Special tinted glasses that help with migraine/photophobia

Since some here have noted the problems they are having with artifical light, I thought I would share some information about a special tint used in glasses that is supposed to help those with photophobia and migraines. I learned about it from people who have other eye conditions that cause light sensitivity. The University of Utah has found that a tint called FL-41 has helped some with migraines. Here is how they describe it:

"FL-41 is a rose-colored filter that we have found to be useful in patients with migraine headaches, blepharospasm, and other light-sensitive conditions. FL-41 was first described in a research project that took place in Birmingham, England. In this study, children with migraine headaches wore FL-41 filtered spectacles. The researchers found that wearing FL-41 improved the light sensitivity in these children and also the frequency and severity of their migraine headaches. Since that time, we have successfully been using FL-41 filtered lenses at the Moran Eye Center to treat these and other conditions.

Aided by funding from the Benign Essential Blepharospasm Research Foundation, we have found that blepharospasm patients are more light sensitive than people who do not have blepharospasm. We have also found that when a patient with blepharospasm has their light sensitivity treated, their blepharospasm symptoms are improved.

Recently we have tested FL-41 filtered lenses head-to-head against conventional gray sunglasses and plain, rose-colored tinted spectacles. We have found that almost all patients prefer wearing FL-41 filtered spectacles.

For more information, contact Mr. Charles Swallow at the Moran Eye Center Lab, 75 N. Medical Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84132 or at (801) 585-7800"

You can also go to their FAQ webpage which provides more info and also has a link at the top of the page for Research History and (personal anecodotes). You can send in your own glasses to have the tint added or have them make glasses for you, as in you send them your prescription and they make the glasses with the tint (costs more obviously). They will even make “fake” glasses (meaning non-prescription ones). I bought a pair of non-prescription ones and sent them to them to have the tint added. I wear the glasses occasionally inside and find they help, but you have to get used to the “pinkness” of the tint, as it changes what you are seeing obviously. I haven’t worn them enough to be able to tell you if they are totally beneficial, for I am trying to only use them when I need to, as I want to just let my eyes adjust naturally. However, I do recommend these over wearing sunglasses inside, even if not dark sunglasses, for other research literature notes that your eyes will get used to wearing sunglasses and you will end up needing them if you wear them indoors (as they aren’t made for that purpose.) The service from the U of Utah’s Eye Center was excellent (I called them first and questioned them on everything!) and the turn around time to receive the glasses from them was very reasonable, plus they paid for the shipping.

Just thought some of you might want to know. I am not promoting these folk, but can say that I had a good experience with them and it may be worthwhile for some to get this special tint.

Here is the web address for their FAQ page:
uuhsc.utah.edu/MoranEyeCenter/pa … 1_faq.html

Best, Bonnie

1 Like

Hi Bonnie,
Thank you for this information!! For $35 bucks I’m definitely going to give this a shot. I have a problem with light sensitivity and I’m always wearing my sunglasses indoors. I’ve had a couple family members tell me I should try colored lenses… I thought they were off their rockers and just trying to be helpful with their silly advice. :lol:


I think I may give them a try too. How do they look, Bonnie? Do you look groovy in your rose-colored glasses? 8)

— Begin quote from "MarciM"

I think I may give them a try too. How do they look, Bonnie? Do you look groovy in your rose-colored glasses? 8)

— End quote

LOL. That depends on the frame style and size of the lens, but yeah, they are pretty funky looking! On par with Bono from U2 and all his colored glasses that he wears - his are bigger, but I’ve often wondered if he wears them simply for fashion or if he has an eye issue. 8)


I also saw this study which gave me the idea last year to look in to tinted contact lenses. I have very severe photophobia and was having a problem tolerating any sunshine. I got the tinted contact lenses and they help a lot.

The type of tinted lenses that people wear for aesthetic reasons (just to change the colour of their eyes) don’t work as they don’t cover the pupil only the whites of the eyes. You need the type of tinted lenses that cover the pupil also and stop light getting in to the pupil. They are worn by people like us for medical reasons. I got my tinted lenses in the darkest shade of brown that they do. It makes a major difference. I wore them all summer. The reason these work better than sunglasses (although out in the sunshine I wear both) is that light can get round the side of sunglasses and still hit the eye, whereas with the lenses it can’t do that. It doesn’t matter if you don’t need contact lenses for your vision, they can make them without a prescription in.

My lenses came from a UK company called Ultra Vision. They don’t deal directly with the public, you have to get their products through an optician who orders them in. I don’t think they deal with The States, although I think it would be possible to get the same thing somewhere in the US. My optician didn’t know if they existed when I talked to him initially, but he went the extra mile for me, did some research and found a company who made them.

I got mine in the darkest tint which is 77% tinted. The colour I got, as I figured it would be the darkest and provide the most protection from the light, is chestnut. They are expensive, mine cost £160 and they only last for a year. They aren’t as comfortable as normal lenses (I wear contacts generally) as they are thicker, but you get used to it and the discomfort in my view is worth it.

One other thing, obviously they do change the colour of my eyes,. People do comment, generally saying what an amazing colour my eyes are and are they real etc… It’s a bit annoying but I get so much relief from them I don’t care.

Anyway, hope this might be of help to someone. As I said my photophobia is about as severe as it gets so it was worth shelling out the cash. They have made the difference between hiding inside with my curtains drawn to being able to go out in the sunlight.


Newly diagnosed and having a LOT of trouble with indoor lighting at work. Wearing my sunglasses inside seems to only make it worse. I’m hoping to try tinted lenses but having a hard time finding anywhere that sells prescription glasses with this tint. Has anyone purchased these recently? Any advice to someone newly trying to figure it out? Thanks!