers.
Good PA, Mortimer MJ. “A test for migraine in children: differentiation between migraine with and without aura using the VER to white, blue and red light stimuli.” In: Clifford Rose F, ed. New Advances in Headache Research. 2. Smith-Gordon, London; 1991: 93-100.
Kardon, Randy. “Melanopsin and its role in photophobia.” Acta ophthalmologica (Oxford, England) 90 01 Sep 2012: 0. Blackwell Munksgaard. 14 Aug 2015.
Mahoney, Diana. “Red-tinted contact lenses may offer fast migraine relief.” Clinical Psychiatry News Feb. 2005: 67. Academic OneFile. Web. 14 Aug. 2015.
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