Why Wearing Sunglasses Indoors is a Bad Idea
Light sensitivity (photophobia) and migraines are usually a package deal for most, kind of like the small side of vegetables you get with your dinner entree. Nobody wants them, and it’d be better if they just stayed off our plates.
Unfortunately, photophobia is more common than you may think. The most common cause is dry eyes, along with these conditions:
If you’ve ever suffered from light sensitivity, a lot of people will tell you that wearing sunglasses indoors is a good relief method.
And they would be right… sort of.
If you have ever experienced photophobia, you probably get significant relief by wearing sunglasses indoors. However, research shows that over time, it can make your light sensitivity WORSE.
You see, our bodies are adaptable. If we wash our faces a lot, it is said that we tend to produce more oils to compensate. If we work out the same muscle group with the same workout, our bodies will eventually adapt to the range of motion and results will differ. Our eyes are no different.
You know the familiar feeling when you’re exiting a movie theatre and you’re hit with that piercing blinding light that feels like someone is aiming an industrial laster in your retina at point blank range? That happens because your eyes have adapted to the dark.
Wearing sunglasses indoors is like being in a constant movie theatre. Your eyes get coddled. Shielded. Constantly protected from all forms of light.
With time, your eyes will begin to adapt to the darkness. Eventually, even the dimmest of lights could be aggravatingly sensitive.
This news might be frustrating to migraineurs with extreme light sensitivity. You might be asking yourself “ Well now what do I do?”
Don’t worry, science has a solution!
Neuro- ophthalmologist Dr. Bradley Katz says, “Right now, we really don’t have any pharmacologic treatment for sensitivity to light. What we do have are optical treatments or natural treatments. There are ways that we can reduce the amount of painful light coming into your eyes so you can be more comfortable.”
They key is to understand that not all light is the same. And not all light is triggering your sensitivity.
When you wear your sunglasses indoors, you’re attempting to block ALL types of light but it’s much better to filter only the offending light. That way, the “movie theatre effect” is mitigated.
According to a pair of studies from researchers at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Fl-41 lenses are currently the most effective at blocking the wavelengths associated with light sensitivity.
In summary, instead of wearing sunglasses indoors or changing the lighting in your home to resemble a cove, try light filtering lenses that only block the light that’s actually causing your sensitivity.
A great thanks to John Martinez for writing this guest post!