Could A Pair of Glasses Alleviate Migraine Headaches?

  • BY Justin Alvarez

You know when it’s coming. You feel nauseous; you find it difficult to stare at the light outside. Your head begins to throb. Sometimes, it’s too difficult to even step outside.

Migraine headaches affect nearly 42 million Americans and one of the most common neurologic diseases there is. However, a doctor at the University of Utah’s Moran Eye Center has developed a pair of glasses that may alleviate symptoms for a significant amount of patients.
Working with University of Utah photonics researcher, Dr, Brad Katz, the neuro-ophthalmologist who invented the coated lenses, “discovered that a class of cells in the eye that specifically respond to pain and light sensitivity act as a protective mechanism.” He added, “These cells have nothing to do with vision, nothing to do with seeing. Their main function is protection so we don’t stare at the sun.”

The team designed a pair of glasses with a rose colored tint called FL-41 (pictured above) that blocked the same wavelengths of light that can trigger the migraine headaches. With a form-fitting frame, which prevents any ambient light from coming in around the sides, the design could be a life saver for the 80 to 90 percent of migraine patients who are affected by light sensitivity.

Katz has launched the company Axon Optics to develop and market the non-prescription glasses, which start clinical trials next monthl. As Katz told KSL 5 News, “I’ve been inventing stuff since I was a little kid, so I was just waiting for the right thing to come along.”