Hello, just found this forum recently and it is hard to believe I have not found it until now. I started a website due to my condition over 2 years ago and at that time I was scouring the web for information, something tells me I am suffering from MAV due to my Vertigo and Migraine response to LED/Florescent lighting. I am compelled to respond to this thread in relation to the comments on monitors, most specifically Plasma. I will also mention I have tried several medications and have been medication free for some time now. This is a result of avoiding my triggers primarily and experimenting with anti-glare coatings, Prism and other eye glass combinations. I think I can help by sharing my collected data about triggers and glasses, I will list some information below towards that goal however this is a long topic with many details so I will be available for further discussion as much as possible. Much of how I avoid triggers became possible by analyzing my very detailed headache calendars and reading about lighting technology. I am currently on disability so avoidance is an option for now…
Monitors: This is too complicated to get into every detail so I will start with the basics. Plasma is better for some because the light distribution is produced by each pixel, there is NO back lighting. Back lighting leads to a whole host of issues with LCD screens whether lit by LED or CCFL such as light “Bleed through” and flicker that can be intense especially if the back light is LED. Understanding flicker with LED is complicated but the most concerning thing to understand for us is how LED responds to fluctuations in power delivery. CCFL (Florescent) back lights leave behind a ghost image of light because they cannot react to fluctuations in power like an LED which can react immediately going from 100% on to 0% light emission creating intense flicker.
-Incandescent (Glowing hot metal, needs to cool to display flicker) Very little flicker possible
-CCFL/Florescent (Gases which glow leaving light behind when reacting to power delivery) Some moderate flicker possible
-LED (Either ON or OFF, this light leaves no light behind when it reacts to power delivery) Most flicker possible with light in history
One of the questions I have is whether or not even flicker free LED monitors are responding to the 60Hz power delivery? An experiment with an oscilloscope and different power set ups could be a great venture here…
Spectrum also factors in, LED’s are blue whether they look orange or yellow matters not at all. The light itself is blue at the source because they cannot make a red or green LED bulb that does not burn out in shorter time than a blue LED light (There are some monitors using red LED lights added to the blue to effect color however this is not removing the blue bulbs from the equation). Tricks like Phosphor coatings are used to “change” the spectrum of the blue light. Knowing this you can see how all of our tablets and other devices like Iphone’s have over the years become more “crisp” and bright white/Blue in appearance. This is due to a reduction in yellow phosphor coatings on the LED back lights themselves. Hopefully this helps with why for some people tablets and Iphone’s are more offensive than most other technology.
I am currently using a Pioneer Kuro PDP4020HD plasma monitor, this monitor is 7 years old roughly. For some reason the newest Plasma’s bother me much more than this monitor. Another thing of note however is without my current glasses I could not use this monitor at all in the up close computer monitor method I am using it now. Also, at a distance this monitor can be used for television with better results. My theory on distance is how it adds more natural light between the viewer and the display. Natural light is another topic that is very important to people with light sensitivity which I can discuss further in another post if requested.
Glasses: I have tried everything, I even tried welding glasses in my work environment before losing my job to this disease. The overhead LED lighting my company installed that triggered my disease into its current level of severity is truly the most offensively bright blue LED lighting ever made. I was already sensitive to florescent before this exposure however the LED sent me over the edge, my history is something else I would be happy to discuss if requested. I started with great success under florescent lighting using an anti-glare coating from Crizal. For 2 years I was “OK” under florescent lighting using a CCFL back lit computer monitor however this coating did not help me with LED lighting. I have realized it does help me slightly with minor exposure’s like using my Iphone for 1-2 minutes sparingly. It does help a little with LED tail lights on cars however I avoid driving in low light conditions at all costs. I have tried migraine lenses and many different colored lenses, my current lenses are the best so far, here is a list with some more detail:
-FL-41 tinted lenses (Rose colored) This tint by the Moron Eye center has been shown to reduce migraine incidents per month in a medical study performed by the Moron Eye center. By itself it does seem to “Mute” some of the brightness and block some ill effects of florescent lighting, 0 help with LED lighting. I found out through trial and error that adding the Crizal coating to this tint is what helped me the most, then I realized Crizal by itself is just as good and the tint may not really do much at all for me. Interestingly enough the Moron Eye center recommends you add an anti-glare coating to the tint! There are no studies I am aware of on the effects of anti-glare coatings and migraine.
-Crizal Prevencia (My current coating, blocks 20% of harmful blue light wavelengths) I have found this coating helps a lot with most florescent lighting and using my Plasma monitors for up to 1-2 hours a day. Certain environments are more taxing no matter what for example: Walmart (White floors and excessive amount of light) Any place that’s using reflective mirrors and florescent lighting in combination and CFL’s are much more offensive than traditional florescent lighting tubes.
-Prism I have a measurement of 4 or 2 OD in each eye, my vision however is 20/15 so no need for glasses in regards to sight. This is not a significant amount of Prism however it helps my eyes relax just a little bit more. Someone who contacted me through my website steered me into Prism due to some eye “Drift” he noticed with his eyes. My eye’s seem to drift evenly to center just a little bit. You need a supportive eye doctor to pursue this experiment because it is way off the normal path and requires an open mind, my doctor performed an eye drop test to confirm we had the right measurement. For this amount of Prism most doctors would not even prescribe Prism lenses so it is an abnormal pursuit however it added something important for me.
I have tried to just scratch the surface here without getting too long winded and losing everyone in the details, my research has involved speaking with doctors in the field of light and a plethora of Neurologist’s, Ophthalmologist’s, Chiropractors, ENT’s Natural paths and endless reading about technology and how it works. I do not claim to be an expert in any of these fields and my explanations are my understanding of this collective information, not definitive facts. I am currently living with this through avoidance which would not be possible if I had not tracked in such fine detail all of my reactions to light and the results. For example I know that I can tolerate more trips to Florescent lit stores (Grocery stores, Walmart as an example) on sunny days than I can on cloudy days, so why? Because the sun “washes out” some of the exposure to LED tail lights and helps regulate my brain once I return outside from the stores. Unfortunately the majority of stores in my area have at least some LED lighting or are all LED lighting and I cannot enter them at all. I could conceivably lose the ability to shop altogether in the near future and maybe even drive with the increase in LED headlight technology.
What I have learned is that I have this bucket I can fill each day, the only question is what will I put into it, what will I prioritize? Looking at my iphone for 1 minute adds to the bucket, writing this post for 30 minutes adds to my bucket. If I do not over fill this bucket I will not have intense Vertigo and Migraines. I have had some really bad reactions to medications like Topamax so this is how I cope for now and I hope some of you here find this info helpful. My website is called lightsickness.com and I have not updated it in over a year however I do reply to people who post there.
Avoidance is impossible for those who work in the IT field for example however I will tell you that I personally would be completely debilitated with all day long exposure to any computer monitor. I have noticed the severity of my situation is high compared to many, I believe I can contribute this to the extended period of time I spent trying to save my job under pure LED lighting. I believe that the more traumatic episodes you have the worse your condition can get, before they installed the LED lighting at my work I had much more tolerance to florescent lighting than I do now. It seems some people are having a certain amount of success with medications however I question if any medication could fix this problem for someone who is in an all LED environment at all times?
It is strange to live in a world where for me LED technology makes me very sick and the only answer to live with this technology is to medicate myself. Funny how there is nothing wrong with me otherwise, I have no issues with incandescent lighting or the sun…I do not get random migraines or Vertigo…LED lighting is the ON/OFF switch for my symptoms.
This leads me to the question’s for other’s: How self aware are you of your triggers? Is it possible many people with MAV or just Vertigo would be normal without all of these triggers in our daily lives? Are other’s here very sensitive to LED tail lights and overhead LED lighting, do you know what to look for when you are in a store or restaurant? Is the world of technology making you sick or are YOU actually sick…?
There is definitely a difference in peoples symptoms, sometimes I think it is a matter of how sensitive someone is and whether they notice what the triggers truly are…Someone who can use an Iphone but not an LED computer monitor might just have a much more offensive CP monitor than phone and be less sensitive in general than someone like myself. Or maybe it is something else?
I hope this is helpful info, sorry for the length. I also hope I have asked some helpful questions, I know the answers will help me understand commonalities better among those who are sensitive to eco-friendly lighting. I am excited to see there is a medically accepted diagnoses besides just migraine, I will bring the paper written by Jennifer Hart to my next Neurologist appointment.
Best wishes for all who suffer,