Learning to live with Vestibular Migraine is a life-long process, but tips and tricks from those with Vestibular or other forms Migraine can be so helpful. However, it is sometimes hard to find an all inclusive list of things that people have found helpful in the past. This is a list, which will be continually updated, containing items that patients have found to be helpful!
The Allay lamp’s intention is to decrease migraine triggers by emitting a calming green light that is proven to decrease photophobia, anxiety, and stress. We know that there are many wavelengths of light, which make up the whole world of colors, but for those with Migraine most of those lights are intolerable. Wearing migraine glasses is one solution, but another is to use this lamp. This lamp triggers small electrical responses in your brain, instead of large electrical signals that most bands of light cause. You can dim it, place a shade on one side for decreased light overall, or change it to a whiter light that is still soothing.
There are so many pairs of glasses my patients have found to be helpful. Migraine glasses are intended to block blue light, in addition to yellow and other waves of light. Blue light ranges from 400-750nanometers. Because it is such a wide range, different kinds of blue lights are more and less problematic for your migraine and related symptoms. Some blue light glasses block only some parts of the blue light spectrum, even the parts that are good for you. Blue light around 460-500nm is actually healthy – we use blue light to monitor our melatonin levels, which affects our sleep-wake-cycle. Blue light can even be used to treat Seasonal Affective disorder. Blue light below 430nm is the “bad” blue light. The intention for a good pair of blue light blocking glasses is to block the blue light under 430nm. Special migraine glasses, like Theraspecs and Migraine Shields, and AxonOptics glasses do just that!
Theraspecs are the pair of glasses I let patients use in the clinic. I really like them as the pink hue from the FL-41 glasses are soothing for many of my patients, and they were created by a person in the Migraine Community. According to their website, TheraSpecs wearers experience 74% fewer migraine attacks on average per month, which for people with photophobia (light sensitivity) will make a huge difference. Even if you aren’t sensitive to light, Theraspecs will make a difference!
Theraspecs work to block the harmful blue light waves, provide wrap around protection of your eyes, and focus on blocking blue light the most at 480nm, the most aggravating wavelength for those with Migraine.
Migraine Shields are the best pair of glasses if you don’t want any color distortion in your vision. Most migraine glasses have FL-41 lenses, which are tinted pink – Migraine Shields uses a slightly different technology and aren’t tinted pink. These are great for work environments, using the computer, or choosing anything where color might be important. Migraine Shields do not come in a large enough size to fit over other glasses if you have a prescription! However, Migraine Shields have just released readers. These readers come in many shapes, sizes, and are so much cuter than the ones you find at the drugstore – these really multitask and are SO helpful!
AxonOptics are also a great option for Migraine relief. They are not too pink, lightweight, and come in three different tints. AxonOptics glasses have three tints for three intentions: indoor, outdoor, and transitional. Transitional lenses take a little longer to make, and they are a little more expensive. However, if you are going to purchase 2 pairs anyway, it may be worth it.
Research has found that FL-41 lenses need to be specifically made for people with light sensitivity. AxonOptics creased their specific glasses for Migraine by crafting a lens that is consistent, effective, and a nice color. Additionally AxonOptics has a plethora of frames you can choose from, and an option for contact lenses.
These can also be in the form of prescription eye glasses – if you’d like them to fill your prescription they can do that so you can still be working with these on!
Why Not Just Wear Sunglasses?
Sunglasses, while they may provide relief for your migraine in the moment, block too much light. If light is a trigger for you already, you don’t want to make it an even bigger trigger than it is already. When you wear sunglasses all day, inside and outside, it blocks many wavelengths of light, not just those in the blue light spectrum which work to block the provocative forms of blue light. If you block many kinds of light, not just the ones that typically affect migraine, you may end up sensitizing yourself too all light, making your triggers worse!
The headache hat is a tool you can use to soothe the headache part of your Vestibular Migraine, if you have them. I have found that patients in the middle of an attack will get their headache hat from the freezer, and feel at lease some relief. I would put the entire thing in the freezer, so you don’t have to deal with putting it together when you’re in the middle of a Migraine attack. It’s an easy, natural, way to give yourself a little relief.
Food and Beverages for Vestibular Migraine:
Imperfect Foods is a weekly delivery of produce, meat, dairy, and snacks that is completely customized to your liking. You can choose what you’d like to go into the box, and they’ll deliver it to you on a set day for your whole neighborhood. I love Imperfect Foods, as they deliver the food that would normally be thrown out by grocery stores – your produce sometimes looks funny or misshapen, but is perfectly consumable!
They have options for organic or non-organic, and many other fun products that will make your life easier for when you really don’t want to go to the grocery store!
Ritual Zero Proof is a whiskey, tequila, or gin alternative that tastes like the real thing, but without the alcohol! It really does taste like the real thing, but has no alcohol, no hangover, and no migraine! This was started by three people who do drink but wanted an additional way to enjoy a cocktail that wouldn’t give them the tipsy feeling. Although not intended for a vestibular migraine diet, it fits perfectly into your lifestyle!
Sulfites and histamines can be part of your trigger load. Because wine, and other food & beverage categories, can contain quite a few sulfites finding ways to avoid, or remove, the sulfites is helpful! PureWine Wands remove the sulfites from the wine, which are produced by the grape skins during fermentation, and naturally occur in almost all, if not all wines. Removing these will help, but make sure you follow the directions as they do have to sit for a while to be effective.
Books for Vestibular Migraine:
There are a few books that Migraine patients should read, whether you have Vestibular Migraine or another kind of migraine. These will all help you understand Migraine and how to manage your symptoms
This book is by well-known neuro-otologist, Dr. Shin Beh. He goes through the steps from finding out you have Vestibular Migraine to learning what to do next in order to manage your Vestibular Migraine symptoms. This is an absolute must-read for all vestibular migraine patients – either if you have a new diagnosis or you’ve been managing your symptoms for a long time.
This was the first Migraine book I read when I started treating patients with Migraine. It really helped me understand the vastness of triggers a person can have, how to manage the symptoms, and what a migraine actually is. It’s around 300 pages, but it’s a quick read and it has charts in the back to help you analyze your migraine!
This book will give you a step-by-step guide for dietary recommendations for migraine and vestibular migraine. It will take you through the elimination and reintroduction of foods into your diet for a successful migraine lifestyle!
This is a short list of many Vestibular Migraine Hacks that will help make your lives easier! Check back soon for more helpful products and tips as this list grows!