Finding the best lighting for the office can be challenging especially when you are considering specific needs like a health condition or other desired results from your lighting choices. Communication with staff is very important. It is better for all involved to talk these things through and to listen to understand. Sometimes it just takes a quick check or it may even be a compassionate afterthought. Migraine lighting is a must-have for the person living with migraine.
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Make Your Space As “Migraine Friendly” As Possible
Fluorescent lighting which is so popular in offices and many buildings can be a trigger for migraine attacks. Healthline explains that because fluorescent light is pulsing it is likely a migraine trigger. This makes sense due to their further explanation that pulsing or flickering lights can cause a migraine as well. This can take some creativity to avoid. There are some ways to do this. Lamps can be your best friend. I am a teacher and in my classroom, I use lamps with light bulbs that are migraine friendly instead of the fluorescent lights. This could be great if you have a home office or a smaller office/work setting as well.
The National Headache Institute says that bulbs that are within the 2700 Kelvin range are better for migraine sufferers. These are the bulbs I have in all my lamps. Once I had one burnout and made the mistake of thinking I would temporarily use a “regular” one I had from before. Big mistake. I noticed an amazing difference and took it out immediately. I use the Relax bulbs and have found them to be much more compatible with a “migraine-friendly” work environment.
I have also recently added some green lighting to my room as research is showing that green light has benefits for people with migraine. They are said to actually reduce the pain. I am excited to see how this works out this year and will report back later. Even while setting up my classroom I have enjoyed the change. I have not actually had them on when I have had a migraine so that would be a new experience. Check out the picture below.
In addition to those lights, I have the Ally lamp and light bulbs to try as well. These can be left on for a specific amount of time in order to help with a migraine attack You also need to follow directions on not looking directly at the light. I will have more to share with you including whether or not it worked for me.
Other Lighting Issues: Personal Experience Related to Work
Hearing the words “Lights Camera Action!” may not send everyone into a tizzy, but for me, it did the trick. I was at a district event that took a lot of time and planning. It was the beginning of the school year and this was a kick-off for all staff to attend. The excitement was in the air and the feeling they were going for was accomplished. There was a band, flag girls, an amazing step show, and a variety of speakers.
In the midst of it all, there was an abundance of flashing lights. They have not always bothered me. However, as the years have passed that has changed. They aren’t always a big deal, but it seems the prolonged flashing of bright lights is a problem. It took a school picture day with cameras outside my door to alert me to this new trigger. That unintentionally sent me to the ER. That was unintentional and after that changes were made to prevent that from happening again.
So How Do We Find the Best Lighting for the Office and Beyond?
Find what works best for you and make it happen. You may need to have a conversation with your workplace or bring in your own as I did. This can be done in smaller offices as well. I realize if you are in a large office you may not have control over this. You may have to try things like short breaks or trying to dim your own area. I’ll be coming out with another post on working with migraine. I do not mean for this to sound as if this is an easy or simple task. With some thought and homework, my hope is that it can result in an improved quality of life. May you find the best lighting for the office or other workspace and live better!
As I have also said in my personal examples compassion followed and I am not placing blame here. This is truly a matter of how we do better so that we can live better. I don’t want to leave big life events and I don’t want others to have to alter what they want to do either. How do we make both of those things a reality? These are things to ponder and strive for together.
Other Helpful Resources
Self Magazine interviewed me on working with migraines Read it here for some great tips.
Read my post about Migraine Triggers and How to Avoid Them.
Don’t Miss Future Stories and News
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Migraine & Headache Treatment Specialists. National Headache Institute. (2023b, June 19). https://nationalheadacheinstitute.com/
Silver, N. (2022, August 18). The best lighting for chronic migraine. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/migraine/lightbulbs-for-chronic-migraine#10