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Headache. 2000 Mar;40(3):194-9.

The wavelength of light causing photophobia in migraine and tension-type headache between attacks.

Author information

1
European Institute of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey; Kings Headache Service, London, England.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To ascertain the wavelength of light that patients with migraine and tension-type headache find uncomfortable between attacks.

BACKGROUND:

Photophobia is an abnormal perceptual sensitivity to light experienced by most patients with headache during and, also, between attacks.

METHODS:

We examined the discomfort threshold to light of low, medium, and high wavelengths in a group of patients with migraine (n=21), patients with tension-type headache (n=19), and healthy controls (n=21).

RESULTS:

The results indicate that the migraine group had significantly lower discomfort thresholds at the low (P=.001) and high (P=.031) wavelengths compared with both the tension-type headache and control groups; the latter two groups had similar average discomfort levels at these two wavelengths. With the medium wavelength, the control group had significantly higher discomfort thresholds than the migraine (P=.002) and tension-type headache (P=.031) groups; the latter two groups had similar discomfort levels at this wavelength. With unfiltered (white) light, the migraine group had the lowest discomfort threshold and the control group the highest (P=.026), whereas the tension-type headache group had an intermediate discomfort threshold.

CONCLUSIONS:

There were significant differences between migraineurs, patients with tension-type headache, and healthy controls in the wavelengths that are uncomfortable between attacks.

PMID:
10759921
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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