FL-41 Lenses & Light Sensitivity

  • 9 June 2024
  • Stephanie Cassidy

For many people, migraines and light sensitivity (photophobia) are debilitating conditions that significantly impact their daily lives.  Migraines are more than just severe headaches: they are complex neurological events that can cause a range of symptoms, including intense pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound. Photophobia is a common symptom not only in migraine, but also in other conditions like chronic headaches and following a concussion.

The exact mechanism by which light exacerbates migraines isn't fully understood, but it is known that certain wavelengths of light can trigger or worsen these headaches. This is where specialised tinted lenses may be helpful.

FL-41 Lenses

The tint that has received the most attention for migraine is FL-41.  Originally developed to reduce light sensitivity attributed to fluorescent lighting, the FL-41 tint blocks blue-green light.  A study in the 1990s showed a significant improvement in migraine frequency and symptoms in a group of children.

A couple of other studies have also shown FL-41 to be helpful in managing migraine symptoms, but it remains somewhat unclear how, or even if, it is working.

At Cassidy Eyecare, our experience reflects this uncertainty.  We have some patients who report a significant improvement in light sensitivity with FL-41 or other therapeutic tints, and others who have noted no improvement.

In our practice, we have a range of therapeutic tints, including FL-41, which can be tried in-office.  If they seem likely to be beneficial, it is possible to make prescription spectacles, including progressives, incorporating these tints.

The first step is to book a comprehensive eye exam with Stephanie Cassidy.  That helps us understand the state of your visual system generally, and therapeutic tints can be discussed at this initial visit.  Book now to make a time.

About Stephanie Cassidy

Stephanie completed her Bachelor of Optometry in 1995, and has experience in optometric practice both in NZ & overseas. Her optometry interests are in both general optometry and children's vision therapy clinics. She has owned and operated Cassidy Eyecare since 2010.

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