Why is it when a person looks at a bright light, such as the sun, they experience pain or discomfort?

Recent research indicates that there are separate pathways between the eye and the brain, one for vision and another that causes pain – presumably to stop you from staring at the light that damages your eyes.

However, for a portion of the population, this pathway is hypersensitive and exacerbates pain even under otherwise normal lighting conditions. This results in migraine headaches, light sensitivity (photophobia), or other light sensitive conditions. Migraine glasses were developed to help in this situation.


The good news is that only a small portion of the light spectrum is responsible for migraine headaches and light sensitivity.

Special glasses with precision tinted lenses (often referred to as "migraine glasses") minimize the amount of painful light entering the eye. Clinical studies have shown that by blocking this light, many migraineurs have reduced the frequency and severity of their migraine attacks.    Glasses are available with or without an eyeglass prescription.

Axon Optics has utilized the latest research exploring the pain pathway associated with migraine and photophobia to develop the SpectraShield FL-41 migraine glasses lens. These lenses may help to reduce exposure to certain types of artificial light, particularly blue light and green light, which may exacerbate light sensitivity in those who suffer from migraines.   Both indoor migraine glasses and outdoor migraine sunglasses are an option.

Migraine Glasses – By Axon Optics


This is what can happen when you start wearing glasses for migraine and light sensitivity.


In a recent study, a team of academic researchers analyzed how this type of lens affects patients with a light sensitive condition called BEB. By wearing the lens, the patients saw a 2x improvement in their severity of light sensitivity compared to wearing regular grey lenses.


For migraine patients, a study performed by researchers at the University of Birmingham, England tested a group of migraine sufferers by having them wear migraine glasses with FL-41 lenses. Participants experienced a reduction in the number of migraines, from over 6 episodes per month to under 2 episodes per month.


Axon Optics’ team has fine-tuned the lenses in their migraine glasses to block the light implicated in triggering and exacerbating migraines.


More than 85% of our customers report that the lenses improve symptoms of photophobia and migraine headache.
Girl wearing migraine sunglasses
Migraine glasses lens technology


Research studies examined the quality of precision tinted lenses, commonly known as migraine glasses, from different vendors. These lenses were available in orange, rust, and green.

The results showed wide variations in the quality, spectral characteristics, and optical densities of lenses purchased from different optical shops and laboratories.

Axon Optics Spectrashield™ FL-41 lenses are proprietary. The lenses are used by thousands and offer a relaxing rose-grey hue with unique spectral characteristics. They have advanced ophthalmic coatings to reduce glare, scratches, and smudges. 

Many of our customers use them as migraine glasses or for problems with light sensitivity. Compare our indoor precision tinted lenses and sunglasses below.


Different people need different levels of protection from external light.  For many, a standard frame will offer sufficient protection because they block the majority of light coming into the eyes.  For others, a frame with an inner gasket that blocks nearly all external light will be the most helpful.

Standard Protection

Standard Migraine Glasses Frame

Standard glasses blocks most light.

Peripheral Protection

Wrap Migraine Glasses Frame

Glasses block additional light from sides due to curved lenses and frame.

Max Protection

Frame Compare Gasket

Curved lenses, frame, and inner gasket provide maximum protection from light.

Prescription Protection

Frame Compare Fitover

This style frame fits over prescriptions frames.


That can be a good solution when you are outdoors, but when you are indoors it will "dark adapt" your eyes.  Everyone has had the experience of being in a matinee movie in the afternoon and when you walk outside the sudden transition from a darkened room into the bright sunlight can be uncomfortable and even painful.

When you are walking around with sunglasses indoors you are doing the same thing. You are dark adapting your eyes so that when you do take the sunglasses off you are even more light sensitive than you were before. Precision tinted lenses (sometimes called "migraine glasses") may help solve this problem by blocking the most suspect light while letting the good light in.


There is a class of light sensitive cells in your eye that have nothing to do with vision or seeing, they project to different parts of the brain.  These cells are peculiarity sensitive to certain wavelengths of light and they are connected to brain centers in the brain.  Its why looking at bright hurts, its a reaction the humans and animals have.  This system is tuned up too high in migraine patients.

This is a cool picture of the special class of ganglion cells.  You can see the nerve ending sthat go off to different parts of the brain that don’t deal with vision.  You can see references and learn more about the studies involving light sensitivity, migraine, and migraine glasses on this migraine studies page.  We summarized the abstracts into easy to read formats.

IPRGC and photophobia
Image credit: GFP positive ganglion cell provided by Ning Tian, M.D., Ph.D., photographed by Bryan William Jones, Ph.D.


These glasses are a life-saver!

My first week of grad school was plagued by migraines from spending 2 to 8 hours a day under fluorescent lights. Putting on these glasses was an immediate relief, and I didn’t have a migraine all term!

Lisa H


I sent in frames I purchased at my local Costco along with my eye glass prescription because I didn’t think I would be happy in the end without trying the frames first. Turned out fantastic! Shipping and communication was super fast! I get a ton of compliments and the best part…since taking B vitamins along with my sunglasses I havn’t have a migraine with aura in over 5 months! Last year this time I was up to 6 a month. I highly recommend this company – life changing!!!

Nicole F.

Best thing that ever happen to me and my migraine.


Its been about a month and a half since I’ve received my indoor dalliance glasses and it’s been amazing. I got two pairs, one with outdoor tint (aerolight frame) and the indoor tint with the dalliance frame.


I was very skeptical about getting these because of the price but I have no regrets about doing so. Before I started using these migraine glasses I was constantly on pain and migraine medication (almost 100 pills a month).  I had migraines almost four days for the week and then on the days that I didn’t have any headache I was recovering from the ones I already had.


…My number of headaches have been cut down by more than half of the usual amount. I hardly ever take them off and when i do its because I’m putting on my outdoor pair. I love love love these frames and would recommend them to anyone that wants some relief.

Natasha M

These Migraine Glasses are an absolute Godsend!

Bought a pair of the flex curve frame with indoor tint to see if it would manage or have any impact on my lately frequent migraine attacks and increasing light sensitivity. Prior to getting these, I’d have to wear regular dark sunglasses all the time indoors as well as out or my eyes would hurt and a headache would soon follow.


When the glasses arrived to my door I was having a migraine attack at the time and I decided it was a good test to see what effect it would have. Within about a half an hour my migraine pain dropped from a 7 to 4, then a half hour after that from a 4 to 2, then after 3 hours the migraine was gone. I took no additional migraine medicine at the time.


Since having the glasses for about 7 weeks now I have had only 2 headaches that needed medication to stop or reduce which is a 75 to 90% decrease from what it used to be. Even if I wake up with a headache which is quite common for me, it will be gone within a half hour provided I wear my glasses from the time I get up. As far as light sensitivity, there has been a significant reduction of that was well.


My eyes don’t hurt nearly as much, and light is much easier for my eyes to handle, even outdoor light despite being only a indoor tint. Computer and TV screens are much easier to look at and my eyes feel more relaxed with the glasses on. Once again to test to see if the lenses were truly making a difference, I decided not to wear them for awhile and sure enough after about no more than an hour, the discomfort and sensitivity returned.


…Even with all day wear there’s no pressure points or any discomfort from wearing the frames, only the minor sliding issue. My mother who is also a migraine and light sensitivity sufferer tried the glasses on and noticed almost immediate relief of her symptoms. She is considering getting her own pair soon. I would highly recommend these lenses for anyone suffering from migraines, cluster headaches, and light sensitivity to try them out.

Steven E.