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Here’s Why Bright Lights Make Headaches and Migraines Worse

Ever want to crawl into a cool, dark closet when you have a throbbing headache or migraine? Scientists say there is a reason why we want to retreat from the sun or bright sources of light.

New Research Shows Nerve Cells in the Eye Are to Blame

We know that light-sensitive nerve cells in the eye transmit information to brain regions involved in mood and involuntary processes such as heart rate, breathing, and fatigue. But now, in a new study, researchers wanted to look at what type of unpleasant physical sensations do bright lights produce in people suffering from headache and migraine pain.

For the study, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center showed different colored lights to 81 people who frequently experienced migraines—once during an attack and once between attacks. They also showed the same lights to 17 people who had never had a migraine.

Lights Shown to Trigger Uncomfortable Sensations

Among people in the migraine group, lights of all colors triggered unpleasant physical sensations—including tightness in the chest or throat, shortness of breath, light-headedness and nausea—both during and between attacks. And every color except for green elicited intense emotional responses as well, such as anger, nervousness, hopelessness, sadness, depressionanxiety, and fear.

People in the non-migraine group, on the other hand, reported no physical symptoms under any of the colored-light conditions— and they reported that all of the colors evoked positive emotions, not negative ones.

It’s still unknown why people with and without migraines react so differently to light, say the authors. But they say their findings do show how light can trigger such a wide variety of responses, and that its relationship with migraines is not just about making headache pain worse.

Specialist For Headache and Migraines in Southern California

Contact Us Today for a FREE CONSULTATION at Pasadena Pain Management. We can evaluate your headaches, migraines, TMJ pain, head and neck pain and tell you whether our TruDenta care program is right for you.

Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.