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Migraine Glasses – A Review of Indoor and Outdoor TheraSpecs

Alicia’s migraine glasses review

When I first experienced the horrible symptoms of chronic vestibular migraine I worked at a giant corporate office with an open floor plan – my worst nightmare. As my light sensitivity and ataxia got worse, I was grasping at any treatment I could to still be able to function at work. It’s a terrifying thing to be faced with expiring FMLA and still have ongoing symptoms. I found myself wearing sunglasses almost everywhere, just to get some relief. That’s when my neurologist recommended I try FL-41 glasses. Who knew that migraine glasses could help so much.

Both lenses were provided to us for free by TheraSpecs in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own.

FL-41 glasses for traveling

TheraSpecs was kind enough to offer Jennifer Bragdon and me a free trial of their FL-41 glasses in exchange for an honest review. I selected a pair of the Audrey lenses, which are one of their most popular frames. In fact, I saw a lot of this style at this years Migraine World Summit live event. I was anticipating them being a little heavier on my face than they actually were. It was a nice surprise for thicker frames. My face tends to be very sensitive with certain pressure points, so this was a big plus. 

Since I received these right before several trips to California and Kauai, it gave me lots of time to test it in airports, which are always a little difficult for me. Since we fly out of DFW, I feel like it’s just constant chaos from tons of people, loud noises, and lots of bright lights and open windows. In fact, a lady was getting tackled to the ground by police while screaming her head off as we exited security. While TheraSpecs can’t exactly take away crazy, it can help with keeping you (and your brain) calm! Anytime I feel my eyes are strained a bit or start to notice that build up of pressure in my head, I would slide them on. It really helped take that edge off. 

Big box stores- The ultimate migraine glasses test

Obviously I spend a lot of my time at the grocery store and lately with the cookbook, I’m there sometimes 2-3x a day. This used to be one of my worst triggers. I remember first starting the Heal Your Headache diet and feeling incredibly overwhelmed by trying to dodge carts and small children. All while reading tiny little labels when my eyes felt like they were jumping around. When you have a vestibular disorder like vestibular migraine, these types of big box stores can be incredibly disorientating. At the time I really didn’t think of using my FL-41 lenses and now I wish I would have.

Most days I can handle shopping without them, but whenever I feel overly stressed or it’s a crazy day there with lots of people, I like to slid these on as a preventative measure. You know when you’re a kid and you pretend certain glasses give you X-ray vision or make you invisible? It’s sorta like that. I kinda like that it feels like I’m in my own little rose colored world. 

Migraine Glasses - A review of indoor and outdoor TheraSpecs

Final thoughts

The only downside I really noticed when trying these was that the rose colored tint is kind of dark and very pink. Now that I work from home, most of the lights in my house are off or dimly lit. I also keep the brightness on my computer screen turned down really low. This made it difficult for to me to use these inside my house when working on my computer. I find they’re better suited for extra bright and busy places like the airport or grocery stores. Perhaps if you’re in an office with a ton of florescent lights that you can’t control, these migraine glasses would be a good fit.

Audrey Indoor Glasses

Jennifer’s outdoor lenses review

Migraine Glasses - A review of indoor and outdoor TheraSpecs

I work full time as an Early Intervention Developmental Specialist. This requires me to travel to various local preschools daily to observe children so needless to say, I spend a lot of time driving.  On top of that, I live in Florida where the sun shines for at least a portion of nearly every day.  After my VM diagnosis, I began to have a lot of trouble with very bright sunlight as well as dappled light.  That light that comes in through the trees creating speckled areas of sun and shade that flicker as you drive through them…you know that light I’m talking about right?  It’s pretty much torture for someone with vestibular migraine.  It’s painful and sometimes even disorienting.  So, I knew I needed to do something about it.  When I saw an opportunity to try the TheraSpecs FL-41 glasses I knew I had to try their outdoor lenses.

The perks of outdoor lenses

I have to say I was impressed from the moment I opened the box.  I received the TheraSpecs style called The Haven in tortoise. They feature dark, polarized, outdoor lenses that provide better protection against bright sunlight than regular sunglasses with 100% UVA/UVB protection. They were delightfully presented in a well cushioned box, protective bag and even included a lollipop.  A LOLLIPOP! If you know me, you know sugar is not a trigger for me and it definitely brings me to my happy place.  Score one.

Migraine Glasses - A review of indoor and outdoor TheraSpecs

Once I put them on I was pleasantly surprised.  My head is on the smallish size so I always worry that sunglasses will look too big or fall off my face when I bend down.  That didn’t happen with these, they fit perfectly!  Score two! 

The next thing I noticed is how light they were.  This was unexpected and not something I even considered before considering migraine glasses at all.  They are very lightweight, so they won’t cause trouble for those that are sensitive to the pressure some glasses place on your nose.  Another great aspect of their fit is that they aren’t tight but are also not so loose they are in danger of falling off.  I’m not sure how they accomplished the perfect balance of holding onto your head without squeezing it but they did – score three!  

Next I stepped outside to get a good look at the tint.  I can’t believe how much crisper they make the world look, while still toning down the bright light.  It’s like some kind of magic trick.  I’m not very tall and often have to look up at people I’m chatting with. Gazing upward toward the bright Florida sun can be problematic.  These really do help to turn down the brightness helping to relieve migraine associated photophobia. It’s really it’s kind of amazing.  Score four.

The driving test

Lastly, I put them to the test and wore them while traveling to a school visit. I drove through my first patch of dappled light and honestly, for the first time I didn’t flinch. Before long I was focused on the traffic & songs on the radio. The next thing I knew I arrived at the school. I realized that I wasn’t bothered by the light for the entire drive. I was a little disappointed in myself that I didn’t pay closer attention and focus on my response to the light for the entire drive, then quickly realized it was actually the best possible response. To go on with my day and NOT realize I had vestibular migraine for a few minutes.  What an amazing gift.  Score five.

If I had to have one criticism, the only thing I would say is that I wish the tortoise shell design on the arms of the glasses was a bit lighter in color. It’s so dark you can hardly notice it while I’m wearing them. I think the goal was to match them to the dark lenses. Honestly though, I’ll take the dark arms over not having to cringe each time I drive through dappled or bright sunlight.  I love these migraine glasses! If you have trouble with bright, outdoor or dappled, flickering light I would definitely suggest giving them a try. 

Haven Outdoor Glasses

Migraine Glasses - A review of indoor and outdoor TheraSpecs

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7 thoughts on “Migraine Glasses – A Review of Indoor and Outdoor TheraSpecs

  1. I have used thera-specs for years–always for outdoors, sometimes for indoors. I am getting more and more photo-sensitive as time goes on. Cannot go outside or drive thru sun-dappled trees and bright sunny days bring on attacks even when I am wearing glasses, even when I am passenger and I have wide-brimmed hat and shirt over my face whether or not I start out w/ a migraine. I have never heard from anyone who has photophobia as bad as mine and I have also never heard from someone who wears Axon FL-41 lenses

  2. I have been experiencing stabbing pain with headlights. During the day regular sunglasses work fine, but after dark I can’t wear sunglasses. Will these help with headlights? Thanks.

    1. Hi April, You know, I’m really not sure! I consider my outdoor glasses like sunglasses so I’ve never tried them at night. I’ll try it sometime and get back to you. 😘

    1. Hi Nada,
      The arms are tortoise shell (brown & tan) and the lenses are more tan (brown) than grey. Xo

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Migraine Strong

The Migraine Strong team has a passion for writing content about living with migraine. We rely on our personal and professional experiences to bring information to our readers that will help them get migraine in better control and live the lives they desire. We empower our readers with evidence-based and actionable information to work alongside their healthcare providers so they may minimize the impact of migraine in their lives.

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