Migraine help? Try wearing tinted glasses, says new research by UK universities

Updated: July 1, 2020

HERE’S some positive news for people who experience migraines – new research suggests that wearing tinted glasses may be a big help.

Experts have long believed that wearing shaded specs may reduce the frequency and severity of migraines, particularly for people who are sensitive to light.

Now a recent study by the University of Essex and Anglia Ruskin University confirms that wearing tinted glasses could also make reading easier for some migraine sufferers.

The new study looked at what sort of lighting people feel the most comfortable with when reading. Researchers found that those migraine suffers who experience auras (a type of sensory disruption) also struggle with everyday lighting – but coloured tints could help.

Arnold Wilkins, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Essex, explained: “Our study showed a physiological difference between individuals with migraine aura and those without. 

“Those who experience migraine with aura chose strong colours, while everyone else preferred lighter shades – white and pale yellow or blue – the colours we regularly experience in everyday life. 


“We found the sensitivity to everyday light could be reduced by using carefully-chosen coloured tints, and when these were used, people’s reading dramatically improved. They could complete a word search 40% quicker with coloured lenses than without.

 “Reducing the trigger for migraines by using coloured lenses could reduce the number or severity of attacks. Coloured lenses could also help patients with other neurological conditions, such as autism and Tourette’s, but further research is needed.”

Professor Wilkins is the inventor of the ‘Intuitive Colorimeter,’ a device that is used by opticians to decide what colour tint can benefit a patient most.

Professor Wilkins worked with colleagues Amelia Aldrich and Paul Hibbard from Essex and Alexandra Vieira, who led the study, Ian van De Linde and Peter Bright, from Anglia Ruskin University.

  • To read more about migraines on the NHS website click here.

Photo Credit:

Main image posed by model courtesy of Public Domain Images / Pixabay.

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