New Report Reveals High Personal and Social Costs of Light Sensitivity

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TheraSpecs Company, which makes precision-tinted glasses for people with light sensitivity, has released new survey data about how this often debilitating symptom affects patients with migraine, post-concussion syndrome, and other conditions.

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Our goal was to fill in the gaps in existing research and gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which light sensitivity and photophobia impact a person’s family, social, and work life.

Chronic light sensitivity affects millions of people worldwide, many of whom have underlying neurological conditions such as migraine or post-concussion syndrome. A new report from TheraSpecs® Company reveals just how significant the personal and professional costs can be for those who experience this often debilitating symptom.

“Our goal was to fill in the gaps in existing research and gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which light sensitivity and photophobia impact a person’s family, social, and work life,” said Hart Shafer, CEO and Founder of TheraSpecs. “We also gained insight into the general experiences of patients living with light sensitivity and specific experiences with available treatment options.”

The report revealed that chronic light sensitivity was most likely to prevent everyday activities, such as going into public places, time with friends and family, and work responsibilities. And this disruption was shown to be even more pronounced for individuals with post-concussion light sensitivity.

Another important finding was that light acted as a trigger for both pain and other condition-specific symptoms—such as vertigo, headache or nausea—for 81% of people with sensitivity to light, including 88% of those with a migraine diagnosis.

“In my patients with migraine, light sensitivity is the symptom they identify most often as their trigger, or the thing that pushes them over the edge and into an attack,” said Dr. Michael Ament, a neurologist and migraine specialist at the Ament Headache Center in Denver. “It is a marker of central sensitization and often the first recognizable sign of an oncoming migraine attack.”

“In particular, the light from computer screens, cell phones, and fluorescent light bulbs can trigger migraine in the susceptible individual,” he added.

The findings in the TheraSpecs report underscore the current cycle of negative outcomes for light-sensitive patients.

“People with light sensitivity often retreat to the comfort of a dark room or wear sunglasses indoors,” said Shafer. “Unfortunately, both of these options can worsen photophobia over time as well as take people away from work, family, and friends. Even more, they often choose to skip activities out of fear that light will trigger pain or other symptoms.”

However, there is hope for patients.

Precision-tinted lenses for light sensitivity are an effective treatment option that enables people to get back into the light and participate in activities that are important to them. In fact, 85% found noticeable relief with these specialty glasses, which block specific wavelengths of light that research shows can lead to worsening symptoms. Moreover, they were significantly more beneficial than other common remedies such as eye drops, wearing a hat or sunglasses indoors, and natural supplements.

Read the full report at theraspecs.com/impact2017.

About TheraSpecs
TheraSpecs was founded on the premise that light should never hurt, aggravate, or confine people    to a dark room. TheraSpecs are precision-tinted, thoughtfully designed eyewear created to filter    the light that can trigger or worsen migraine, post-concussion syndrome, and more than 50 other conditions. TheraSpecs protect and soothe the eyes and brain so those who are prone to migraine and artificial light-related pain can return to – and embrace – daily life.

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Greg Bullock
TheraSpecs
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Light Sensitivity Impact Report 2017