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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Study Spotlight: Use of Colored Glasses to Help Mitigate Photophobia Symptoms Post-Concussion

By: Joel Luedke

Concussions are a unique and complex injury.  There are so many factors that can play a role as it is an injury to your central operating system that affects how everything works.  In an injury where it is hard to visually see what is injured and how well that injury is healing any advancement in treatment of the symptoms is a great step forward.  In this article we take look at visual symptoms, specifically photophobia.

What They Did: 
Researchers worked with 39 patients that had vision symptoms after suffering a mild-traumatic brain injury.  Using glasses of 1 or more colors researchers then used a penlight to illicit photophobia.  The different colored glasses were tested to see which color provided optimal relief.

What They Found:

The results showed that of the 39 patients with vision symptoms, 76% of them complained of photophobia.  Using the glasses of 1 or more colors resulted in a relief of symptoms by 85%.  The colors they found to provide relief were blue, green, red, and purple.  They found no adverse effects.


What It All Means:
We've talked on the blog before about concussions and limiting screens and things that emit 'blue light' on the frequency spectrum.  You could utilize a program such as f.lux to automatically do it for you (this is a great tool even if you don't have visual symptoms) or even buying amber colored glasses to filter the light out for you as you are watching TV or working on your computer or tablet.

This study is interesting in that they utilized many different colors in looking to help with the photophobia symptoms.  The researchers commented in the article that there needs to be more research on what color might prove to be more effective than others which obviously would prove useful as to not try out many types to see what works best.  The nice part of this treatment is there are options for color glasses that aren't very expensive (see below) and do not block out as much light as sunglasses would (they aren't the most practical for wearing indoors).

With an injury that is still being researched heavily this is a great option for simple yet effective treatment of photophobia symptoms and if that is something you or someone you know is dealing with we recommend giving it a try.

LINK: Bluelight Blocking Glasses
LINK: Sunglasses (make sure to pick the other colors)

Resource: Colored Glasses to Mitigate Photophobia Symptoms Posttraumatic Brain Injury
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