Dark Tinted Contacts Helped My Photophobia / Migraine Patient -

http://www.kastereyeclinic.com This is an article written by one of my patients after I fit her with a tinted contact lens in 2012. Here is her story. (Dr. Brad Kaster)

Prosthetic Tinted Contact Lenses

Photophobia, or light sensitivity, is an intolerance of light. Sources such as sunlight, fluorescent light and incandescent light all can cause discomfort, along with a need to squint or close your eyes. Headaches also may accompany light sensitivity.

Light-sensitive people sometimes are bothered only by bright light. In extreme cases, however, any light can be irritating.

Hemiplegic Migraine (HM) is a rare neurological disease, that is episodic in nature. When a patient is not in an HM episode, they look like any normal healthy person. HM is a rare form of migraine with aura that involves significant motor weakness. When a person is exposed to a trigger, an individual can experience episodes of prolonged aura, hemiplegia (paralysis of one side of the body), fever, symptoms of meningitis without the actual illness, impaired consciousness, headache, defective muscle coordination, nausea or vomiting, phonophobia, and photophobia. 2 Photophobia can act as a trigger as
well as an irritant to the HM episode itself.

I suffer from both Hemiplegic Migraine and photophobia.

It is difficult for most people to understand how limiting life can be when you have photophobia. It is difficult to work in a professional establishment as the lighting in offices, hospitals, and stores need to be bright for others to function.

When I worked in the hospitals all the hallways were bright, and drapes were always open. It looked cleaner and more sanitary that way. Even when I worked in the office setting, everything was very bright. But these lights would cause constant squinting and blinking which would then cause tension to my facial muscles, causing tension to my neck muscles, thereby causing the headaches, which could lead to a Hemiplegic Migraine attack. I would also experience pain to the left side of my eye with exposure to
bright lights.

In my home, almost every room is dark and all the curtains are closed. I have difficulty driving at night due to the glare of oncoming headlights, and the LED lights, which are becoming more popular due to its energy efficiency, are especially worse. But during those special occasions when I have family and friends over, all the lights are turned on to make everyone more comfortable, and I try to suffer through it the best I can.

So I finally asked my eye doctor if there was anything I could do to decrease the sensitivity to my eyes. I told him that I did not do very well with sunglasses because I did not have much of a bridge on my nose and they seem to constantly fall off, or else I am always adjusting them. I also become quite dizzy from sunglasses due to my other diagnosis of Meniere’s Disease. I also hated wearing sunglasses at grocery stores and in the house, because it made me feel embarrassed and self conscious.

So, wondering if sunglasses were my only option in life, I contacted my eye doctor Dr. Brad Kaster from Kaster Eye Clinic to see if I had any other viable options. I researched the internet and knew that Nike had specially tinted red contacts that they sold, but were taken off the market. I emailed my doctor to see if he might have known of any other companies that sold tinted contacts. After researching for a couple of weeks he was able to contact...

...I mentioned prosthetic tinted contact lenses to my neurologist the other day at my appointment so that he is aware of the benefits of these products and maybe even help other patients suffering from photophobia. I have been blessed with proactive physicians both at Cleveland Clinic and here in my own town of Green.

Hemiplegic Migraine can be very difficult to treat and there are no physician’s that specialize in this disorder due to the rarity of cases. It can be quite debilitating and disabling and symptoms often vary from individual to individual. It is important to be proactive and to always be willing to research new ways to help promote a better quality of life for oneself. With that said, I firmly believe that these prosthetic tinted contact lenses have improved my life.

Now, with my contacts, I can go outside without sunglasses. My kitchen curtains are gone, and all the drapes are open in all my rooms. I look at the light and it doesn’t hurt. I don’t squint or blink constantly like I used to. I can drive at night without the fear of getting into an accident. The numbness and heaviness I feel to the left side of my body when exposed to sunlight is lessened as soon as I insert my contacts.

I have been able to minimize at least one of the triggers that can cause an HM attack and for that I am very grateful. I can honestly say that it has made my life so much better. Many thanks to Dr. Kaster and to the staff at Kaster Eye Clinic!

www.kastereyeclinic.com    330.899.7161


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  • "I have been getting headaches from too much light for as long as I can remember. I used to be referred to as the kid that wore sunglasses back in high school.....I was wearing two pairs of sunglasses at the same time that I realized there has to be a better solution....."