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Green Light Therapy Reduces Migraine Pain, According to Science


When you suffer from migraines, you may be willing to do whatever you can to stop the pain. Medication can be hit or miss for migraines, and often all you can do is wait for them to go away. If you have chronic migraines, this can be a miserable event to constantly deal with.

Fortunately, researchers have found a new therapy for migraines that shows promising results. Don’t let the name fool you, green light therapy isn’t just a fad. Research has shown that it can reduce the frequency and intensity of your headaches. Read on to find out how this new therapy could end your suffering.

Green Light Study Details

The study was first published in September 2020 in the Headache diary of the International Headache Society. The researchers and study authors are affiliated with the University of Arizona School of Medicine, Tucson. Are:

  • Dr. Laurent F. Martin, Department of Pharmacology
  • Dr. Amol M. Patwardhan, Department of Anesthesiology
  • Dr. Sejal V. Jain, Associate Professor, Pediatric Neurology by Joint Appointment
  • Dr. Rajesh Khanna, Professor, Department of Pharmacology
  • Dr. Vasudha Goel, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology
  • Dr. Felesia N Jones-MacFarland, Department of Neurology
  • Dr. Mohab M Ibrahim, Director of the Chronic Pain Management Clinic; Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology

According to Mohab Ibrahim, MD, PhD, lead author of the study, this is the first clinical study to evaluate the use of green light therapy as a treatment for migraines. While there has been speculation about the effects of the therapy, this study is the first to provide conclusive evidence. It provides the foundation for an exciting new treatment alternative to drugs that could be ineffective or cause undesirable side effects.

The details of the green light study

The study included 29 patients. Seven of them suffered from episodic migraines, while the rest suffered from chronic migraines. the difference between the two types it is in the number of migraines the patient has. Episodic migraines are classified as people who have fewer than 15 migraines per month, while chronic ones are classified as 15 or more migraines per month.

The 14-week study was divided into three parts. The first 10-week part involved patients being subjected to white light-emitting diodes for one to two hours a day. The second part was a two week break from any light treatment. The third part also lasted 10 weeks and involved patients subjected to green light-emitting diodes for one to two hours a day.

During the study, patients continued treatments previously used for migraines, so there were no other changes to their usual regimens. The study evaluated a primary and a secondary outcome. The main one was the number of headaches during the treatment periods. Secondary was the intensity and frequency of headaches reported by participants during the two-week break.

The results showed that the white light treatment had no significant effect on the patients. To generate any specific data, the reductions in headaches had to be combined for patients with episodic migraine and patients with chronic migraine. Overall, there was an average of a 9.3 percent reduction across all categories. For the secondary outcome, there were also no significant changes,

The green light treatment was exponentially more effective. In patients with episodic migraines, the number of headaches was reduced by an average of 69.6 percent, while patients with chronic migraines saw an average reduction of about 42.2 percent. Patients reported an overall better quality of life when assessing the secondary outcome, although this could not be quantified in a particular number.

Meaning of the results for patients and the medical community

For decades, the scientific community had no real treatment options for people with migraines, except for oral medications and home remedies. If oral medications did not help, get Botox injections was the next step.

Botox It supposedly blocks neurotransmitters from sending pain signals from your brain. However, this is not the desired treatment as you could end up with other problems if you don’t feel any pain. Also, not many people are comfortable with the idea of ​​putting a needle in their face (although it is probably more comforting than a migraine).

Being able to treat migraines with green light therapy opens up a myriad of treatment avenues. The treatment does not have side effects like those of drugs. You don’t have to worry about injecting chemicals into your body through Botox. Also, the treatment can be done at home. In fact, at the end of the study, patients were offered the opportunity to keep their green light devices, and 28 out of 29 people chose to keep them.

The most obvious benefit is that green lights are inexpensive. Almost everyone can afford to include an LED light bulb in their budget and you won’t need a prescription for it.

Types of migraines

If you are reading this, you probably already know what migraines are. Hopefully, you don’t. However, there are several different types of migraines that you may not be aware of. This section will cover them.

You already know that there are episodic migraines and chronic migraines and that these are classified by the number of migraines you have per month. According to the American Migraine Foundation, there are some other types of migraines. These are:

  • With aura
  • No aura
  • No migraines with headache
  • Hemiplegic
  • Retinal


When it comes to migraines, the aura refers to sensory sensations that can accompany migraines. This can be in the form of visual or physical disturbances or speech problems. Sometimes the aura occurs a few minutes before migraines start, which is why people think of the aura as a warning sign of an impending migraine.

The aura does not usually last as long as the migraine. Typically, the aura lasts less than an hour. The alterations are not permanent, although they can be debilitating for the duration of the aura. just around 30 per cent of people with migraines experience aura.

Migraines without headache

It is possible to have an aura without a headache. This may seem like a small annoyance, but it is still very unpleasant. This type of migraine may also be called a silent migraine or acetalgic migraine.

With this type of migraine, you would experience all the symptoms of the aura. Unfortunately, they would still be as debilitating as a headache aura. Many people who do not have headache migraines will also experience other types of migraines.

Hemiplegic migraines

This type of migraine mimics a stroke. You may have weakness on one side of your body and a “tingly” feeling on that side. It can also be accompanied by alterations in the visual aura. This type of migraine may or may not cause a headache.

Retinal migraine

As you can see from the name, this involves the eyes. This type of migraine can cause loss of vision in one eye. Vision loss is not permanent, but it can last from a minute to several months. Not much is known about retinal migraines, but doctors believe it may be a symptom of some other serious underlying cause.

Migraine statistics

Many more women have migraines than men. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, one in five women suffers from migraines instead of one in 16 men. The reason for this is that hormonal fluctuation is a major trigger for migraines.

During childhood, boys have more migraines than girls. However, when girls’ menstrual periods begin, the risk of getting migraines increases many times greater than the boys. Unfortunately, migraines can start during childhood. Statistics show that one in 11 children suffers from migraines.

Treatments for migraine

Traditional migraine treatments were mentioned above. They include medications and Botox injections. Medication is the most widely used treatment for migraines. However, it is not always effective. Common medications used for migraines include:

  • Analgesics
  • Triptans
  • Dihydroergotamines
  • Lasmiditan (Reyvow)
  • Ubrogepant (Ubrelvy)
  • Opioids

The biggest problem with medications is that the side effects can be as serious or worse than migraines. They can make people feel sick and some of them are addictive. Also, many of them cannot be taken long term, so they are not an effective treatment for managing chronic migraines. That’s why the study of green light therapy is so exciting – you don’t have any of these issues.

Final thoughts on studying green light and migraines

Migraines are a huge problem around the world, so any new treatments that may prove effective are welcome. The results of the green light study are phenomenal and can bring relief to people without breaking their wallets. Besides that, they don’t need to see a doctor or fill a prescription.

This was the first study of its kind. More studies will be needed to verify the results, but there were no side effects in any of the participants. That means if you suffer from migraines, you may want to find a green LED bulb and try the home treatment. You have nothing to lose except a bit of a headache. Plus, you’ll get a better quality of life in the process.


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