The Science of Light Sensitivity and How to Manage It

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Key Questions
  • How common is light sensitivity (photophobia) in people living with migraine disease?
  • Can people who are blind and also living with migraine disease be light sensitive?
  • How is migraine disease related to the optic nerve?
  • How do different colors/types of light impact migraine attacks?
  • Is it common for people living with other headache disorders to experience light sensitivity?  Why, or why not?
  • Are there any colors/types of light that are beneficial for people living with migraine disease?
  • What is green light and why should people living with migraine be excited about it?
  • Does filtering out specific colors/types of light really help with migraine attacks?
Interview Notes
Rami Burstein

Rami Burstein, PhD

Professor of Anesthesia and Neuroscience
Harvard Medical School

Rami Burstein is a professor of anaesthesia and neuroscience at Harvard Medical School, vice chairman of research in the department of anesthesia and critical care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and academic director of the Harvard Medical Faculty Physician Comprehensive Headache Center. Dr. Burstein is an NIH-funded translational researcher who works on the pathophysiology of neural pathways that underlie migraine pain. These neural pathways include networks of neurons that carry pain signals from peripheral structures to the spinal cord and from there, to brain areas that regulate pain perception, sensitivity to light, mood, appetite, hormonal secretion, autonomic reflexes, and sleep.

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