Light was the absolute worst when my migraines kicked in. The more the migraine escalated, the worse light became.
I can stare at fluorescent lights now and be fine because I’ve brought down my brains sensitivity and hyper-vigilance to environmental stimuli.
In this article, we will be talking about fluorescent light, light sensitivity, what it’s doing to our brains and how we can prevent it from causing migraines and headaches.
Can fluorescent lights cause migraines and headaches?
Yes and no.
It has been thought for years that fluorescent light was a trigger that we had to avoid to prevent a migraine but that has changed in recent years.
Yes, it may trigger, but other triggers may cause a migraine that creates the hypersensitivity to light which we then get affected by and end up blaming the light…
When in reality it was another trigger.
But we also have to remember that triggers are different from causes.
Even though we may have a sensitivity to a food that triggers our migraine…
It’s really the gut infection we have that’s causing the sensitivity and setting us up for trigger.
So we want to differentiate the two and make sure we are dealing with causes and not just palliating with trigger removal.
Fluorescent light is highly artificial and because of this, causes strain on the body, brain, and eyes…
Especially if we are under it after morning hours and you’ll learn why later in the article.
How to prevent migraines from fluorescent lights?
Preventing trigger and ideally preventing all exposure to fluorescent light is the name of the game.
We want to reduce our sensitivity to it, reduce our exposure to it and understand why it causes problems so that we can minimize the damage.
These three tips will get into it.
The 3 best tips for fluorescent light sensitivity with migraines and headaches
There are three factors here that will make or break your brain.
1. Blue light
Why does fluorescent light cause us problems?
We know that fluorescent light is artificial and we have never been exposed to this type of light before in a million years of evolution.
But it also creates a huge shift in our brains rhythms.
Fluorescent light contains a large spectrum of light.
See this infographic on fluorescent lights effects:
But our brains have been genetically wired to receive blue light in the morning to wake us up and amber light in the evening to wind us down.
Every cell in our body and brain works on this cycle.
When the blue morning light comes in, it triggers our cortisol(stress hormone) to wake us up, make us focused and give us energy.
When the blue light disappears, an orange light is left in the sky, triggering our brain to drop cortisol, and raise melatonin(sleep hormone) so that we can wind down and have a deep reparative sleep.
But when we are under fluorescent lights, this doesn’t happen.
Our body stays wired and our entire cycle shifts.
We can end up taking our stress hormones right into sleep, and not having our sleep and repair hormones working at all.
This is a recipe for very high trigger levels, very low threshold and bad foundational principles.
It’s one of the reasons night shift work is now classified as a carcinogen.
We want to avoid this.
Ideally, we would completely avoid fluorescents but we can hack it by using things like amber glasses which can be found through this link or switching to other forms of light that don’t contain the blue spectrum.
Remember even our phones and tv screens release blue light and this is why we have apps like fl.ux and twilight as well as night mode on our devices.
To learn more about blue light see this article.
Watch this video to understand more about using glasses to block blue light here:
Next, we need to understand electromagnetic fields.
These are fields created by electric devices and anything with a battery.
Our body is electric, it functions on a very small current of electricity. (The earths natural resonance that keeps us alive is under 10hz)
But our devices do not. (They can range from 20hz to 300Ghz+)
They use huge amounts and exposing our body to these can have grave effects.
Every day more and more studies are coming out showing that EMFs can be both neurotoxic and carcinogenic. (Article)
This is for regular people. The sensitive migraine brain is even more fragile to its effects.
We have to reduce the total EMF exposure. Do you know what your daily total is?
When we are exposed to these fields, they stimulate our tiny little cells and make them go haywire.
Electromagnetic fields come from:
- Anything with a battery
- Smart meters(remove immediately)
- Fluorescent light
- Other electronics
Luckily the electromagnetic fields of fluorescent lights drop off fairly quickly so as long as we can keep our distance from the absolutely necessary ones, we are not exposed to as much of its negative effects.
3. Environmental sensitivity
Environmental sensitivity is a huge problem and even though it may trigger us sometimes, it’s not a cause.
For millions of years we have been exposed to all manner of sounds, lights and smells.
If they caused us to become crippled every time they came along, we wouldn’t have survived this far.
So I encourage you to ask and find out if your environmental sensitivity is just a byproduct of a hypervigilant brain.
A brain that cannot deal with the stress it’s under, a brain that has been put on high alert because it thinks it’s dying and a brain under a huge amount of oxidative and inflammatory stress.
It’s very possible.
Studies have actually shown that by only reducing food triggers, migraine sufferers reduced their sensitivity to environmental stimuli like light.
This changes the way we see migraines and headaches and their triggers.
But it’s a better way of looking at things because it changes our focus from one of stopping symptoms and avoiding triggers…
To one of finding the root cause and supporting the bodies ability to cope with it.
But there’s another new trick coming out in studies lately.
BONUS: Green light for migraines
This abstract says that green light does not apply to the photo-phobia or light sensitivity that migraine sufferers commonly experience.
On top of that, they found that patients experienced a 20% reduction in pain as well.
So when making the switch, cut out the blue and use more amber and green.
If you are experiencing really difficult migraines that aren’t responding to treatment read our article on understanding status migrainosus and intractable migraines here.
To understand more about migraines and what to do about them join the community here.
Are you sensitive to fluorescent light?
Are you sensitive to other types of light?
Let me know in the comments below and remember to share this with someone else that may be sensitive.
Holistic Health Practitioner
Mark Canadic is a writer, speaker, holistic health practitioner and migraine community leader. Read Mark’s inspiring comeback story, “My Burnout and Brain Fires that Lead me to the Root.” Feel free to send Mark a message here.