A recent study published in the journal Cephalalgia found that specially tinted glasses could prevent migraines in people whose headaches are triggered by certain visual patterns. Study author Jie Huang, an associate professor of radiology at Michigan State University in East Lansing said “Up to 42 percent of people who have migraines accompanied by visual ‘aura,’ such as flashes of light, may benefit,” from the tinted glasses. Tinted glasses have previously been used to help treat symptoms similar to those of dyslexia. For the study, 11 patients with migraines and 11 patients without headaches were assessed using functional MRI machines, which capture brain activity in real time. Participants in the study were asked to look at stressful striped patterns, consisting of high-contrast stripes a certain distance apart, with three different pairs of glasses. It was found that patients experienced less discomfort with each of the sets of glasses, but experienced the most relief with the specially tinted glasses. It was found that the patients with a history of migraine reported a 70% reduction in discomfort when viewing the stressful pattern through the specially tinted glasses. The tinted glasses were individualized for each patient in order to maximize comfort and minimize distortion of the pattern. The glasses consist of regular glasses with precision tinted lenses which can be used as often or as little as the patient chooses. According to the study’s authors, this study marks the first time that scientists have been able to come up with a neurological explanation for why tinted glasses work in preventing migraines. Unfortunately because of the relatively small size of the study, more research and data collection is needed in order to determine how effective these tinted glasses really are, but this study has been called a promising start to future research.
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