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The power of light

It turns out that I am sensitive to the level of light. I know, it's rocket science. But it appears that this is a problem because I'm more sensitive than other people.

See, it started last year with headaches. These weren't ordinary headaches, but crippling-can't see-eyes-hurt ones. I had bloodshot eyes and wanted to keep them closed all the time to keep my head from feeling like someone had just dropped a brick on it. So I went to get glasses. Fat lot of good they did. The headaches went away for a while, but then they came back. I changed desks twice since last April, and even switched to an LCD monitor to reduce flicker.

Finally, last week I got fed up. These headaches only happen at work - I can stare at the computer all day long at home and not have a problem. So I finally figured out what the difference is. My desks with this company have always been interior. I have no natural light and must rely upon the flourescents. So, voila, cause identified!

I contacted the facilities guys who brought in the OSHA experts. They measured the light with 2(!) meters. Seems it's fine, but I'm still broken. This seems to be a somewhat common problem, so they turned off one of the lights overhead. I think I may ask them to turn off one more, just so I can avoid the afternoon headache.

All of that to say that I woke up this morning with a headache-hangover and it's made me cranky all day.

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Did no one diagnose this as migraines? My trigger for migraines is nearly always light related and sometimes computer related. I had an eye doctor give me glasses not because my vision is that bad, but because he wanted me to have an anti-glare coating. I also have an anti glare screen over my monitor and these days, I sit in the dark. And I still get headaches from time to time.

Totally light sensitive. I know exactly how you feel and I sympathize. It's just miserable.

Oooh, that sounds terrible! Is any of it pregnancy related? I have a friend who has to wear dark glasses all the time because his eyes just can't cope. I haven't talked to a doc about them being migraines, mostly because all I get is pain. None of the shooting lights or nausea or anything. And denial. Denial is an excellent tool. :)

Migraines have not been pregnancy related, though they do seem to be hormone related (but not reliably when I ovulate or before periods. Just spiky at times I appear to be spiky).

(and if you'd stepped of that thar river for a minute or two of research, you'd know that migraines don't always come with auras or nausea. Light sensitivity is a good indicator though)

See? It's a wonderful river. Runs right down the middle of my brain. The thing that worries me about all this medical knowledge and its availability is that it's *so* easy to read something and fit the symptoms to match the expectation.

But I'm going to go look now. Just in case I need a raft. Or a paddle.

Well, yeah - it's easy to assume it's something that it's not. But a serious, big-time headache that has recurrence leads me to think perhaps it's not such a crazy idea.

I followed your advice and looked it up. Seems I have several triggers. I mean, I knew they gave me headaches, but migraines? Hello, Denial. So now I have an appointment to see my Dr. tomorrow. Just to be sure that I'm not making these things fit.

Not a bad idea. Thing is, most of the time when you say "I think I get migraines", they'll say "describe your symptoms" . . . and from there decide whether or not you have them.

Basically, I think any sort of debilitating headache is likely (though not always) going to be a migraine. It's what they are, by nature.

Anyway, good luck.

I've had my share of debilitating headaches, so I totally empathize. Have you tried wearing sunglasses at work? Not the super dark ones, but the blue-blocker kind or something that doesn't distort?

I much prefer having a team of people running around turning out lights for me. Worst case scenario is that I move desks to somewhere less bright. And darn it all if I'm not aiming for an office. :)

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