Yahoo! Sees the (Fluorescent) Light

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 22, 2007

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I must admit that like many people, I’m not a fan of fluorescent lights, much as I know how much energy they save, because they always seemed to give me a headache. Apparently, I’m behind the times on this, and Yahoo!’s helping shed some light (couldn’t help it) on how far compact fluorescent bulb technology has come. A new Web site designed by Yahoo!, 18seconds.org, so named for the average time it takes to change a light bulb, has some of the facts, along with a map that shows how enlightened (their pun) your local area is, based on how many CF bulbs have been bought there, and how much money, energy, and gunk in the air have been saved. Yahoo! cofounder David Filo’s honchoing the Yahoo end of the project, which also includes Wal-Mart and a bunch of government and environmental organizations. Will it work? Not sure, but I think it’s better than trying to mandate the end of incandescent bulbs, as lawmakers in California and New Jersey have proposed.

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Reader Comments

dg

February 28, 2007 08:36 PM

Did you try the newer bulbs then? Any problem with headaches? We recently partially switched to fluorescent bulbs...they are really great...amazing difference.

Katie

April 18, 2007 06:38 PM

Aha! Fluorescent bulbs give me headaches and other issues (a sort of tunnel vision, spaciness). Is there any research out there about this? I work under them all day and it has affected my effectiveness (negatively). I'm looking for some findings. Any clue?

D.C.

April 20, 2007 03:39 PM

There are PLENTY of us that have a reaction to Fluorescent lighting! We will be using candles! How big will that go over? You are stupid to promote Fluorescent lighting....in many ways there is NO savings! ....a BIG MISTAKE! My health is MORE important! But then...more doctor bills to fill their pockets! What a farce!!! Don't you have anything better to do than to promote such nonsense!!?? Fluorescent equals fluoride...and Mercury and health problems!

D.C.

Health Hazards of Fluorescent Lighting

Known effects and their likely causes

The following is a list of symptoms and diseases known to be linked to exposure to fluorescent lighting:

Headache, eyestrain, eye irritation, fatigue, difficulty in concentration, increased rate of ‘misjudgments’ and accidents, malaise and irritability can be caused by noise, glare and flicker from fluorescent lighting.

Increased stress (which may in turn lead to heart disease) can arise from increasing the intensity of artificial light with fluorescent tubes. It has been shown that increased use of artificial light (rather than natural light) affects the levels of hormones in the body, particularly the hormones associated with stress, such as cortisol.

Variation in brightness, as provided by daylight, is necessary for the normal functioning of the body’s rhythms. The monotonous illumination of fluorescent lighting may also add to the changes in hormone production.

Allergic skin reactions and dermatitis can be caused by exposure to fluorescent lights. An unknown number of people suffer from ‘cutaneous light sensitivity’ due to fluorescent lights. This means that not only can they become allergic to fluorescent lighting but they can become more sensitive to ordinary sunlight.

Certain long-term, mild skin diseases can become worse if the sufferer is exposed to fluorescent light. Some medical drugs (including some tranquilizers, antibiotics, heart drugs and diuretics) can make you particularly sensitive to UV radiation (photosensitivity). Skin eruptions then occur even with the small doses of UV (in the 300-320nm wavelength range) emitted by white fluorescent lights.

Hyperactivity has been linked to the flickering produced by fluorescent lighting. Microwave emissions from fluorescent lighting are also suspected of contributing to these behavioral disorders. Other mild behavioral disorders in children may be made worse by working at school under fluorescent lighting.

Suspected effects

There is also some evidence that the following effects may be caused by exposure to fluorescent lights:

Increased risk of seizure in epilepsy sufferers

Higher incidence of miscarriage

Speeding up the aging of the retina. More health problems to fill their pockets.


Judith Wilde

April 24, 2007 12:16 PM

I am sensitive to fluorescent lights, especially when the ceiling is lower. I recently attended a quilting workshop and found that after an hour under these lights my eyesight became very blurred. Fifteen minutes outside in natural light helped but I was unable to keep up with the work because of the constant eye strain. I notice that my eyes become blurry when I am reading for any length of time under fluorescent lighting. I am concerned about the effects of a total ban on incandescent bulbs in the near future. I do have a slight pink tint on my glasses to help with this.

Pedro Valdez

April 29, 2007 08:44 PM

If you have problems with Fluorescent lights and headaches and the what not, you should ensure that your lights are running on an electronic ballast. The frequency of an electronic ballast is much greater than that of an old magnetic ballast.

Flourescent lighting is one of the greatest technologies ever.

Jerry S

April 30, 2007 07:21 PM

Pedro has no problem with fluorescent lights (and I assume CFL's) because he is fortunate enough to not have sustained an injury which compromised his vestibular system. And I sincerely hope that he never does.

For ten years I had to walk with a walking stick, as a positional reference, as I have lost my vestibular system in an accident.

Through Neuro-Optometric Rehab, I am being taught/trained to use my vision to compensate for that loss. The therapy is coming along to where I walk unaided and am starting to resume a semblance of a "normal" life.

However, CFL's completely and instantly take away my ability to walk and I become disoriented and even fall.

The folks that make a profit selling CFL's need to figure out how to solve that problem.

Also, autistic children are unable to function in a room with fluorescent lighting.

This is not a new problem.

However it appears that the CFL has some property which triggers off the horrific unintended consequences.

Please help.

Andrew P.

May 1, 2007 11:40 AM

A study of perceived eyestrain from fluorescent lighting performed in the UK about 15 years ago found it's not just in the minds of the people who complain about it. It turns out that the 120 Hz flicker (100 Hz in Europe), while not perceptible in our central, or "foveal" vision, is detected in our peripheral vision. It affects the ability to track lines of printed text, causing more strain on the muscles that steer our eyeballs. This is typically not a problem with compact fluorescent lamps, since their electronic ballasts switch at around 10 kHz, 100 times faster than fluorescent tubes driven directly from the power mains. Unless they are defective, they produce no perceptible flicker at all. However, fluorescent light tubes, as found in office and school environments, put out a uniform, nearly shadow-free light. It fools the eye into thinking that the lighting level is adequate. In fact, I've made light meter measurements in various places where I've worked during the 1980s and 1990s, and the lighting level has invariably been between 1/10th and 1/100th as bright as recommended in the Westinghouse Lighting Handbook, a standard reference for lighting engineers. That will not only quickly result in eyestrain, it WILL eventually cause permanent eye damage for folks that need to read a lot on the job. It's not the fluorescent light, per se, but the low light level that's the problem.

Sue K

May 5, 2007 08:39 AM

I too am concerned about the phasing out of incandescent light bulbs. Fluorescent light bulbs are known to drain vitamin A from our eyes. That loss may well be the result of eye damage, skin damage, nerve damage and allergies; not to mention all that a vitamin A deficiency can result in. Fluorescent lighting has always bothered me. Surely, there are other ways to save energy and protect our health.

G.D.F.

May 9, 2007 02:51 PM

Question: what is in a non-PCB electronic ballast? One malfunctioned in my work area and emitted an irritating fume, smelling like stink bombs. Two light fixtures (each with two 3'foot fluorescent bulbs) are no longer functioning and the plastic shield lamp fixture has black soot.

Laura

May 11, 2007 07:07 AM

I have what they call scotopic sensitivity, which means fluorescent lighting really hurts my eyes, head, and entire nervous system. My vision also gets distorted under these lights. I had some specially tinted glasses made, which help with the vision part but not with the pain. All I can do is avoid those horrible lights, which is difficult as a grad student. I've registered with the disability office so that I can be sure to have at least some of the lights switched off in the classrooms.

Go to www.irlen.com

They're the people that diagnosed me and made the glasses. I write about this in my linked blog, by the way.

Monica

May 11, 2007 12:19 PM

I became aware of my inability to function normally after being under florescent lights for any length of time. The compact flourescent lights recently marketed to not seem to bother me. I have one at home in my lamp and I can function quite nicely. What I seem to be bothered by are the long light tubes, especially when the ballast they are mounted on has metal reflectors. I was at a training yesterday and after about 30 minutes I started noticing having eye discomfort and difficulty listening to the speaker. I start feeling like there is sand in my eyes and as it goes on I start feeling like I can't breathe and I start feeling anxious, with a feeling of impending doom, almost like I'm having a drawn out panic attack. I moved my seat as soon as I noticed this, but even though I was no longer directly under the lights, I still seemed to feel the effects, and for several hours after leaving the setting I experienced drowsiness, fatigue and feeling shaky on the inside. It almost felt like I was having a seizure. Has anyone else noticed this? I've tried to find information on this and have found nothing that approaches what I experience.

ursula

May 14, 2007 08:52 PM

I have been complainng about these lights for years. Everyone thinks I'm nuts. I get really red and my vision is blurred. As soon as I leave the doctor's office it goes away. What the heck is going on?

Pris

May 16, 2007 03:24 PM

I have noticed for some time that in shops with bright lights that I feel light headed and dizzy e.g. Next, Gap. My eyes seem not to focus easily. When I go out into natural light I feel a lot better. Like Monica 11/5/07 this week on a training course I was under a fluorescent light and within half an hour felt dizzy, light-headed, hot, anxious just like a panic attack. I did not feel better for hours later. What can be done to remedy this? Does anyone know?

Selena

May 17, 2007 02:16 PM

I have noticed for YEARS certain places just wash me out after an hour or so. I work in an emergency dept at 3 different hospitals. One that I work at 2 days a month ALWAYS makes me feel sluggish, have difficulty concentrating, jittery, and my eyes squint and strain the entire shift. Is it the particular fluorescent bulbs they use? lack of enough lighting? low ceiling? who knows? I just told a physician colleague of mine yesterday about it and he thinks I am nuts! Well, I have felt this way each and every time I work there. There is a mall that I used to go to that got new lighting, neon type, and I would get so wiped out there that I knew that it must be the lighting. There is very little data on this. No wonder people balk at this.

Gretchen

May 19, 2007 03:16 PM

Certainly the old fluorescents (T-12s) which are ubiquitous caused many problems: cold light, flickering, slow starts -- thus, the T-12s are being phased out.

The new T-8s are far different. They use electronic ballasts, instant-starts, no flickering, and come in a variety of "warm" to "cold" lights.

The old T12 lamps use Magnetic ballasts, which use a "core & coil" assembly to transform electrical current to start and operate the lamps. Magnetic ballasts are less efficient, noisier, and heavier than the electronic ballasts in T8 fixtures.

But the T8's electronic ballasts start and operate quieter, with no flickering and increased efficiency in light output with less energy consumption than traditional ballasts. T8 electronic fixtures have now become the standard in new construction and retrofit applications.

And remember how you heard the hum and saw the flicker of the old T12 startups? T8s are typically equipped with rapid-start or instant-start ballasts.

For T-8s, louvers, shields, lenses, filters, or baffles are used to prevent the direct viewing of lamps within the fixture at normal viewing angles and also to diffuse the light coming out of the fixture.

Where T-12s come in one shade of "white", standard T8 lamps for offices are around 4,100K. This is more towards the cool side and creates a cool feeling, which is typically suggested for work environments.

T-8s with warm color temperatures of 3,000K or less create a desirable lighting environment for residences, restaurants, and other “hospitality” spaces.

Studies from 15 years ago using the old T12s can't tell you how T8s perform.

BTW, T-8s are much cheaper to run (about 75%) compared to T-12s.


mike

June 12, 2007 10:26 PM

I've had the same issues as Monica for over 9 years. I started noticing it around 17. It's ruined my life in short and I've found some things that have helped. Anyone that wants to talk please email me. Let's beat this together!!!

Lynn

July 16, 2007 02:22 PM

I don't feel good when I have to be under fluorescent lights for any length of time. They give me a headache, drain me and aggravate my skin condition (rosacea). My dermo says they omit UVA rays. Fluorescent lighting is everywhere and hard to avoid. At work I have them turn them off over my cube area and that has helped. Fluorescent lighting is aggravating and it isn't your imagination. I don't know of any remedies except avoiding them. If anyone knows of something please let us know.

Camellia

August 12, 2007 02:01 PM

Lately i too have noticed these unhealthy feelings while working under fluorescent lights. I just came back from a 2 week outdoor vacation and noticed a dizzy light headedness feeling while working in my studio under these lights. In the past, I did not feel this way but recently i have begun to feel unfocused with a slight headache and a strange feeling that something is not right in my head under these lights.

My alternative doctor says wearing aluminum foil on the head under a hat (so that no one sees it) may help block the rays from the lights that affect the brain. She says to do thing when flying on an airplane to block the rays from the sun that penetrate the airplane. I may have to try it.

derek

August 12, 2007 04:28 PM

I have had problems getting the medical people to believe me over the lighting problems.I get eye strain, feel dizzy & sickly. I suffer from heart problems which I feel are made worse, I get the feeling that my heart has a weight on it dragging down wards, the longer I'm in the fluorescent lighting the worse I get, in fact i've been admitted to hospital over it, but the consultants put it down to my heart disease.the site where the problem occures is in my sons shop, within 15mins my problems start but turn the lights off no problem.I am being fitted later this month with a 24hr heart monitor to see if it records any change.I am printing off the above comments to hand over to my consultant, he says he's never heard of this problem.

sabrina balsky

August 26, 2007 10:26 PM

I too am very dismayed about the lack of education to the public, before they ban incandescent bulbs. The hazards of fluorescents either perceived or not does not negate our right to choose. I have never heard anyone complain about the light from aa incandescent bulb. What on earth could we be gaining with all this dissatisfaction with flourescents surely our homes should be a sanctuary. Don't let this ban pass it is not in our best interest.

Jack's Complete Lack of Surprise

August 28, 2007 01:52 PM

I think most of these problems are much simpler than suggested and I'd bet most of the stated problems are from old-school fluorescent bulbs, not COMPACT fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). Your headaches and dizzyness are much more likely due to the phase and spectrum of light than from UV rays penetrating the skull. The hum of magnetic ballasts can also act similarly to white noise and have a hypnotic effect.

icy

August 30, 2007 09:17 AM

I changed my long-sighted specs 5mths ago and seemed to be doing quite fine. But since a wk ago, I felt frequent blurry eyes, slight headache and giddiness. I think, its likely due to this new job I've been with for 3 wks now. I have my own office working under glaring neon lights making my eyes uneasy that almost all the time I've to wear my specs to read, write and type. My office can't change to flourescent lights which I am used to because they have to be same with the entire office. Can anyone advise what shall I do? Quit? But I am working with very senior people. Thanks.

Elektra

September 8, 2007 02:57 PM

I have lupus and and very sensitive to both sunlight and fluorescent lighting. Long exposure (as in a couple of hours) will set off a lupus flare. This can be a matter of life and death for me.
Guess I won't plan on visiting California.

Jane

September 9, 2007 03:09 PM

I'm very sensitive to fluorescent lights and never go anywhere anymore without carrying a baseball cap and yellow-tinted sunglasses. I have a great pair of Vuarnet sunglasses made for skiers; they filter out the harsh rays fairly well. But sunglasses only help you see ahead. The problem with fluorescent lights is most of the time, they're on the ceiling -- which is why I wear a cap or hat with a brim, or at least a visor.

I find I can tolerate fluorescent lighting best if it's countered by natural daylight. When I eat, for example, in a diner with overhead fluorescent lights, I sit by a window. Of course, this only works during the day!

It's very important to have your eyes checked by a retina specialist, not just a regular opthalmologist.

Jen

September 11, 2007 07:04 PM

SO what do you recommend we do? Those who work retail for example who can not wear a hat etc? My neck and back of my eyes hurt. My 1st day on the job yesterday under 100% fluorescent lighting.??? Anti glare glasses?? any ideas?

Pat

September 13, 2007 03:46 PM

I've just moved to a house where lighting is at a premium and the kitchen has a fluorescent ceiling fixture. I heard somewhere that full spectrum daylight f. lamps didn't have the bad effects of the "cool" standard lamps (and are about double the price of the cool). I have always felt the regular f. lights affect my nervous system in some way, seem to drain my energy. Does anyone have any information on the difference between full spectrum daylight vs. cool lamps?

April

September 21, 2007 04:54 PM

I am relieved to see that I am apparently not imagining things! I have been working in fluorescent lighting for almost 14 years. Over that time I have developed several health problems,including migraine disease. I have been diagnosed with painful and silent migraines and have had several TIAs (mini-strokes), 95% of which have all taken place while I was at work.The last 'episode' was on Aug. 15 2007 and I have not worked since Aug.16 2007. One of my doctors feels I had another TIA and one feels I had a hemiplegic migraine. Whatever it was, the immediate effects lasted 4 days with staggered, unsteady gait, confusion,slurred&slow speech trouble thinking/remembering,vision problems,severe headaches,spaciness,etc. I am still not back to being me and am awaiting an appointment with one of the top neurologists in the southeast. Since I've been off, we went into a store and were looking at lighting for a new barn,and when I got near the fluorescent lights, it set off, what I can only describe as, an EXPLOSION in the very front of my head, causing immediate confusion and spaciness and headache and irritability that lasted for the rest of the day.I have also noticed that I cannot deal with stress as well as I used to anymore. Stress will also cause the headaches, confusion and spaciness.
There is a great deal of stress on my job as I work with the public and our mgmt team is very difficult. Add the fluorescent lighting, all over the store,and directly overhead, and it spells disaster for me, and trying to function on my job.
There is NO WAY these people will turn off any lights and if they did I couldn't see to work in my area, as I work 2nd shift. I do work right next to a very large plate glass window,but the natural daylight does not seem to overcome the effects of the fluorscent lighting and when it gets dark outside, without the fluorescent lighting overhead I would not be able to see to do my job. It's a double-edged sword! I am a 51 yr old female, and don't know what's going to happen. I have to help my husband pay bills, somehow.

knighteyres

October 3, 2007 09:29 PM

I'm glad I'm not the only one. I thought this was my imagination. I recently bought some of those energy saver bulbs and I started feeling anxiety. and headaches at the back of my eyes, not long after I put them in. I took them out and it all went away. I feel like that in stores and always wandered what it was, but never felt that way at home. I guess I know what it is now. How do you all cope at work with this problem? Since most places away from home use these.

Blinded By The Light

October 6, 2007 08:09 PM

I work in a very busy 911 center. My supervisor now wants to keep the light wide open. I work 12 hour shift with a high level of stress. Light or too much of it pisses me off. Don't know why but I am much more relaxed with lower lights.

Faith

October 9, 2007 09:19 AM

It took some time to realize it, but I recently discovered that I am afflicted by a similar "fluorescent sickness" when I am in large stores such as Home Depot, Target, etc.

After just a few minutes of exposure, I begin to experience fatigue, nausea, headache,and my eyes feel weary and look bloodshot. It is a relief to see that I am no the only one this happens to and there doesn't appear to be much research on the subject.

Compact fluorescent bulbs do not seem to have the same effect, interestingly enough...

Tim

October 23, 2007 08:19 AM

"describe as, an EXPLOSION in the very front of my head, causing immediate confusion and spaciness and headache and irritability that lasted for the rest of the day.I have also noticed that I cannot deal with stress as well as I used to anymore. Stress will also cause the headaches, confusion and spaciness."


April, this sounds like a petite mal seizure / Aura. I started to have epileptic auras after I had converted my house entirely over to CF's. Your description is exactly the way my experience felt. The subsequent EEG confirmed light epileptic wave forms with particular sensitivity to flashing lights at differing frequencies. Never had issues previously, 37 now and am rebuilding my life to ensure I never cross the seizure threshold again.

Janet

October 23, 2007 10:24 PM

Florescent tubes definitely trigger my seizure activity. However, I am often told that my ADA requests for non-florescent lighting are unreasonable. I have to take an incandescent clip lamp to the doctor's office and accommodate myself, even though he provided a letter stating that I should avoid them!

When I talk to people about being sensitive to florescent lights, about 15% of them voice their own complaints, including headache, fatigue, and confusion. I have a cousin that says there is research about the effects on kids with learning disabilities also. This is not in our imaginations! Florescent lighting should be banned under the ADA.

Barbara Dodge

October 24, 2007 10:56 AM

I have a real problem with Fluorescent lighting. If I am anywhere near it my skin gets a burning feeling (back, feet and hands) then I get what feels like electrical shocks. I now wear long sleeve shirts, long pants and a hat (which helps) in all building with fluorescent lighting. It really is a problem as more and more business are putting in fluorescent lighting.

Beth

October 24, 2007 11:16 AM

I have worked a my job for almost 4 yrs. I recently have noticed my body feeling really strange. I have had blurred vision, confusion, Fatigue, and to be honest, my skin sometimes feels a little numbness.When I would leave the store to go outside for awhile I would feel better, in the natural light.I thought I was going crazy. SO, I made a doctors appointment, had some test run, they are going to check my blood for different things. But the more I sit at work and read these comments, I am sure that it is the fluorescent lights.I have 35 sets of lights in this store...just 5 min. ago I put on sunglasses and instantly started to feel better.SO..I don't know what the answer is. I can't wear glasses at work............

Marc

October 24, 2007 09:12 PM

Well I was both happy an sad to find this site. I have been suffering from the flourescents for a while now, about 4 years but it is a lot worse now. i thought I was nuts but I feel like I am poisoned by exposure to the lights especially on a very low ceiling. Some super markets are murder as well. If there is natural light it helps but lately underthe lights i am so fuzzy, get blurred vision, dizzness, bad migrane headaches which have effects for several days, and nausea. I worked under the loghts all my life but now I can't, a hat helps as do dark glasses but can't wear them all the time as a teacher. What the heck can I do????????

Craig

October 25, 2007 12:52 PM

Marc above has taken the words right out of my mouth. I am a teacher and have been off work since September. My school is filled with fluorescent light that is only about 3-4 ft. above my head. I have feelings of being off balance, in dis-equilibrium, top heavy, dizzy and an overall sense of malaise. I cannot go into Staples, Wal-Mart or any supermarket that contains mass quantities of fluorescent light. This "visual confusion" is too much for my system. Noone has been able to help. I am doing vestibular exercises, but feel that they will be irrelevant to solving my problem Would love some insight.

Kim

October 25, 2007 06:19 PM

I went everwhere to find help and every doctor told me that they never heard of it! I felt dizzy, confused, sick you name it when i go to places with Fluorescent lights... Finally someone told me to go see an eye doctor and they told me it was very common. So ive been wearing sunglasses day and night for 4 years now but it has restricted me from many many locations! It has really changed my life....

Craig

October 29, 2007 06:45 PM

Kim,

Could you expand on what the eye doctor told you? Was it simply an optomotrist or an optho-neurologist? Did they expand on what they meant by "very common"? Have the sunglasses helped? They did not help me. Thanks!

kim

October 29, 2007 07:25 PM

Well when I started experiencing the effects of Fluorescent lights, I went to many doctors and they just looked at me like I was crazy. They said they never heard of it. Someone suggested that I check my eyes. So I made an appointment to an eye doctor, a regular optomotrist. I explain to her how I was feeling when I went to department stores and anywhere there was flourescent lights. The dizziness, headaches, the feeling that I'm going to passout. She told me that it was Fluorescent lights that was the cause of it and it is actually more common than I thought. She told me to wear sunglasses where ever there was Fluorescent lights. It helps most places but some places I avoid all together. I wish there was a way for us to get this information out there. Many ppl dont know about this , not even doctors. There should be a way for ppl to save energy without affecting ppls health that way. I'm so happy I found this site.

katie

October 31, 2007 12:21 PM

Wow! Okay, I feel so vindicated and grateful to know that there I am not alone in this. However, I am sorry we are all suffering. The anxiety and inability to focus on tasks or to think clearly are the worst for me. It bugs my eyes, and I get ocular migraines fairly often, but the other issues are even more negatively affecting me. I had noticed for years the "spaciness" after being in stores with fluorescent lighting for any amount of time, but since January 2000 I've been working under them (whereas before I worked at home) and I've experienced such difficulty concentrating, remembering, and generally, just not feeling well. I have brought it up to my former boss, Human Resources and one of the VPs (who usually works out of his own home in another state) is the only one who really understands because the fluorescent lights give him headaches. However, he has the freedom to get out from under them and I don't, as I'm an administrative assistant. We need to pray for a solution, for wisdom, and for a way to overcome. Thank you all for sharing! I feel encouraged.

Bin

October 31, 2007 12:35 PM

Fluorescent can not replace incandescent light in places like bath room or patio. I had a friend who went all fluorescent at his apartment. The problem is the fluorescent bulbs in his bath room takes 3 minutes to reach acceptable brightness. In 99% of the time, people are done using bathroom in less time. And the constant on/off is killing the bulbs quickly.

Another friend put fluorescent bulb in a floor lamp that has a three position switch. The drop in voltage surely killed half dozen bulbs in less than a month.

MonicaC

November 1, 2007 09:52 AM

I feel like I am getting sun burned by the lights at work, or by my computer. My cheeks and nose will get bright red. The strange part about this is that it often bad in the morning, but then the redness calms down later in the day. This also happens at home when I am working on the computer at night. I don't always get red, but often do. I can't seem to make the connection of why it only happens sometimes.

Shannon

November 1, 2007 01:30 PM

I am sensitive to those types of lights as well. I go in large grocery stores and I feel dizzy. At work I am in a supply room all day working on filing and the light bounces off the white papers causing eye strain and I feel sick. I think I just recently put it together because it just seems that my eyes bother me more as well with these lights.

Debbie

November 3, 2007 05:41 PM

I figured out that fluorescent lighting bothered me a long time ago but thought I was weird. It's good to know that I am not imagining it even though there isn't much I can do about it except avoid them when I can.
I will get confused and use the wrong words in sentences a lot, or can't think of a word, get blurry vision, eyes get tired and red, and feel just sickly.

Michelle

November 11, 2007 02:51 PM

I have been noticing lately that there are certain stores that I need to avoid. This is due to the Fluorescent lights used in them. I feel disoriented and cannot think properly. It takes HOURS for me to return to normal after being exposed to fluorescent bulbs. Honestly, though most of the time they do not bother me. I have noticed this only at a few establishments. I recently accepted a job position with a company.... after being in the building for only about 1 hour, I did notice that I was feeling strangely and that the fluorescent lights there were bothering my eyes. When I got home, it was a long time before I felt right again. I think I am going to reconsider taking the job offer...no need to make myself sick because of this. I do not think I could deal with those lights on an everyday basis. I wonder if some folks are just more sensitive to rays emitted from the bulbs?

Craig

November 12, 2007 02:13 PM

Welcome to my world, Michelle. I have a career where fluorescent lights are prevalent all day long. They cause me to be extremely disoriented and I can't think properly. This seems to be a familiar thing to many people. I have been searching for years to find information as to what this malady actually is, but have not been successful. I would give anything to find an answer to this problem.

Patti

November 13, 2007 05:00 PM

This is the first time I decided to "research" this. I first had difficulty over 40 years ago - an opthalmologist prescribed tinted lenses which did help some in school (at least I was able to graduate).
I can't tolerate strobes (explains my dislike for disco?), "carnival" type flashing lights and the bright (fluorescent)lighting in many commercial establishments - all create anxiety, chest pressure, nausea, confusion and that "feeling of impending doom" - all of which are relieved in short order if I leave.
I have actually experimented with supplementing extra calcium, magnesium and B-vitamins to see if it would reduce the sensitivity - it has seemed to help at times. (If I can find any scientific validation for this I'll come back and post again but would not recommend "overdoing" any of these, just seeing if your diet meets or slightly exceeds recommended levels). Nutritional factors and evaluation is often overlooked by doctors - many (if not most) of us don't eat an "optimal" diet (based on "real" food with minimal additives) that is more or less mineral balanced. Interestingly, opthalmologists are the doctors probably most aware of nutrition, as are most nurse practioners. Good place to begin is with a certified/registered nutritionist - probably would have to check with local hospital to find one.
(FYI - my background is as an RN and intensive study of equine nutrition. Most horse diets are magnesium deficient and adding it - as well as balancing other minerals - often makes a difference in their reactivity.)

Kathleen Showalter

November 13, 2007 05:22 PM

I am so glad that I read all these e-mails. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia. I have a terrible problem with Flourescent lighting at work. I work for the School Districts here in Southern California and have worked many jobs in the past that I either got fired at or left, due to being ill from the lights. I get headaches, tension, disorientation, goopy eyes, problems concentrating, upset stomach. I tried to work 2 6hr days at 1 of the schools and after the 2nd day I was sick for 2 days in bed. It almost feels like something is firing off in my brain when I get under any type of Tube lighting. My ex says I have had this for years! I feel bad for our kids in school, they complain of headaches too! What do I do? I have to work, I am a single mom and I just don't know what to do. I wanted to go back to school, how can I? I am 46 years old not much time left to really work.

Francesca

November 14, 2007 11:24 PM

not to mention all the mercury they put in the environment.

April

November 18, 2007 07:22 PM

Well,I'm back again, and still not working. I haven't worked since August 16 & it's Nov.18. My doctors told me to wear sunglasses too, and they do not help.Like some of the rest of the sufferers
here, having to go to Walmart, Lowe's, or anyplace
where there are fluorescent lights is not a good thing. Even my doctor's offices. I know it means an awful time ahead, for me. All of my doctors have seen what these lights do to me. One of the nurses was kind enough to turn them out! It was such a relief, until the doctor came in and turned them back on.Then, the pain and confusion, and fuzziness, and weird visual disturbance,etc. came back with a vengence.Like Kathleen, I have fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome. I also have obstructive sleep apnea,a history of TIAs,
widespread arthritis which includes the c-spine and lumbar spine,degenerative disc disease, and have recently been found to have an enlarged heart
among other things.But, this problem with fluorescent lights, to me, is harder to deal with
than any of the rest!Now, I have started to have ringing in the ears,dizziness most of the time,
darkening of my vision,shadows and dark shadowy patches in my field of vision,seeing things(at night)in the road that are not there, or seeing things in the pasture that are not there, and if approaching a curve with a guardrail it looks to me as if the guardrail is out in the road! I know it isn't, but it sure looks like it. I haven't driven but one time since the 'episode' on August 15. I am not comfortable driving. I feel fuzzy and confused when I drive.My doctor has had me off on short term disability. On Nov.5 he told me to go apply for my social security disability. Ten days later, on Nov. 15, he told me he had nothing concrete to keep me off work anymore so I might as well go back to work. I was so stunned, I
didn't know what to say. I was already under the influence of the fluorescent lights and not in good shape. Had he said this to me on Nov 5, I could have gone back to work. But, on Nov 7, my job let me go, after almost 14 years, due to medical disabilities. I have no job!I don't know what we are going to do now.TIM,thank you for your input.Perhaps I should ask my neurologist about an EEG.My doctors have mentioned an EEG, they have been concerned about Multiple Sclerosis
they have said I have had a hemiplegic migraine
which is a rare and can be a dangerous migraine,
but they never go any further than mentioning or being concerned.This has advanced to a point that
I really don't think there is any way I CAN go back to work and be around fluorescent lights. I cannot function around them. I don't even go anyplace where they are without a companion to help me when the effects hit me. I have to be caught when I stumble and sometimes physically led
around. You know, maybe we need to band together and get a petition or something out there so that our voice, our problems are heard, and try to STOP
this total conversion over to fluorescent! If they had to see through our eyes and suffer what we do, they'd change their minds. Sorry so long!

Jesse

November 20, 2007 06:50 PM

This will be a long entry. I've read this whole page, and am amazed at how similar most of the posts are... I also see that there are almost no real solutions, but that's not a surprise to me.

For 30-odd years, I abused my body. Not with drugs or alcohol (I'm pretty clean, outside of a couple of years of normal college drinking), but with tons of stress, very little sleep, and lots of staring at monitors. I've always worked around computers, either in IT or as a writer. And since 15, I've worked like a dog, sleeping an average of maybe 4 hours per night. There was a stint in Silicon Valley where I worked 100 hours per week, sleeping 2 hours per night, usually staying up all night at least a couple of times a week.

At one point, over three years ago, I worked in an all-fluorescent environment, and my life fell apart. I developed debilitating headaches, and although my job was patient with me, I eventually lost the job, my other consulting work, my relationship and finally my apartment and belongings.

What happened? It started with just headaches, which I immediately suspected were caused by the fluorescents -- and that was a quick target for doctors, telling me that it was too easy to blame that. But see, I knew my eyes were sensitive, and I knew a good deal about lights, since I had sold lighting fixtures earlier.

I had always had eagle-eyes... able to read not only the bottom line on an eye chart, but the copywrite at the bottom. I had also been tested for frequency and color spectrum, and found that I was an outlier, able to see far more than normal. I could pick up more than 30fps and see in extremely low light. I had discovered a problem in my first computer job, that a low refresh rate on my monitor would get my eyes twitching. If it were set under 85Hz (most are, by default), it hurt my eyes.

So while working at this job with all the fluorescent lighting (a university), I had both the overhead lights, and a computer screen, blinking at a different rate than the lights. I should mention that these lights were tubes as well as CFL's, which were housed in multifaceted reflectors. In fact, the CFL's were much worse for me, reflecting out in different directions at different blink rates.

I started to get tension headaches that felt like having a drill plunged into the base of my skull. That's a guess, because this, of course, hasn't happened to me, but I've dealt with a lot of pain, and this was about as bad as you can have. Once the tension headache was in full swing, it would trigger a migraine, which if allowed to go unabated, would put me on the floor, holding my head, completely unable to do anything but breathe.

And for the first time in my life, I was affected by things like stress, lack of sleep, alcohol, caffeine, etc etc etc. All of these things could bring on a migraine.

I saw specialists all over. All the scans. Tumor? No, nothing structurally wrong. In fact, no signs of anything, aside from the fact that I was in mortal pain most of the time. I was prescribed all kinds of medications while I fought through it, still going to work. But after a few months of that, the meds were making things worse, to the point where one morning I couldn't muster the strength to even rise from bed or eat, so obviously that was the last of that.

I tried more meds later, milder stuff... it seemed to help a little, but not much. I wore shades to work, and figured they helped 10-20%, but that was it. Wearing a hat helped a bit as well.

I changed my life around. New diet, more exercise, more sleep, no stress. After two years, lots of money borrowed and the loss of the aforementioned things, I got back to work full-time early this year, and of course, I'm working around fluorescent lights. They've asked me not to wear a hat inside, so I stopped that, but I still wear shades every day, and I've been told that it alienates me from the others. What can I do??

The effects continue, although in my extremely-vanilla lifestyle, the migraines are mostly under control. Still, I am exhausted after a day of working, especially now in the winter, when it gets dark outside, and the natural lights is gone. I try and spend some time in the rooms that have halogens, but that's limited. I also make sure that my monitor is top-notch, the refresh rate is 100Hz, and it's eye-level.

What can be done? Aside from controlling your own environment (at home), there doesn't seem to be a lot. This is what I know: fluorescent lighting is false to the eye, and the blink of it can be harmful, and a trigger for many things. If you can, get halogen lights, which are the closest thing to sunlight. I have zero problems with them, as long as they're not giving off glare. Make sure your ergonomics are good, if you're sitting. As far as Wal-Mart and the like, have a quick in-and-out strategy before you go in there. Know what you want and where it is, and get out fast. For me, it's usually 15 minutes before I start to feel the headache (my tolerance for pain is pretty high now).

My next step is with glasses. I've spent a couple of years studying this, and I believe that it should be possible to construct a good pair to block out the bad effects. Just simple shades start to do the work in terms of the blink, but you also need to work on the color spectrum, and two very important factors: the peripherals, and uniformity. This means if there are overhead fluorescents, make sure the lenses are polarized, and also make sure they aren't letting in light on the sides or underneath or something. They need to cover your eyes completely.

I haven't found someplace that specializes in this yet... I have a theory that there is a certain hue of lens that will help me, but I need to test this out with a professional. I have a feeling that if you suffer from eye problems from fluo's, then a full-cover, polarized, colored lens might make a substantial difference, perhaps allowing for a full workday under the lights.

It's also worth mentioning that halogens are low-voltage lights, and use less voltage than CF's, and although their heat/light ratio isn't as good, they're not far off from fluo's. And we need more resarch on the effects of Xenon lights, I can't find nearly enough!

If anyone has questions, you can contact me... of if you know of the aforementioned professional in the UK, please let me know. Good luck!

alberta

November 23, 2007 06:55 PM

I dread shopping in the supermarkets that have fluorescent lighting's a nightmare walking in there knowing full well i will come out with a migraine. Its ok in the winter time i can wear a peaked fronted hat to keep the light out of my eyes as even my prescription shades dont work in there.

Paul

November 26, 2007 06:12 PM

My wife has been diagnosed with an auto-immune disease, seems atypically sensitive in many ways and has noticed that when she enters big box stores (florescent light) she immediately needs to use the restroom. Anyone else ever experience this? Thanks

Andy C.

December 5, 2007 12:21 PM

Thank god, I'm not going crazy. I have had this problem with walking into large stores with fluorescents for a couple years now, I get dizzy and a feeling like the open space is over whelming. Then I started to notice that when I would sit in our family room at night(fluorescent lighting) I was getting similar symptoms, but if I sat in the living room (no fluorescents) at the same time at night, no symptoms. I am seeing my doctor this week and going to ask him about it. And then I'm going shoping for new light fixtures. Boy am I glad I found this sight.

Rob

December 8, 2007 01:40 PM

Big stores kill my eyes also. Neck starts to ache, head starts to hurt then the sand in my eyes. I have seen 5 different eye doctors who all find my eyes to be perfectly normal. I had CAT scans and MRI's done. All normal. But the light and air blowing on my eyes in any department store kills me. I have tried every eyedrop known to man. Every pain reliever ever manufactured and nothing is helping. Mike what are some of your ideas?

Craig

December 12, 2007 09:32 PM

I do realize that this article had originally intended discussion to go in a different direction, but I just want to say thanks to whomever continues to post these responses. You can't begin to imagine how cathartic they have been. Thank you.

Shane

December 14, 2007 07:02 AM

Hi guys i also suffer from fluro light symptems Just like you im so glad i found this sight becouse it doesnt make me feel crazy anymore especially with people with identical symptoms like monica and a few others.
Im from australia.
I have suffered for many years from (anxiety as my doctor told me)i told them it seems to be where theres bright lighting mainly fluros, they told me it was all in my head and a part of my anxiety disorder.
The scary thing is no doctor ive seen belives me and even some of my friends think im mad.
I also suffer simmilar reactions to lcd monitors and tvs (becouse they have a fluro inside)for the lighting .
I seem to even get the effects after 10mins and then after not exposed it takes a few hours to go away.
I would love for anyone who suffers from the same problems as me to email me as a pen pal to talk about these problems and maybe talk about what we have found to make things better so i dont feel like im the only one.
If you would like to chat on this matter please contact me on shane76@aapt.net.au
Thanks Again and to businessweek websight for keeping this forum.

Jean

December 17, 2007 10:20 PM

I also suffer problems with fluros. I get dizzy, feel sick and my head starts to ache. There are other symptoms to. I also feel like this if I am looking at certain computer screens or Microfiches plus much more. I have to go to sleep to help shift some of the horrible feelings. I have to wear glasses and have found that when I go to the shops if I wear my Sunnies inside it helps a lot. Get a few wierd looks from people but figure my health is more of a concern to me than there stares or comments. Would love to know how I am going to cope when we can no longer use normal lighting as I do not want to be sitting at home wearing sunnies all day and night.

Shane

December 18, 2007 08:05 PM

Hi guys thanks to craig for finding another useful forum about dizzyness and headaches its at http://dizzytimes.com/ if we could all post there we may get more people with the same problems and might be able to get help from others with there ideas.
This site also has lots of other ilnesses and people with other problems too.
Thanks

Margaret

December 19, 2007 12:26 AM

ALARM - We must do something about the florescents now. The energy bill before House of Representatives soon to be signed by President has a obscure provision in it requiring mandatory transition to florescents in US beginning in 4 years through 12 years complete. If we do not massively bombard our congressmen, senators and the White House switchboard in the next several days we may lose our accessibility to even our own homes, and our civil rights to equal access, disability accommodations all b/c of a misguided effort by the green movement which I otherwise support. This is a crisis. I was diagnosed with complex partial seizures with photosensitive component after a chemical injury. The injured brain gives the very symptoms that you all speak about. It also happens with the CFLs. Irlen lenses are a partial solution, but only temporary b/c the light flicker still gets in around edges of glasses. Some of the naked florescents burn through even the polarizing lenses (double coated) that Duke Eye center neuropthalmologist made for me. Dr. Henry Greene, optometrist in Durham, NC, helped me with these, and with some prosthetic contacts with center an opaque polarized tent to cover pupils. This was not a total answer either, but helped. The answer is CHOICE in lighting. I am a new disabled lawyer who cannot even go in the courtroom b/c of this mess. Now the passage of this bill would mean I no longer even have the house as my sanctuary. We must use our voices now. Please pass this message and call to action along to all of the support groups, independent living centers and advocacy groups you know. It is urgent.

Lola

December 20, 2007 06:03 PM

I have to agree with all of those against fluorescents. "The death of the culture" according to Norman Mailer. They have always bothered me and I just had to drop everything and leave a drug store because I thought I was going to have a seizure- eyes were really blinking and felt dizzy and faint- and I'm not epileptic as far as I know! I do have fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue as of August, however, and dread going to work under those lights again or shopping in places with the awful tubes.

What can we do as a group to stop the omnipresence of fluoros?? Is there a petition anywhere. I think they should all be banned until they are perfected for all humans to function normally under.

Rhonda

December 21, 2007 07:46 AM

Wow...I never realized how many other people were affected by fluorescent lighting. I have had problems with the lighting for years but have noticed that since I had lesions on my retina caused by Cat Scratch Disease, it makes my eyes feel even more strained. I will be in Walmart and I have to wear sunglasses. I am fine in natural light and incandescent bulb lighting. Is there any truth to what they say about lower Kelvin temperature bulbs? I read that if you use the ones with lower temperature, they will be more like natural light and incandescent lighting. I hope businesses, offices, schools, hospitals, etc., do their research on the bulbs. If they don't, they are going to see the negative effects of of the lighting.

April

January 2, 2008 04:34 AM

It's me again. Well, it's the New Year, and I'm still not back to work. As far as my doctors can tell, I'm having complicated migraines, most likely hemiplegic migraines, and it's fluorescent lights that trigger them. But, I have just recently discovered one interesting thing...we went into a restaurant to eat and I didn't even pay any attention to the lighting. After about 20 minutes I felt that familiar magnetic-like pull on my brain. I looked up and saw the fluorescent lights and wondered why it had taken so long for me to feel the 'pull'? But, I also noticed the ceiling was painted black. The next effect, the feeling of my eyes crossing, followed immediately by blurring and doubling of my vision and ringing in my ears and dizziness, didn't happen until we had eaten and were paying and getting ready to leave. I was actually amazed! Because I was able to get out of the lights as soon as the fuller effects started setting in, I was able to get over the effects a lot sooner and easier. I kinda feel it had to do with the black ceiling absorbing the glare and not bouncing it back at me. The fluorescents still got me, but not as quickly as usual. This time I didn't look like a bumbling drunk by the time we left. My neurologist has changed my meds around, again. He said he was trying to "switch [my] neuro-transmitters". I am scheduled for an EEG on Feb 13, 2008. I may be crazy, but I actually hope something shows up! My short term/long term group disability hasn't paid one red cent since October 4, 2007 and is over $2500.00 behind. Now, they have denied my claim and it has gone into appeals. I go to apply for my social security disability on January 10, 2008.
If I don't get some money in here, my husband and I are going to lose our home and everything else we have worked so hard for. I have all of these painful and disabling health conditions,
but the ones that are the most disabling,including these blasted migraines triggered by fluorescent lights, don't have any medical tests to prove them. They do not show up on any medical imaging studies, etc., and if they don't, the group disability doesn't want to accept it as real. I have searched around til I have finally found some criteria set forth by the National Headache Foundation, and I am
going to send this to my neurologist and then on to my disability company.
Margaret, you are the lawyer. What can we do? The fluorescent lights are the lights that need to be outlawed! Here we are, we can't work, even though we'd like to. Some of us can't get our disability because we can walk and talk and make sense,as long as we aren't in, around, or near those blame things, but
anywhere there is a job, those blame lights are most likely present! I have already contacted my Senator and my Representative. Of course, I haven't heard a word back. We need a MONDO petition, pronto. Margaret, how's about being our advocate in this fight? YOU know where we are all coming from, first hand. What say you all?

Max

January 3, 2008 09:02 PM

Like others here, I feel relieved to read that many other people seem to experience similar symptoms to me with fluorescent lights (in my case, feelings of fatigue, vagueness, stress and sometimes depression. I also find after prolonged exposure, my fingers become swollen, tingling and 'blotchy' (uneven colour with patchy redness).

In Australia, where I live, the sale of all incandescent light bulbs will be banned from 2009, to force a change to compact fluorescent lights. I'm very concerned about this and am wondering what can be done about it (if we can't get exemptions from the ban on health grounds, then I might have to buy a lifetime's supply of incandescent bulbs in 2008....)

April

January 4, 2008 09:17 PM

Hi Everybody! I am a little excited right now! We have all been looking for a voice for the 'fight' in getting our disability noticed. Well, go to www.cnn.com and scroll down to where it says something about Dr. Gupta and eco bulbs cause migraines, and click on it. It is a video of today's (01/04/2008) broadcast of Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a well known Neurosurgeon on the subject of migraine triggers, with fluorescent lights being one of them. He, himself is a migraine sufferer. THEN, you can go to your search bar and type in "Contact Dr. Sanjay Gupta" or "Contact CNN" and it will bring up an option to email CNN. I found an option to email CNN and it is supposed to go directly to Dr. Gupta's email. Heck, it can't hurt! The more of us that email CNN or Dr. Gupta, the more notice will be taken. We've been looking for a way to get our voices out there, now is the time to do it! I have already sent mine. I told him to look for this group of people also. So, we do have some hope, at least. Now, we know, it was on National television today! I just have to figure out how to get a copy of the broadcast to my short term/long term group disability and take one with me when I apply for my social security disability! Go for it, y'all! Dr. Gupta has gotten it started, don't sit on your laurels, do something about it! It sure can't hurt!

April

January 4, 2008 10:04 PM

Back again. I've just been re-reading some of the comments here on this group of co-sufferers. The compact fluorescents don't offer any more comfort for me than standard fluorescents. I thought I had changed all the bulbs in our house....wrong! I turned the living room ceiling fan light on one evening and made the mistake of looking directly into the light. Gee-Wilikers! There were 3 compact fluorescent bulbs in there and when the light hit me, it immediately set off flashing lights and designs in my head, and drew me up into a painful 'knot'. I was in PAIN! All over my body. It was like a very strong electric jolt! I was frozen in one spot for just a brief few seconds. But, when I could straighten up, I was sore all over and was tingling all over. Believe me, I snatched that little chain and turned those lights off, quickly! My head and body hurt for over an hour, just for that few seconds of exposure. Also, it doesn't seem to matter whether it is the new fluorescent lights or the old ones. Sunglasses don't help. Like others here, fluorescent lights are up, over the top of my glasses/sunglasses. I am not a cap-type person, but even if I were, there aren't any jobs that are going to allow one to wear a cap and sunglasses on the job, in/on a public job. For those of us with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, it is very possible that the pain and stress from the pain and effects we go through with the migraines that are triggered by fluorescent lights is causing flares of the fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. I know that the confusion I feel while under the fluorescent lights and the after effects is quite similar to the fibro-fog I go through with the fibromyalgia. One could be triggering the other. On the subject of the Irlene lenses. I have heard a lot about these.
I live in south central Ky. Where does one have to go to check into these Irlene lenses and, not trying to be nosey, about how much do they cost? I wear bifocals.

Hermes

January 5, 2008 04:29 PM

I want to echo what "Jack's Complete Lack of Surprise" said up there, that there's a big difference between old fluorescent lights and new CFLs.

Also, Francesca, CFLs actually put *less* mercury into the environment, because power plants spew mercury into the air.

April

January 7, 2008 02:39 PM

Just in case anyone is interested and didn't find Dr. Gupta's broadcast or transcript from the January 4, 2008 CNN airing, I did find the transcript:
Good for the environment but those ugly new light bulbs could be a health hazard. Dr. Sanjay Gupta sheds some light.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Good for the environment but maybe not so good for you. New energy-efficient light bulbs are generating some health concerns this morning. Our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, is here now to talk more about this.

So, Sanjay, an advocacy group says the bulbs can actually trigger migraines. Is that possible?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: There is no scientific evidence to say this for sure but you're absolutely right. A lot of people buzzing about this, if you will, talking about the relationship between lights and migraines. It's a well-established relationship, Heidi, I'll tell you. I actually suffer from migraines in full disclosure and if you have a migraine headache, looking at the light can be awful. It can make your symptoms much, much worse -- called photophobia.

At issue here, though, is this question: could the light be inducing or causing the migraines in the first place? Again, no scientific evidence to suggest that for sure but the specific concern is what is known as a flicker rate. These lights flicker at a certain rate and low energy lights flicker at a slower rate and that is how they save some energy but, they are also a little bit dimmer and could that possibly be a problem when it comes to overall migraines. Not sure. A lot of people complaining about it. You can't ignore that. When someone says these lights cause me to have headaches, that is what they are telling you.

COLLINS: Wow. I know this report also talks about these same types of bulbs maybe triggering seizures in people that have epilepsy.

GUPTA: Lighting and seizures are actually a more well-defined relationship. We know that strobe lights, for example, can induce seizures in someone who has epilepsy and those relationships between migraines and epilepsy, as well. People who have migraines are more likely to have seizures in the long run. You can see there about a third report light as a trigger, specifically. Is there interplay between all these -- between migraines, seizures, and lights? There seems to be. There is not again a specific link between lights and migraines but I think that may be forthcoming.

COLLINS: Because, I know when I have migraines, light hurts definitely me when I'm having one but I can't say -- I don't recall it actually causing one. What does cause a migraine? Isn't it different for everybody?

GUPTA: It is. I think, that is the heart of all this. Because, for some people, apparently it can be light. For a lot of people, stress -- about 80 percent -- and women, it's hormonal changes, certain foods like wine, chocolate, cheeses...

COLLINS: All the good stuff.

MJ

January 8, 2008 10:13 AM

I share all the same symptoms as the rest of you. I have found that buying an inexpensive 1" thick sheet of styrofoam insulation and cutting it to fit over my computer monitors helps to screen the fluorescent light from directly above. Since my headaches are a medical condition, the company I work for allows me to rest it on top of my cubicle walls. Also, I was fortunate enough to have a desk by a window on the east side of the building which provided direct natural sunlight to help diffuse the effects of the fluorescent lights. I work for a very big company and am required to move to a different area of the building quite frequently. About 6 weeks ago I moved to an area on the north side of the building and have had a headache since day one. The natural sunlight is not direct which I believe is the cause of the constant headache. In the past I saw a neurologist who prescribed medications for me which kept me from having headaches but I was so dopey I could not function at work and nearly lost my jojb because of my lack of performance. I'm curious to know what types of prescription medications some of you have tried just to compare notes, although this website may not allow that. Additionally, an acquantance of mine said he had headaches for years and has not had ANY since he was recently prescribed ACE inhibitors for his slightly elevated blood pressure. Since I don't have high blood pressure but actually have low blood pressure (generally 100/60) I was wondering if any of you share this similarity. I'm wondering if it could be a common component especially between us women. Please share your thoughts.

Joe

January 8, 2008 11:28 AM

My wife has many of these same symptoms, but the lights seem to magnify versus trigger. She can be away from lights for 24 hours and still not feel quite well. Then, once she is in the lights, she feels very dizzy and loopy. She has only had this condition for 2 months now. She is trying to get in with her family doctor again, but any advice on a specialist? Would a Neurologist be next, or a Endroconologist? Any input appreciated.

MJ

January 8, 2008 04:02 PM

Joe, most people I've talked to who have had this condition have seen a neurologist. I have talked to several who have received treatment from anti-seizure medications which worked for me although I could not tolerate the side effects and had to stop treatment. A nurse at my general practitioner's office said it took her about 4 weeks to get used to the meds, but does well with them now and does not notice the side effects at all anymore.

GDV

January 8, 2008 06:25 PM

Heart palpatations, nausea, nervousness, muscle weakness, headache, and an overall "ill feeling." Depending on the amount of natural light and/or intensity of fluorencent lights depends on the severity of my symptoms. I have a rhuemetology appointment later this month (possible Lupus, my mother and maternal cousin have it) and I have been having these symptoms for years. People think I'm either crazy or a hypochondriac. Wish it were that simple. I am so glad I finally found this page. I have searched for it before, but never found anything close to this. I went to the Irlen site, but I want these lights gone! I am a teacher too, and a little bit nervous (vain) about wearing a visor or sun glasses in class. It just seems so over dramatic! But, even a make-shift visor of bent paper helps in a pinch. Is there a forum for us?????

susan reed

January 14, 2008 01:16 PM

The U.S. Energy Bill WAS PASSED that will make incandescent bulb ILLEGAL by 2012!!! So, what can ANYONE do about that?
BTW, though coal plants do spew some mercury, CFLs put the mercury into the hands and homes of every fool that ever breathed. At least we could work towards cleaner coal plants without risking being poisoned by our neighbor's stupidity or apathy when it comes to recycling safely, and safely cleaning up broken bulbs. HOW ABOUT TORNADO or HURRICANE damage? They're going to be even MORE toxic to clean up.
PLUS, "safe" disposal of regular bulbs calls for using double plastic bags routinely. What, we want more plastic in the environment??? How about the money spent and the poisoning of people through groundwater contamination of improper dumping , which is BOUND to happen (look at California, folks, where the majority of consumers throw 'em in the regular garbage)
I've got lots more reasons/facts that make this an assinine idea. I plan to blog on it soon. A premiere blog topic! It's really got me burning!
S. Reed

Margaret

January 14, 2008 07:47 PM

April, Susan and others,
The Energy Bill was passed, and now I am collecting research, information and personal stories at request of Congressman Howard Coble. It got me really burning too, at Christmastime nonetheless, and that's when I called the Congressman's office. Everyone call their own Congressman's office, if you are having adverse medical effects from florescents. Request that they reconsider that one Energy Bill provision because of effects on some members of medical populations with photosensitive epilepsy, lupus and other autoimmune disorders, XP, autism spectrum disorders, migraines, roseacea, ADHD/LD. The new as well as old florescents and CFLs cause these disabling effects to me, and I did lose my home, job, etc. I also am almost a prisoner in my own home, except for when I engage in the battle over requesting accommodations. If anyone does request accommodations, refer the employer to www.jan.wv.edu. This the government funded website for disability accommodations. Florescent sensitivity is mentioned under migraines, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, MCS, CFS, brain injury, cognitive dysfunction. Complaints about disability discrimination may be filed with the Dept. of Justice, Office of Civil Rights, Disability Rights in Washington. There is a website. I am approaching my disability accommodation as an ADA issue. This is only general information, and the process I have taken to try and resolve my own difficulties. Questions I asked: Does the legislation violate the Americans with Disabilites Act, by denying us access, etc. Some legal information on www.bazelon.org (mental health advocacy website but good practical ADA info/links) on specifics of ADA. Is this legislation taking away our own self-accommodation in the home, as well as keeping inaccessible most public places? Call your congressperson, will probably speak to their aide, and tell them your sotry, and ask the congressman to check into it as part of your constituent services. As patients in the CFS Support group we learned to be nice, but firm, intelligent, and make your case wisely, have points jotted down b/f speaking. Show the financial impact on our country by not being able to access the workplace. Write letters to media, and get some publicity. If anyone acna find algore's address, I am environmentalist as well, but this is not part of the solution - tell him of our difficulties. However i would not hold my breath there, b/c environmental defense network has ignored all my emails to alert them to this. Mind set - made up? They messed up on the tire reef solution in Florida too, now it is all breaking up and millions of dollars in clean up. I was also horrified by you tube multiple postings I just saw on teenagers breaking florescent tube lights on one another s backs, with the fumes releasing on them. We must each do something, with our one voice, call to raise the light on the issue. There are millinons of us all over the world - I have seen many US posts in my research, and there is a UK org, www.spectrumalliance.org I think that is tackling the issue in UK. BTW April, my first diagnosis was CFS/FMS then MCS as well, and chronic lyme on top of chronic migraines. They didn't find out what was causing my non-clonic seizures like many you describe here until they did an EEG with photic stimulation. It found subtle seizure disorder in right and left temporal lobes. Strobe light, computer monitor with low refresh rate, florescents, visual fire alarms with strobes are what cause it. When I go out at all we have to seek few restaurants with non-florescents, then wear dark polarizing lenses (coating on both sides) on the few times per month I am in these lights. They wouldn't think of taking away curb cuts for the mobility impaired, nor taking away other accommodations - we need to be bold on this. It is not a psychiatric condition. The best evidence for me was the EEG w/photic stimulation, and the testimony in writing of my caregivers and husband and people who know me. Also my doctors (I prayed to find the right ones) would note this in my records, including my eye doctor who thought up the glasses partial solution. Hope this helps. I can't participate regularly, but if any medical links, cites you send to your congressperson, please cc them to me at MaryLillie80@aol.com. The only ones I have found so far are epilepsy, except for the government Job Accommodation Network accommodations site. I think there are a lot of patient reports, but not a lot of studies in certain areas.
For legal advice in a severe situation,you may want to call a Legal Aid lawyer in your area if your income is low to find out your rights, or your state's Lawyer Referral Service, or perhaps ask Pre-Paid legal to write a letter, or call your state bar for pro bono representation, or ACLU to give you advice/and if they think you have a case, to represent your legal disability rights free or reduced rate in these matters.

Philip King

January 15, 2008 06:01 AM

What a great forum! I've felt "ill" working in an office environment for ages now. At first I thought it was due to lack of air conditioning etc., but eventually came to the conclusion that it's triggered by the flourescent lights. I had the same "ill" feelings when in certain shops and realised that they too had the same lighting above.

My symptoms are; headaches, nausea and "dizziness" which some people think is made up as they don't suffer the same thing in the same place.

I recently got in touch with my regional "Irlen" specialist (www.irlen.com) who arranged for me to get some tinted glasses. I've been wearing them for a month now and they definitely help to some extent.

I tend to get bad days and good days. I went on holiday for 2 weeks over Christmas and as soon as I came back into the office the symptoms returned with a vengeance. I tend to find that as the week goes on thing's get a little better; Monday is always the most harsh day.

It's great to know that many others have the same symptoms as me and that I've not been making it up. It is frustrating however knowing that I'm going to feel like this every working day until I retire, or until somebody actually realises how many people are affected by them!

Craig

January 16, 2008 10:48 AM

OK...that last post (by Philip) is as if I wrote it myself!

Laura

January 16, 2008 11:50 AM

I have commented on how flourescent lights make me feel for years. I thought I was crazy myself. My hubby has been penny pinching and putting those flourescent bulbs into every sing fixture in our house! I recently MADE him put incandenscents back in my kitchen. What a difference! I feel like a new person. WAY more energy, lessened eye strain and eye pain. I feel great! This site gives me some validation for my symptoms. Remember, you can buy halogen too! Those have always emitted a light I can handle very well.

Kareem

January 17, 2008 10:10 PM

I have been reading a lot of the responses in this forum and I have read, several times, about sunglasses helping some people to improve their symptoms. One of the problems preventing considerable improvement of the symptoms with sunglasses is coverage (i.e. unfiltered flickering light can enter the eye through peripheral areas uncovered by the sunglasses). One potential solution may be to get contact lenses that provide the necessary light filtration. Has anyone tried this?

Also, one thing I'm looking into right now is Cerium precision tinted lenses. They don't offer contact lenses, but for individuals looking to get the most advanced professionally built glasses available, there seem to be the best I've researched (I haven't tried them yet; however, I have an appointment in two weeks).

I just want to add that I think this problem with florescent lights is caused by a magnesium deficiency. I don't have a lot of conviction that this is this case, but with the little material that's available on the subject, that's one hypothesis I've put together.

Furthermore, I am curious if anyone who has this problem also has a sleep disorder or a circadian rhythm problem. I wouldn't be surprised to find that many people develop Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS) because of this problem (the reasons why I think this are a bit complicated).

If I find a specialist who knows a lot about our problem with florescent lights, I'll post his/her name and contact information on this forum.

Until I post again, take care everyone. Most people don't know how difficult it is to deal with this problem; however, as this forum shows, there are other people like you who do know. Whatever difficulties this disorder may have caused you in the past, you will come out on top in the end. There are too many people suffering from this problem for it to go unnoticed and unaddressed. Doctors are always looking to get published in a medical journal, and this is a significant topic.

Ashley

January 21, 2008 06:01 PM

wow... I did a quick search on google and am so glad to find out that I'm not alone. Like many people posting here, I never liked going to Wal-mart, but yesterday I had the worst case of fluorescent lights intolerance ever! 2 mins into the store I was dizzy, holding onto the racks for balance and cannot stay in between the aisles at all. I was so nauseated and had to keep taking these deep breaths to clear my head. Cannot look up any of the aisles, must keep my eyes down... and seriously hoping for a pair of sunglasses!

I thought I looked like a LUNATIC with one hand over my mouth and another holding onto the 24 rolls of toilet paper I got for balance and looking around for open spaces like I was claustrophobic! Seriously I fought so hard not to pass out right there underneath those lights. I was much better as soon as I got out of the store. When I told my sister, to my surprise she told me she never liked Wal-mart because of those lights. Get a big headache and all.

I work 8 hours at my office with fluorescent lights everyday and I changed most of my light bulbs at home to energy saving fluorescent bulbs, but never feel even mildly sick under them.
I suspect the difference is due to the quality of the lights. I once heard about something like a blink rate or something with fluorescent lights and the cheap ones doesn't have as high a rate as the good ones. Therefore people can feel them blinking subconciously but not conciously.

Sara

January 23, 2008 09:03 AM

I am so glad to have found this website. I am a part-time teacher and finally realized that my migraine headaches were only happening when I was at school teaching or in a place that had fluorescent lighting. I talked to my chiropractor about it and he mentioned polarized contact lenses since I wear contacts. He did mention to me that this is a big issue for many people. Has anyone heard of polarized contact lenses. I did a google search on it but couldn't find anything. He asked to let him know if I find anything so he can tell his other patients with the same problem.

Gilda

January 23, 2008 04:59 PM

It's been cloudy here for a few days and the lack of natural light to off balance the flourescents has given me eye strain, fatigue, headaches and an inability to concentrate. I have the bulbs directly overhead unscrewed/off, but the glare from the rest of the ceiling is obviously still effecting my symptoms. I know that if I were to wear sunglasses and a hat that I, too, would be told or perceived to be off-putting or distancing to my coworkers. It does take me a long time to fall asleep, and I've been using zolpidem for the past year for that. I've installed CFLs at home and have not noted any symptoms while there. I'd love to not feel so drained after a full day in front of the computer monitor and below a ceiling full of flourescents, so I'll keep checking back on this thread to see what other solutions are offered to this obviously common and serious problem.

Larri

January 24, 2008 02:08 PM

I have had problems with these lights for years. I did have to quit my job when they went to the newer flourescents overhead 5 years ago. They did try to accommadate me by letting me use lamps in my area but I didn't just work in my area. I have migraines and partial complex epilispy (temporal lobe epilipsy) that only shows up around flourescents. EEG's do not show anything in me or my son and the neurologist is not suprised. She said my brain fires fast and sees the refresh rate of the faster lights which then appears like a strobe and the strobe part of the eeg can't memick that rate. It doesn't matter what kind of balast and the cf's don't make a difference. I take Lamictal and that increased my time in grocery, walmart, etc from 15 minutes to 45 minutes. I did learn that computer monitors also have a refresh rate and most of them can be set to a rate that feels more comfortable and decreases migraines and seizures. My son and I both have tinting in our glasses his is a bluish purple and my is grey that helps. He is also sensitive to halogen's. I found this site trying to research xenogen lights to see if I could put one in my all incandescent lightbulb house. I work from home now. My seizures sound like many of the complaints. dizzy feeling, disoriented, anxiety, heavy feeling then very hot with me the reds always look redder, I use the wrong words, write the wrong words, then I start throwing up. Fortunetly I figured out it was the lighting and was able to adapt, I feel bad for my son though. I went to an old school with no flourescents but he is surrounded. I would like to see these laws reversed to keep the light that I feel good in. I really don't want to resort to candles either.

Larri

January 25, 2008 11:17 PM

oops...I meant xenon lights. xenogen is something totally different.

Amy G.

January 26, 2008 04:13 AM

I've suffered with fibro for over 11 years now. I never knew why some stores were so much worse than others. I had actually suspected (after years of wondering) that it must be the very noisy air conditioning systems those stores used, until I realized it was the lights. Recently a new SuperTarget opened in our area. Within five minutes, I was extremely nauseous, horrible headache, dizzy, disoriented, replacing words with "nonsense" words, completely off balance, unable to form sentences, and, something I have not seen anyone here post yet-a VERY metallic feeling in my mouth. (does anyone else get that???) When I am under those lights, I feel like my body is literally melting. I feel like I could literally drop on the floor and never get up. Sometimes I really do have to sit on the floor in the middle of the aisle until I'm able to walk out of there. It takes me hours, if not days to feel normal again. The horrible metal feeling in my mouth WILL take days to go away! I hate those lights with a passion!!! Also, when I am under those lights, the pain of the fibro comes on with a vengeance, almost immediately. Deep, aching, and throbbing muscle pain. I have other symptoms too, but those are the most pronounced. I think people must think I am drunk, acting and staggering like I do. How much more are we going to be prisoners if this law is not reversed?!

Jesse

January 29, 2008 07:45 AM

Hi folks.

While I'm continuing to do research and consult various 'experts', I'm starting a Yahoo group, so we can have a more central place to discuss.

Please join, and please spread the word to anyone that might be suffering as we are.

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/photophobia/

Jesse

January 29, 2008 08:13 AM

Hi folks.

While I'm continuing to do research and consult various 'experts', I'm starting a Yahoo group, so we can have a more central place to discuss.

Please join, and please spread the word to anyone that might be suffering as we are.

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/photophobia/

Rita

January 29, 2008 11:14 PM

I was on Prozac for 20 years for depression. Was taken off because of side effects. Then started menopause. One year later in Walmart had my first experience with fluorescent light reaction-mild at first. Got progressively worse. First I get a migraine then confusion then dizzy and my blood pressure rises. Then a feeling like electric shock going through me and then exhaustion. This can all happen in a matter of minutes. No answers from any specialists. I wear Noir sunglasses and a hat with aluminum foil in it for a short trip in a Dr.s office. They put me in a room and turn out the lights. Some Dr.s won't do this and I can not go there. Would love some answers from researchers who are working on this problem. Have not found any info. as of this date. If anybody has let me know. Am praying for an answer and believe it will arrive.

Kim

February 8, 2008 02:32 PM

I read these comments and I have the same symptoms. I work at home most of the time and I am fine but when I do go into the office my eyes start to hurt after about an hour, I become disoriented and have a hard time functioning. The next day I wake up and my eyes are matted shut and extremly red and irritated. Who out there can offer help for this?

Jane

February 9, 2008 03:50 PM

My experience that leads me to believe that the flourescents at work are affecting me is as follows: After being exhausted (lack of sleep, jet lag, emotional stress and driving for an hour and a half) I went to work and stood in a room with no natural sunlight for 3 hours (has to do with direct mailing equipment requiring me to stay in this room with machinery). After leaving work at night time, I got into my car received a phone call while I was driving, and had to get off immediately because the person sounded like the wa wa wa wa teacher off the Charlie Brown cartoon. Then my eyes felt like they were crossed and I couldn't see the road because the stoplight's glare and moving cars were making me dizzy. I pulled over thinking I was just exhausted and then tried to drive again and the same optical symptoms occured. I almost put the car in park in the middle of the intersection because I had the feeling I was going to pass out (tingly fingers, cold sweat, dizziness, and loss of peripheral vision.) For a week thereafter, I could not drive my car because I kept experiencing the same "ill" and psychological feelings. In a world prevalent with psychotropic medication that will "cure" any experience of psychological/physiological symptoms, I feel like I have become more of a victim of science and technology than my eyesight failing me. I was treated for the anxiety with clonazepam, but am trying to ween off of it. Then, after working under these lights yesterday, my symptoms reoccured and I thought, a benzo isn't meant to correct for vision, and I could barely drive home last night. The bottom line here is that no one should have to be flagged as anxiety-prone or "crazy" by a doctor or any other professional, before we all consider what is really crazy here and that is that there are more people complaining about the negative effects of theses lights than speaking in favor of the light's energy saving qualities. Treating the symptoms is becoming more normal than treating the problem. It makes me wonder what else is out there that we have tech'ed up at our own health's expense. I guess I'll have to live by candle light and wear sunglasses at night after work (isn't there a song about that) once this bill goes into effect.

Rita

February 12, 2008 10:17 PM

To Jane and all other sufferers, As long as we have free will we will have human error and we will have evil. There are thousands of things that we have been sold a bill of goods on and this just happens to be one of them. We need to fight every way we can. I am not a particularly political person but I think I am going to need to be. We get what is happening but where do we go to fight this where somebody will listen and it will not be a waste of time? People, if any amoung you has a sharp political mind please come forward with suggestions. Thank you in advance.

Kevin

February 14, 2008 02:24 AM

I have read, with tremendous empathy, many of the heartfelt concerns, personal health experiences and frustrations expressed by each of the authors above. I am not going to try and to sell anything here, merely educate and offer hope. I am an inventor with 35 years experience working in the field of ophthalmology in Southern California. I have a website that may be of great interest to those of you who have suffered for years, like so many of my patients, from working and living under fluorescent lights. Please visit: http://www.naturalux.com and if you have any questions for me, I would be happy to answer them for you. There IS hope!

Joe

February 14, 2008 03:21 AM

There is a ton of information at:

www.naturalux.com

Brian

February 14, 2008 10:47 PM

I too am glad to see that there are others. My annoyances with these lights are much more general and I have yet to have any seizures or violent reactions; instead, I get to work in an overly-bright environment that causes: Irritation, red eyes (people ask if I'm doing drugs), squinting, headaches, etc. Sometimes it feels like someone is rubbing sandpaper around in the front of my skull.

I'm a teacher, so unfortunately can't wear sunglasses all day, and they'd complain flat-out if I wore a hat (but sometimes I do this at my office desk). The fifteen-hour days are the worst, where I know I have to wear sunglasses as much as possible so I don't murder anyone before the evening is over. I cope pretty well by doing several things:

First, sunglasses as much as possible, outside, everywhere inside, until the moment that I start teaching. On a class break, I put them on when I walk out of the room, and take them off when I get back. No one asks many questions anymore.

Second, turn off the lights. If the room is empty, I turn off the lights when I get there. In terms of coworkers, I've figured out who wants the lights on, so I don't turn off the lights if they're in the office, but if those people aren't there and I'm aggravated, I just ask directly, "Does anyone need the lights on?" If no one speaks up, off they go.

Third, I'm fortunate to have gotten a coworker to agree to remove the tubes directly overhead. That helps some, but the lights elsewhere cause problems.

I have a pair of 'indoor glasses' that I wear at times that I had made via a special order. They are tinted and glare coated, etc., and are per my specific instructions and request. As they are a pair of prescribed glasses, it is my hope that no employer will ever be dumb enough to tell me to take them off; I'd consider that an ADA violation. They have sunglasses that clip on, so clearly they aren't sunglasses, right? They also cut down on the visible eye redness, so people don't notice how aggravated I am.

I've been trying to subconsciously train people to turn off banks of lights, and it is working slowly. With outlawed incandescents, however, things could get tough. Oh, there's so much more to say, so I think I'll post it on the yahoo group... low power lighting, how my incandescents will outlive fluorescents, are cheaper, etc.

gb

February 16, 2008 07:02 PM

Are there any specific lamps or colored lights for sensitivity to fluorescent lights? I need help, I cook in the dark by the light of the microwave.

Pam

February 24, 2008 11:44 AM

Wow ! I have been suffering from this for years. Worse now that I am older. I sued to have sever migraines and one of my Drs. feels that some of it is related and now i am having silent migraines. I have the exact symptoms of many of you./ i am going to see a neuroophthamologist next week. Will keep you posted on this. Thank God I am not going insane !!!

RJ

February 26, 2008 03:40 AM

I agree with everyone here.

I might describe my sympton's a little differently though. Fluorescent lighting seems to flicker and it gives me what starts as a blurry, "what am I looking at feel". It then intensifies and I become intensely confused often having a weird noise in my ear? (auditory hallucination like) and then it seems to become a full on panic attack. '

I am a college student and every class seems to have these fluorescent lighting- the long 3-4 ft long bulbs.

My freshmen year it never seemed to bother me. I also wear glasses as I have bad vision when it comes to reading and seeing things that are far away. But sophomore year I started to realize the anxiety and headache I get when sitting in class, especially if I am already stressed out at all.

All in all, my biggest symptom is that everything seems to get extremely blurry and I am always worried it might trigger a full on panic attack.

Any advice as I still have several years of college left and do not want to go crazy. Taking Klonopin seems to help with my problems but I do not want to become dependent on this benzo medication.

I can best describe the blurryness part which is my main symptom/ first symptom
by saying that your in like a garage with just one or 2 long Fluorescent light bulbs going and me saying to myself why does everything seem blurry. I often have to take of my glasses because I then get a headache feeling.

I am just extremely worried because I seem more and more sensitive to the Fluorescent lighting everyday now.

Any help with my situation would be graciously appreciated.
Sincerely- RJ

Rita Plazo

February 26, 2008 04:05 PM

RJ, Look above and read Kevin's comments and then go to his site. You can e-mail or call him. He has some good inventions for our problems. Rita

peter

March 2, 2008 01:02 PM

I'm very interested in all these comments having suffered at work for so many years and management taking no notice at all. I could walk outside after a work period and found it difficult to walk in a straight line.
Now retired the problem has not gone away even at home having on government advice mostly energy saving lamps. I have spoken to my GP, A neurologist and my optician who offered no guidance at all.

Anna

March 6, 2008 12:42 PM

Thank goodness, I finally found out why I have reacted with these symptoms while under these lights. I first noticed it in the '50s while in second grade when the classes moved into a new building which had the flourescent lighting. All my life I've had to forego work that placed me under flourescents. My family and friends never believed me. Last month two doctors from whom I received physicals told me about these hazards. How many children can not stay fully alert in classes and get chastized publicly for it as I did. Modern technology seems to create more problems than its worth. Where are we headed when we invent something without understanding the dangers?

Beth

March 9, 2008 05:18 PM

Oh My Goodness! Why oh why if so many are suffering do more doctors not know about this. My problem started about 2 years ago, diagnosed with allergies, and this medicine did seem to help a bit. Allergra D, Nasonex. Now guess I've gotten used to it, but I first notice my ear clogs, then in fluoescent lights, I get a elevator feeling in my head, followed by chills down my body and then intense heat. Last doctor did notice an eye jump, with simple finger following procedure related to vertigo. Prescribed bactrim, and decongestant and nasonex. Still no relief. Just thought I would share though in case some of this may help you get through this more easily.
Hugs to all as i truly know how miserable and life changing this is and can be.
Beth

Roselyn

March 10, 2008 04:34 PM

I am just happy to know I am not insane and I am not alone. I started searching for answers today after I changed all the lights in my craft studio to CF bulbs last night and then tried to work. I was immediately sick, disoriented, dizzy and unable to continue. It was such a scary feeling.

I used to always chalk the sick, dizzy feeling I got in stores to not eating enough, so I started making sure I ate well before going shopping. I still got sick, so my husband suggested it might be the lighting and try wearing shades and that has helped a bit. But I work under fluorescents all day, and I can't wear shades at work.

I also have been converting the lights in my house to CF bulbs and now I think i need to stop. I don't want to feel ill all the time at home as well.

Caralan

March 11, 2008 10:52 AM

Wow! I know my family thought I was crazy...everytime I go into certain stores I feel dizzy and light-headed. I dread shoppping now. It has recently started happening at work but I get releif when I shut off the overhead lights and just use a desk top lamp. When I went to see my optomitrist, he was very dismissive and told me to see my family doctor. Now, atleast I have some ideas to get relief!!!

Pam

March 22, 2008 03:23 PM

Well, neurologist, and opthoneurologist, both agree, hyperactive cortex, from being a migrainer. There are a lot of things to try,but it is hit or miss. Topapamx made me mush yuck!!! So pink glasses, helped a little, hat a little, still not enough. I am now going to try Migrelief per my Dr. Will let you know soon. Also sleeping with a eye cover is supposed to help.According to Young & Silberstein in a book called migraines and other headaches migrainers brains are really different than other brains.

Craig

March 27, 2008 10:54 PM

Pam,

What are the symptoms of a hyperactive cortex. I am very interested in this theory. Thanks.

Mike

April 6, 2008 03:10 PM

I have rid my office of fluorescents, its the only solution.

Rita

April 8, 2008 10:01 PM

These are all of the causes I've read so far: migraines, autoimmune diseases(ex. lupus), multiple medications (ex.psychotropic drugs), fibromyalgia, head injuries, unbalanced horome levels, seizure disorders. But my question is,"what if you have no known cause"? Are people being treated just because fluorescents are not compatible with human physiology? Should we have to be medicated with very dangerous medications to live in our world? So we can cover them up, cover us up, take medications. Why can't we eliminate them??? How can we eliminate them? Remember smoking in public places, remember asbestos, remember lead paint? One day soon I hope we can say, "remember fluorescent lights"?

Sonya

April 12, 2008 04:48 PM

Ahh I am so blessed to have found this information. I have been dealing with the same thing as many of you are. It is a very strange and unpleasant feeling, I was beginning to think that something was major going on, until I was able to see a pattern of the eyes losing focus, and everything being so extremely blurry. I kept experiencing this in places like stores, schools, drs offices, and the likes. You all know the places I am taking about. then to have the very very dry feeling, and as many have mentioned feeling like sand in them, oh how unpleasant that is. I even feel like that sometime when I am on computer. it is very annoying, but I do notice relief once I leave those areas. So I am chaulking it up to something else I have to deal with along with Fibromyalgia, Post surgical adhesion related disease, severe knee pain. now this. While I do not l ike the feelinjg, I am going to try some of the tips that many of you have offered, and hope that I can manage to get by with this neasy feelings. Thanks to all that have shared their input, it helped me alot.

Ray Donald

April 14, 2008 10:32 PM

I find the bright florescent office lights actually would make me agitated and disoriented & unable to function at my normally high level of mental acuity. It will give a mental state like ADHD is described as, which goes away if I can escape to dimmer lights. Wal-Marts & supermarkets are pure torture. I feel/felt like an idiot wearing a hat & dark glasses, but now don't care what anyone thinks.
My Doctor listens patiently & tells me to use eye drops & etc. Doesn't make any difference. I have an office, & hated to do it, but I did write & was grated an ADA accomodation for a dimmer switch at work. When I tell co-workers my symtoms, I usually get a response ranging from slight symaoaty to a slack-jawed quizical stare, and I can almost hear peple thinking "whats wrong with this guy, anyway, its not too bright in here....". It is real though, for those of us who have it.

Craig

April 16, 2008 02:03 PM

Well said, Ray! It's too bad many of us don't know what "it" is. My symptoms are very similar to yours...especially the mental confusion.

Rita

April 17, 2008 11:05 AM

To Whom it May Concern, Would the person who owns this site please come forward. After hearing all of this pain and suffering I think there is some responsibility on your part to tell all of us who you are and do you have any plan for our information or is it just a place to ventilate feelings? We need some hope here or some answers by this time. It is a great motion that you have established this site and there is much gratitude!!! Please let us here from you and share what information you have. Thank you and God bless.

RP

April 20, 2008 02:56 PM

Yes, Compact fluorescents will save you money on electricity bills. Yes it's great that you want to do something for the environment.

Apparently, compact fluorescents emit radiation (high frequency radio waves) for a couple feet, and people have been contracting rashes, headache, nausea, back pain etc. from their household compact fluorescents.

Read into it, your health and that of your family will thank you for at least learning about the possible risks before you switch to the "green" solution and fill your house with these lights.

As always, don't take my word for it, go find out yourself.

Peace love and happiness

Gary

April 23, 2008 11:08 AM

There are other technologies that may not have the issues that fluorescents do. For instance, LED "bulbs".
No incandescents does not equal only fluorescents, but we will need to make people more aware of the issues with
fluorescents, and of the alternatives.

If we want to continue to live on this planet, though, we are going to need to start thinking about conserving at a fundamental level. (i.e., think more "big picture")

This goes way beyond what most of us think of when we think of conserving, and would address a lot of our "peripheral" issues as well.

For instance, I work in a building, which has a plain old black tar style roof. All the light that hits it is, of course, wasted.

If, instead, we had a roof with fiber optics that fed through the building, we could all have natural sunlight "piped in" to our work areas. It would also lower the cost of lighting the building, of course.

I don't know if this idea is workable or not, I just kind of made it up as an example, but we need to start thinking more big picture if we are going to get past our current challenges.

Janet Love, MSSW, MBA, LPC, NCC

April 25, 2008 03:05 AM

The push to use fluorescent lights could be very bad for many people with disabilities. The Job Accommodation Network (http://www.jan.wvu.edu) lists reduction or elimination of fluorescent lighting as an appropriate accommodation for many conditions. In addition to causing headache, fatigue, and problems with light sensitivity, they are listed as problematic for individuals with epilepsy, migraine, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, and vertigo (related to cardiovascular problems, multiple scleroses, and several other disorders.) I have also seen accounts of difficulties faced by individuals with hyperactivity, autism and anxiety. Fluorescent treatment of depression can have the side effect of mania.

When I talk about my own sensitivity (resulting in seizure activity regardless of the type of fluorescent), approximately 15% of the population respond with stories about symptoms from this type of lighting, most commonly headache, fatigue and confusion. I find that many people are not aware that their lights are causing their symptoms, until they start thinking about the circumstances the problems occur in.

Doctors are not talking about this either; they are using the troublesome lights. I had uncontrollable seizures for 20 years before I figured out the lights were triggering most of my problems. The doctor said he was not surprised, and told me about some of the many other problems people have! No one even suggested I consider it before that.

When standard lighting triggers severe health problems, one is excluded from many important activities. It seems to me that if cement were as valuable as energy, we would be telling people in wheelchairs that it is not reasonable to expect a ramp. I was very disappointed to learn that cities have started developing building codes encourage, or even specify, that this health hazard be implemented in much of the new construction.

Compact fluorescents for household use should come with a hazard warning! The ideal would be to exclude fluorescents from commercial use with accessibility standards. Certainly, with the recent increases in problems experienced by children, this issue should at least be addressed in schools.

Please consider taking action to reverse this trend. Write your city, state and national legislators to make them aware of this problem. They are starting to pass laws to make incandescent bulbs illegal, which would leave some of us completely in the dark. We need to look further for alternatives that do not harm any one, or leave them stuck outside, or in the dark.

For my part I have a letter from my doctor, and have started asking for accomodations "under the ADA". I have gotten some positive responses with professional development workshops and a few past employers. I am not having much luck with Texas, but am having some with Austin. I am about to start expecting acccomodations at the Mayors Comittee for People With Disabilities, then I will go to the Govenor's Comittee. Push as hard as you can where ever you can. I think I will help them by asking if they would prefer the following headline: "Woman has seizure in street after (agency) refuses ADA request" Or perhaps they would like to ride in my car? State that you require an accomodation, don't ask if they will do it.

LEANNE MORGAN

May 13, 2008 05:30 AM

I am replying to MJ from Jan 08 - I am also female and have always had low blood pressure. I get bad effects from fluoros also - my father also does - he noticed he could not stand the lights when shopping at the bigger centres

michele

May 28, 2008 06:12 PM

I am so thankful to have found this thread. I to have dealt with dizziness, blurred vision, and headaches in large stores with fluorescent lighting. At first, I thought I was having symptoms of hypoglycemia but felt relief upon leaving the store. Our local Target is a newer store and seems to affect me the most. I have timed the onset of symptoms at 20-30 minutes to confirm I am not crazy. I feel relief shortly after leaving. I try not to stay in these stores long. I would like to know if anyone has found a good pair of sunglasses that could be worn inside that are not to dark.

Maria

May 29, 2008 06:00 AM

I live in Australia.I have developed a general intolerance since moving into new office space with full on fluoro(and no natural light) about 3 years ago. I become disoriented, fatigued & can't concentrate. Also slight headache & nausea. It can build into a feeling of anxiousness for no reason and on occasions it has affected my balance. It helps to know I am not alone.
I have tinted lenses for my prescription computer glasses. It helps a bit. A desk lamp near your computer screen can also help to diffuse the fluoro light. I also find I am a bit better if I do not have a fluoro directly over my head or in front of me. Best if my desk faces a wall.

Jan

June 11, 2008 03:22 PM

Fluorescent lighting is forbidden in public areas such as schools, libraries, kindergartens etc in most European countries. Upon coming to the US some 20 years ago, me and my wife were horrified to see the tubes virtually everywhere, especially in bunker-like schools here. To combat the effect of the invisible flickering, we have brought strong incandescent lamps to our workplaces or had the employer provide them to us. The fluorescent tubes flicker continuously at 50 Hz (50 times on and 50 off in a second) or 60 Hz in Europe. This effect is absent in incandescent bulbs because of the heat inertia of tungsten: this metal fiber does not have enough time to cool off enough to stop emitting light, while the neon and other gases literally though imperceptibly so go off and on. Glasses won't help much.

greentopaz

June 14, 2008 04:20 AM

Amazing how many people have experienced what I have. I have pretty much avoided large stores like safeway, shopping malls, school, etc because I have what feels like a panic-attack when I go any place that has fluorescent lighting. I feel phsyically numbed, dizzy, anxious, my thoughts start racing, my vision changes and gets weird, I feel like I'm about to faint, etc. And it's not social anxiety, because I have no problem getting together with friends, or strangers, in large groups. It's those damned lights and I despise them!

Teresa

June 15, 2008 12:28 AM

The lights make my lupus flare bad and my skin breaks out in bad lupus rash, I am wondering if wearing a hat would help much because it seems like the light fills the room so much that it would get in from the sides or under the brim. I recently found that my church is using them which explains my never ending lupus flare. Also can't they be ok if they are covered? I was told to stay away from Uncovered fluor. lights, is it true the bad stuff that causes photosensitive rashes can be blocked. One more thing, it's not uv rays right?, so sunblock won't help? They are everywhere!!

DONNA

June 15, 2008 10:56 PM

ANYONE HAVE THIS PROBLEM WITH FLUORESCENT LIGHTING....AS SOON I WALK INTO A PLACE WITH THIS LIGHTING THE WHITES OF MY EYES TURN COMPLETELY RED!!! WHEN I GO BACK OUTSIDE INTO THE REGULAR LIGHT, MY EYES ARE MUCH BETTER...AFTER BEING IN FLUORESCENT LIGHTING MY EYES BECOME VERY RED AND SORE.............ANY SUGGESTIONS??????
MY SISTER HAS THE EXACT PROBLEM AND WE BOTH HAVE BLUE EYES.....

BluePearl

June 16, 2008 07:02 PM

For all of you fluorescent sensitives out there who must work under this bad lighting - visit Theskyfactory.com. They make scenic diffusers for overhead fluorescent lighting that may help at the workplace. I sat under one of these diffusers for a dental exam and felt none of my usual symptoms. In fact, it helped to relax me. Also, in whatever capacity at our disposal, we must voice our support of natural lighting in building designs and homes and spread the word about the ill health effects on humans caused by fluorescents. (Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't sunlight even cheaper than fluorescent lighting?) Furthermore, I suspect that there is more than the issue of energy savings behind the global CFL mandates. There are a thousand more effective ways to conserve energy use by the populace such as thermostats that have a temp range between 65 and 75 instead of the current 50 and 90. The government can also limit the size of newly constructed homes to 2000 sq. ft.(large homes use large energy). They could also limit the number of computers and televisions per household. Fact is, energy saving policy is being mandated in an area (personal lighting) that will realize the least return. Why?

Karl

June 17, 2008 03:59 AM

Eighteen months ago I changed all the lights in my home to the new energy-saver fluorescent lights. Although I did have to change the light in the garage door opener back as the fluoro bulb constantly flickered on and off.

I knew that the old tube fluorescent bulbs gave me problems, but was assured the new ones would not.

Over the course of the year I started to have debilitating headaches, my vision became blurred - making it very difficult, sometimes impossible to read. It affected my ability to work, drive, and do a host of other tasks.

In February, a friend who was visiting from the U.K. suggested I switch back to incandescent bulbs to see if that made a difference. I did and within a week my vision returned to normal and my headaches stopped.

In April, I switched the bulbs back to the fluoro ones and the symptoms returned within a couple of days. Took the bulbs out again and a few days later I was fine again.

What concerns me is that twelve months from now, (here in New Zealand), incandescent bulbs will no longer be permitted to be imported and sold. I will be stocking up between now and then, but I suppose I will have to become a criminal after that as I will be forced to 'score' my incandescent bulbs on the black market or import them illegally -- plus, the price is going to go through the roof.

Aside from the health issues, which are serious for some of us, and of which we do not know the long-term effects on the population, there is the very real environmental consequences of these bulbs -- the amount of energy saved in power usage may well be more than taken up by the need for recycling programs. And what of all the ones that will be disposed of illegally?

According to my power company, my household is already a very low power user -- and I work from home, so there is someone here and computers running all the time. So, there must be plenty of other ways the average household can save power.

I will be fighting the legislation in our country as I believe this policy is poorly conceived and the consequences of this move to fluoro bulbs have not been fully considered.

It has taken thirty years of efforts by many to see legislation start to recognise the severe limitations of the ionization smoke alarm that sounds when we burn our toast but fails to warn of a fire during its smouldering stage (the stage in which most fire deaths actually occur) and which, as a consequence has resulted in thousands of unnecessary deaths and tens of thousands of maimings -- all because a new, supposedly superior technology (ionization) was introduced by smoke alarm manufacturers; the truth now known is that the pre-existing photoelectric technology was and is much more reliable (refer smokealarmrecall.org)).

I wonder how long it will take for the truth about these new bulbs to come out and how many will suffer in the interim.

Karl Westwell
Chairman Emeritus, World Fire Safety Foundation

Martin Mintal

June 20, 2008 02:42 PM

Hi everybody,
I have the problem with fluorescents since I worked for DELL (ca. 6 years ago), because in that big office building, all ceilings were filled with big fluorescent "cubes".

After numerous eye-doctor visits and many many angry days with caps and eyeglasses I realized, that the doctors cannot help me and tried to look for help by myself.

Normal bulbs will be unfortunately illegal in my contry (Slowakia) from 2009 (I have contacted the ministry of health but got an answer that "only few number of people suffer from fluorescents...so this is not the real reason not to use them generally").

So after visiting hundreds of www-sites I have finally found 2(3) types of solutions:

1. clear, turn the fucking light off

2. EXTERNAL SOLUTION: there are many firms, that sell some sort of diffusers or special filters:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorescent_lamp (source 11 - on the very end)

http://www.jan.wvu.edu/soar/vision/light.html (the complete list of US companies producing such filters)

As I know, you can get an acknowledgement from your doctor that you suffer eye-disconfort under fluorescent lights and than your employer should be (theoretically) obligatory to buy such devices - I know this sound very theoretical and works only in small companies, where the relations are much more "human-like". In big companies like DELL, Accenture and all those big American "sausage-machine" you have no chance (because it is quite common to move from one place to another with your teams every month - I know what I talk about :-) ). This site is really helpful:

http://www.jan.wvu.edu/soar/vision/light.html

It contains several submissions for your employer how to eliminate the negative effects of fluorescents. Even wikipedia states that fluorescent have many negative health issues for individuals and that they are at least unconvenient for many people. The filters are really realtive cheap - I mean, in the worst case, you can by them alone.

3. INTERNAL SOLUTION: 2 briliant American scientist studied the effects of various chemicals (or "vitamins" would be a better term) on highly photosensitive people (incredeble):

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2007/0082066.html (this is the source site)

RESULT: The use of lutein and zaexantin in high dosis (6mg daily each) should eliminate the problem in the most cases (the reason for photosensitivity is the shortness of those substantians in your body and some parts of your eye). The maximum daily dosis should not exceede 15-20 mg. It is not suggested to combinate these two "vitamins" with other caroteins (like B-vitamin).

http://www.naturaleyecare.com/diseases.asp?d_num=21

http://www.naturaleyecare.com/store/detail.aspx?ID=1754

http://wiki.mitamins.com/index.php/Light_Sensitivity

In Slowakia, these are generally available - but don't buy various combination - ask for "clean" lutein-zaexantin combinations (6mg daily - 1 tablet in the most cases).

I have personally tried the EXTERNAL SOLUTION (my new Swedish boss is really a good man and he was able to understand my problem - or he would like to create a "happy" working environment). I have not tried the "internal" solution yet (I have discovered the information just today).

So first, read all the internet sites carefully (unfortunately, the most important site - http://www.pro-retina.de/deu/forschung/wissenschaftliche_beratungsgremien/empfehlungen/lutein_und_zeaxanthin.html ist available only in German) but as I said those 2 "chemicals" are freely available and are sold mostly in form of some "EyePLUS" Vitamins for people that work with computers blablabal. So simply ask your local pharmacist.

I will buy them in 2 weeks (I am a student, have just changed my work and my budget is momentary very thin :-) ), but share all your know-how with me.

Now I have a super job: I had a talk with my boss about my problem and he simply turned the lights off and bought a simple big bulb-light in Ikea (my 2 colleagues were also happy), but I am afraid, that when I let's say change my work in 3-4 years, I will face the same problem again.

Nice greetings to the United States

MARTIN MINTAL
Slowakia
e-mail: h0150264@wu-wien.ac.at
(this is my university address, so no advertisements please)


RoMaN

July 1, 2008 12:24 AM

Hey was browsing the web found out people have the same problem as I :]

I'm 19 I have been working for a Collection Company for 11 Months. I usually do just paperwork because I am not experienced in collection nor i want to quite annoying talking to reps and patients, But the thing is the office has fluorescent lights i don't know how powerful they are but it messes with my eyes, and i think people are scared or embarrassed at my job to say it's bothering them to,
But like in the 6th month working there i noticed i have been seeing flickered lights. Because of boredom and every upcoming month it had gotten a little intense but i didn't pay attention and forgot about it and let it happen, recently my eyes have started twitching [left one] and people say its stress, but i Doubt it, and i researched and found out that it causes my little migraine but i got 2 months left working there and hopefully quit earlier So ye I don;t need drugs just kick back and turn on fluorescent lights lmao :/

Hurting Light

July 5, 2008 03:18 PM

I too have have the same problem with the flourscent lights. This has been happening for over 15 years. In the past, my job has been able to aommodate me by shutting off the lights. I just started a new job where I sit in a huge room with other people. These are not even cubes. Within minutes of sitting at my desk, my eyes started hurting. I eventually sat in a dark corner that was empty. After only 6 hours, my eye have been hurting for 2 days and they still don't feel good after 3 days. Luckily, I have had some days off to recover but I am suppose to work on Monday, Tues and Wednesday in the office and I don't know how I will sit at a computer all day. I bought a pair of expensive polarized, dark, goggle-type glasses. I hope they don't have a problem with me wearing these since shutting off the lights is not an option. I have already talked to my boss about the problem but I am afraid he might want to get rid of me. Thanks for suggestions above. Any help or other suggestions would be great.

Rita

July 6, 2008 09:38 PM

Hurting Light, Go to the ,Naturalux, website and read everything. Also read the Americans with Disabilities Act. Draw your own conclusions to see if you can find a solution to your problem from these. If not see if your doctor can help.

ronnie

July 9, 2008 07:45 AM

THIS IS THE POST I PUT UP ON THE YAHOO PHOTOPHOBIA FORUM.

I've been told by my GP that he has not heard of anyone having eye problems with fluorescent lights!


I am so glad to have found this group, and also the postings on this site :-
http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2007/02/yahoo_sees_the.html

I thought I was going mad thinking I can't be the only one suffering with this extreme sensitivity to florescent tube lights.

Well for me it all started about 2 years ago. I work in a design office, working a CAD system, so I'm constantly looking at the computer all day!

About 2 years ago my company decided to upgrade all our computers, which resulted in losing our CRT monitors with built in anti glare screens for digital LCD monitors with NO anti glare screens, and because they are digital input you cannot adjust the contrast as it is optimally set from the factory ! About a week after that they decided to change all our lighting in our office, before we had lighting units which consisted of 4 florescent tubes with a plastic opaque diffuser, now we have similar lighting units which have the metal squares diffuser.

It has taken me a while to find out why I have been suffering with sore eyes and headaches for the past 2 years!

Initially I thought it was the new LCD screen but with my company getting me a external anti glare screen to fit over the LCD, and also buying some glasses that have a clear film over the lens to stop screen glare, but I still suffer, and it has been getting worse as time goes on, and as with many of the post on the businessweek thread it takes my eyes about 2 -3 days to return back to normal, so I suffer all week in work, then try to enjoy the weekend with sore eyes ! They start feeling a lot better by Sunday night, only to expose myself 1st thing Monday morning to the glare again.

I had resulted in wearing sunglasses in the office because with the computer screen glare problem eliminated, the only other possible cause for my eye discomfort and headaches is the fluorescent lights that are above my head, but with the sunglasses on I can still see the glare for the lights above through the top of the sunglasses, so the problem was still not solved!
With getting constant Steve Wonder and Ray Charles jokes being thrown in my face daily, someone came up to me from the shop floor and said why not try these out! AS ANOTHER JOKE! Link to this item below,

http://www.thesitebox.com/Store/Product.aspx?ProductId=133474&src=google-base

As I was going along with the joke, I wore these goggles for about 5 mins, and instantly my eyes were feeling 200% better, so now I'm getting the Darth Vader jokes being thrown at me on a daily basis! But I can now get through a working day with zero eye strain, no soreness, no headaches and then going home and not having to flake out on the sofa with my eyes shut for 3 hours until my eyes have sort of recovered! But this for me is not the long term solution! I have asked my bosses if they could replace the square metal diffusers with the plastic opaque diffusers, it is cheap and I hope it will be an effective solution to my problem, as I never use to have this problem before with the old lights in our office with the plastic diffusers.

So I hold my breath and continue to look like something out of a Star Wars movie, in the hope that plastic opaque diffusers will be bought sometime soon.

Ronnie

michelleFM

July 10, 2008 10:55 AM

I wanted to share some exciting news. This has been truly amazing. I have suffered from the flourescent flicker problem for 15 years. My employers have accomodated until the last one. I didn't know what I was going to do. After the first day of work, it took me four days to recover from one day at work. Someone mentioned that I need to trick my eyes to look at "good" light so I bought a desk lamp. The lamp might have flicker but it is something that doesn't bother your eyes. I have tried this before but I never positioned it close to my screen. The closer I positioned it the better my eyes felt. This is truly a miracle. My eyes have felt great the last three days. Woohoo. Let me know if this helps any one else. Thanks.

Lisa

July 12, 2008 07:49 PM

Anyone wanting to understand why fluorescent lights are having negative
effects to your health, please visit www.SchoolConcerns.com
also look into the benefits of full spectrum lighting. Good luck and health to you!

PT

August 2, 2008 01:09 PM

Same problems you all mentioned. Over the prescription sunglasses do block over the head light also. They work great but little help with LCDs.

http://www.dealtime.com/xPC-Live-Eyewear-Cocoons-OverRx-Polarized-Sunglasses-MS-Mini-Slim-Tortoise-Copper

Heather West

August 14, 2008 09:08 PM

Reading all of these posts has made me overjoyed. I am 28 and I have been experiencing horrible tunnel vision, dizziness, nausia,lightheadedness, the feeling I was about to black out, and the physical feelings of an anxiety attack for almost 2 years now. It took me a looong time to even figure out that it was brought on by the fluorescent lighting. I had my eyes and ears checked and went to the doctor to explain my strange symptoms. All of this to no avail. I thought I was going crazy. To hear that this happens to so many others makes me feel so much better. Since realizing that it was the lighting that was affecting me I wear a hat whenever I go into places with fluorescents and find that it does help some.

Melissa

August 20, 2008 04:44 AM

I am so glad I found this site I have been off work for a year and had evey test done and they all came back normal. I still can't go back to work cause I work for Costco and I don't think they are going to help me and change our lighting, and I can't wear sunglasses or a hat. Has anyone found any other ways or med that have worked?

Florence Aldridge

August 21, 2008 02:08 PM

When the music school of which I was an adjunct professor, finished building their new choral rehearsal room, I found it very hard to see the notes on the printed page clear enough to play. Being the accompanist, that really bothered me. At that time, I found a professor in the UK (whose e-mail I no longer have) that said I should put a regular lamp next to the music to offset the glare. That helped some; he also suggested wearing lenses that had some of the color red in them.

Now I'm retired and living elsewhere. The computer system, of which I use daily, has fluorescent lighting. I find myself yawning constantly, besides having tired eyes. Has anyone else had this yawning problem with fluorescent lighting? Please e-mail me, for I'm interested to see if there is any cure for this symptom. Thanks. floaldridge@yahoo.com

richard

August 26, 2008 02:27 PM

I have had every test known for humans and animals ha! I have a very good insurance. I have seen approx 100 doctors (UCLA, Scripps, UCI, etc). They do not know what the H I am talking about. I can not watch TV, Computer Monitors, night and early morning outside light (halogen). I am screwed. But I guess I am not alone. I tried drugs. Elavil works to some extent but I feel over time you have full blown demencia sp? I am a good source for everything because I have had all tests and drugs. Nothing helps.
One important thing. Have balance in your life. This means if you work all day under fluor lights, computers, etc. do not come home and watch fricken TV. I did and look what happened. I think I am worse than most of you. Oh yes I meditate, I yoga. Second all of you have eye strain. ice packs on the eye balls are good and feel good. rfarmer_98@yahoo.com

Richard

August 27, 2008 04:24 PM

Guys,
Things are not all bad. Your life can improve. You have to do it. I promise this for most of you if you:
Change you Diet - Our hormones, adrenaline, etc from the fluorescent lights causes your body to get headaches, etc. That means no sugar, no caffeine, no diary products, no food supplements (no lie), no sodas, no large meals. Believe me No.
Balance your life - computers during the day means no computers, TV, movies, outside night lights at night. And processible no reading.
Eye fatigue - During the day take a break. Go outside. When you are at a computer that means every 10 minutes a cold pack to each eye for less than a minute. Fluorescent lights are bad for your eyes and your brain. I am talking long term.
If you do not believe the above just try the cold pack once and presto the headache is almost gone.
Good Luck!!! As I find more things I will let you know.
What would be helpful is people listing all there problems. I don't sleep, I am stressed type person, etc. We will start seeing a similiarity between all of us.

Rita

August 27, 2008 07:27 PM

Two great websites for help and explaination of causes; www.naturalux.com and www.schoolconcerns.com Also some specialists not often considered; environmental, chemical and electrical, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, naturopaths, hypnotists, prosthetic contact lens opticians.

Susan

August 28, 2008 03:59 PM

Ok, I went to a Dr. visit with my 20 year old who just had her tonsils removed ( A very AWFUL experience) and the Doc took one look at me and said....
"you must have allergy's, your eyes are really really red". I was so angry because I KNEW why they were red. I don't have allergy's except when I'm in a waiting room or any room where there is flourescent lighting. I have a routine where I put a drop of visine, LR as soon as I get to work I ( I work in an operating room as a Surg tech). I was so tired of all the comments and name calling...ie., "here comes ole red eye". The weird thing was, I never have red eyes outside...I know, because I ask and when I look at my eyes in the rear-view mirror, I have nice, white eyes. THe only thing I can figure is that I only get that way in the lighting that is in offices, and buildings.
One poster, said that they can't stand Target. This is all making sense to me.
I kept calling it "Mega Store Syndrome" to my husband. I actually called him from my cell phone and I said...I think Mega stores make me feel dizzy and kind of sick. They made our Target here much, much bigger and better, and the first few visits I had to leave. I felt so ill. I didn't know what it was! I'm so glad I found this site.
Thank you all for your comments, it's starting to all make sense now.

Jesse

September 2, 2008 03:30 AM

In case you missed it, please join my Yahoo group on this subject:

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/photophobia/

Just for information consolidation, no spam, fees or anything.

Joe

September 4, 2008 05:40 PM

Ok, so I've read quite a few of the blogs, and there is one thing in common. Everyone that has written, has a problem with fluorescent lighting. However, it doesn't seem as if many of you are pushing supervisors, stores, schools, other office environments for a solution.

Contact the HR supervisor where possible, and advise him of this problem. If you may lose your job because of your sensitivity, explore workmen's comp avenues. Let your boss know that the uv light makes you tired, week, or ill, and put the ball in his court. Follow up periodically, and see if there is an action taken. Please post to this site what progress, if any, you make.

Vivian

September 5, 2008 05:41 PM

Due to a combination of eye diseases, all types of bright light causes me eye pain including sunlight, incandescent and of course fluorescent light. The most comfortable lighting for me is 40 and 60 incandescent bulbs. I can tolerate fluorescent lighting as long as it is not too bright.

At my current job, I asked the maintenence supervisor to remove some of the flourescent lights in my office so that there are 2 tubes to a grouping instead of the standard 4. That has helped a lot.

At a previous job I did the same thing, and that worked out fine until the company unstalled more energy efficient fluorescent lights which were much brighter. I eventually conviced my boss to have dimmers installed in my office, but I had to keep after him for months before it was accomplished.

At still another job, the company had installed very harsh bright 8 foot blue fluorescent lights with no covers in the hallway. When I complained to my boss, she said that the lights were bright for everyone, and she wasn't going to do anything about it. So after several weeks of not getting anywhere, I took the lights down myself. Now that got the company's attention, and they replaced the harsh blue lights with the standard 4 foot cool white flurosecents.

Several years ago Wal-Mart replaced their lighting with harsh blue/white fluorescent lights which was much brighter than the lights they had before. When I complained to the manager, all he said was that he was sorry the lights bothered, but he was not going to do anything about it. I wrote and e-mailed Wal-Mart headquarters, and heard nothing back from them.

So I have had varied degrees of success and failure.

I am very concered about the push to use compact fluorescent lights and the proposed phase out of incandescent lights. It seems to me that phasing out incandescent lights would be a violation of the Americans with Disablitiles Act (ADA) because incandescent lights are the best option for some people.

Judy

September 6, 2008 07:01 PM

I get horrible migraines from fluorescent bulbs. Several years ago I worked for a company in the beginning of the "full spectrum light" industry. These are fluorescent tubes that have a CRI of at least 90. They are very similar to daylight and have the same proportions of UVA, UVB rays, etc. While working there we used our tubes. I did not suffer from a single migraine while there. These are also used by people with Seasonal Affective Disorder to promote good health.

Laura

September 9, 2008 09:06 AM

I complained about the fluorescent lights at my old job to no avail, despite my work performance suffering every day due to migraines. I'm a full time student now and my first day back yesterday was met with a migraine with more symptoms than I usually get, feeling quite sick for example. I've also noticed quite a few other students complaining of headaches during a college day and I wonder if it's the same problem for them? I'm going to voice my concerns at my college to see if anything at all could be done.

John

September 9, 2008 01:43 PM

Every fluorescent light that I know give me a great discomfort. Some of them give me headaches or even migraines. I can't stand in a shop with just fluorescent lights for long.

Even worse: I can't look to LCDs nor plasmas. It seems that I have a high flicker sensitivity. It may be due to the backlight of the LCDs or the inversion patterns of the LCD, the temporal dithering of the LCDs, or just the 50/60 refresh rate of the Plasma, I'm not sure.
This is putting me crazy, wherever I go there is an LCD.

brtty

September 10, 2008 11:44 AM

finally I feel as though people dont think I'm a nut. Everytime I step foot in our local Walmart store, it starts, I get this awful headache,feel dizzy and sick to my stomach. can hardly do what I came there to do. at fist I thought it might be a cleaning product that was doing it,but smelled nothing,then when checking out one day the lady beside me was feeling the same way and she said it was the flurescent lights. that at first was hard for me to believe,but it has to be that because so many people are saying the same thing. I have a flurescent light over my kitchen sink and I dont see any effects from that, but it has a sheild completly covering it and the lights in WalMart do not.I can go to Target next door and theres are covered and they have no effect on me, maybe they should have a cover over all them. so Target here I come!!!

Redgirl

September 11, 2008 03:06 PM

I have been "Red Faced" since May. Each day when I come home from work I look like I have a sunburn. We turned off the overhead lights above my desk and I am wearing a hat and sunglasses at work.
My allergist feels that antibiotics I took initially to recover have made me UV sensitive. Seeing that turning off the fluorescents has helped I think he could be correct

Dawn M

September 16, 2008 06:38 AM

I'm glad I'm not the only one who has to wear sunglasses to work. I noticed a couple of years ago that florescent lights cause me to have migraines and eye strain. I may look silly wearing my sunglasses at 6am at work but atleast I can function. ;)

Craig

September 17, 2008 06:52 PM

I found a site that I'm hoping will pay off in solving my fluorescent light problems. By no means do I have an affiliation with the following site, just thought it may be of interest to all of you suffering like me. All the best:

http://www.gunnaroptiks.com/index.html

Rita

September 25, 2008 07:20 PM

Recently ,my chiropractor discussed the possibility of adrenal fatigue with me. In adrenal fatigue you overproduce cortisol and other hormones. Too much cortisol will not allow your pupils to constrict and all of the light comes in and produces more cortisol and many symptoms. One of the causes of adrenal fatigue is too much stress. I am in the process of being tested. There are books to help but you also need a good physician.

Jenny

November 6, 2008 09:43 PM

For 3 months now I've been having severe headaches at work, but only on Mondays. I figured out it was the florescent lights. But the mystery was that I've been there almost 7 years and it just started bothering me a few months ago. And why only on Mondays? I guess because over the weekend I wasn't around the lights and Monday it was a shock to my eyes. By Tuesday my eyes were adjusted to them. So I got two desk lamps and turned out the overhead lights. It really seemed to help a lot. Anyway, my husband said you know we haven't been eating very well lately. We have been working long hours and eating out a lot. He said we haven't eaten any green vegetables in a few months. So I got to thinking.... I searched the internet - "vitamin lacking sensitive to light". I found out that if you are deficient in Vitamin A, B, C and/or Beta Carotene (which is in green leafy vegetables) that your eyes could be sensitive to bright lights. So the next day we started eating better and every day for a week I've been eating some kind of green leafy vegetable (spinach, broccoli, etc.) I feel so much better. And the lights don't seem to bother me!! I know some of you can't turn out the lights at work, so maybe see if your diet is lacking the proper vitamins and hopefully that will help you too. I just had to share this information because it has made my life so much better, especially Mondays. I hope it helps somebody out there.

thomson2008

November 11, 2008 04:26 AM

It seems everytime I go into a building that's flooded with fluorescent lighting, I get blurry vision and sooo sleepy! Ever grocery stores... I first noticed it in my teens (I'm 41 now) when I would go to stores with my mom. I would be sleepy and constantly yawning, so much so she would send me to the car to wait on her.
=============================
Thomson

alberta drug rehab

Scott

November 14, 2008 10:26 PM

Well, I am glad to have found this site, but the big question is what can we do? I have a business degree, and have been working in sales for 5 years. The environment is made up of about 60 cubicles that have low walls. The ceiling is maybe 10 feet up, and all of the visible light comes from florescent light tubes that are installed with the metal grid reflectors. About a year ago, I started to feel a slight numbness around my left eye, ear, and forehead. this only happened while at work, and would disappear minutes after I would walk outside. Over the next few months, the sensation would occur every time I was in the office, across my entire forehead and neck. I also noticed that my vision, which is perfect 20/20, gets a bit hazy... The problem has gotten so bad now that I can't be in that office for even 10 minutes without feeling numb and burning sensations on my face and scalp, which also have started to become red at times. To try and discover the cause of all of this, I have gone to the office late at night with the lights off and did not have the problem. Through various doctors, I have eliminated the possibilities of bells palsy, vision problems, and stress. The only other possible cause besides the lighting is a reaction to cellular and PCS signal. Most offices and public places have signal boosters and I have also read similar complaints from cellphone users... -- Someone please help with this florescent light epidemic!! I can't just quit my job, and even if I do how can I find another business job where I wont be under these terrible lights? If all of us are experiencing this, what action can be taken to stop the suffering? I would be happy to discuss further to help find a solution. intensuall@yahoo.com

Vivian

November 16, 2008 02:43 PM

Scott,

Are the fluorescent lights in your office 'cool white', or 'daylight'? According to some articles I have read, cool white and daylight fluorescent lights emit blue light which can cause damage to the retina over time just like ultraviolet light can. Some of these articles are at

http://www.cclvi.org/contributions/contrib.htm.

Although these articles mostly refer to people with vision impairment, they may be of interest to you.

sharon

November 20, 2008 01:10 AM

All of the symptoms described by the above comments fall under the diagnosis of Irlen syndrome. Some people, probably about 1 in 10-15, have a genetic hypersensitivity to certain wavelengths of light. For the majority, fluorescent lighting is the worst. Most common symptoms include difficulty reading - having to reread, poor comprehension of what is read, intense fatigue, headaches, visual blurring, letters dropping out or moving on the page, nausea, a spaced out feeling. Go to www.irlen.com - this website explains many of the symptoms that affect both children and adults. There is a screening questionaire - if you have a lot of "yes's" you may want to consider further visual screening by someone trained to identify Irlen syndrome. I have 2 children and a nephew who have benefitted greatly from having custom tinted contact lenses.

Vivian

November 22, 2008 10:43 AM

The irlen website contains an on-line petition opposing the ban of incandescent light bulbs. To find the petition, click on the "News" tab, and petition is listed with the first artcle titled, "We Need Your Help!" There are over 2,900 signatures so far.

Mark

November 26, 2008 11:41 PM

I have suffered from these lights for decades and could not find any corroboration until now. tinted contacts are out of the question. This condition has proven detrimental to my education, employment and my very life (retail stores are invariably lit this way). People don't believe me when I try to describe the effects. Hopeless.

Jo

December 4, 2008 06:21 AM

FINALLY!!! I can identify with a couple of you above... I do not seem to be affected by the visual aspects of the fluorescent lights but the radio waves or electrical waves they emit. When I enter a store/office/surgery with fluorescent lighting I will be incredibly ill within 2 or 3 minutes. I experience disorientation, head pain, severe chest pain, as if my heart is enlarged and racing, heart palpitations, clamminess, nausea, shaking and I feel like I'm going to collapse if I don't get outside very quickly. I will then be ill for the next 24 hours or so, I feel like I have a shocking case of the flu and for the first hour or so after getting out, I feel incredibly drunk and I find it hard to put words together. I also feel a heightened sense of nausea from movement in my peripheral vision. I have fibromyalgia which I cope with quite ok... but I first noticed the distress caused by fluorescent lighting about 2 years ago, where I could be under covered lights for a couple of hours before I felt the effects, however it has RAPIDLY become worse over the past two months to the point where I simply cannot risk going anywhere there may be fluorescents. I have absolutely NO IDEA what to do... I can't bare the thought of not being able to lead a normal life and I simply feel helpless... aeracuraAToptusnetdotcomdotau

lola

December 11, 2008 10:50 PM

Hi Kareem,

Did you ever find a specialist regarding the fluorescent light and sleep phase problems? Sounds a lot like what I am dealing with. Thanks

lola

December 11, 2008 11:00 PM

Sign this petition at irlen.com and pass it on to prevent the banning of incandescent light bulbs, or we'll all be in trouble!

http://www.blueeggconsulting.com/irlen/petition/

PJ

December 14, 2008 01:43 PM

thank-you for all your good help and suggestions. I have lupus and never was aware that the fluorescent lights were affecting me, until I was at a training session at my workplace. The lights were off and the instructor was about to turn them on and another girl in the room quickly put a hat on her head. In talking with her, I found out why, so I started wearing a hat at my desk and my director questioned it and then I had the fluorescent bulbs taken out above me. When we moved to the new office, I was fortunate enough to be in a darker area separated by a petition, and had the "f"lights taken out above me. Just recently this office area had to be redesigned, and I had to move, and even though I had these "f"lights taken out. I am still feeling the effects of the other surrounding light. I am sure that reading all of these posts will help in trying to make the new area work for me and not against me. I an sorry I did not come across this sooner. I guess I was just unknowingly avoiding the "f" light for 20 some years, then knowingly avoiding it when possible. I just thought that was what I was supposed to do. I am sorry for everybody's suffering, and thank-you for all the post!

Pete

December 29, 2008 05:14 PM

I also suffer negative effects from certain lighting. especially home depot/wal mart/supermarkets.

I get the extreme spaciness and drunk feeling. My mother and brother also get the exaxct same thing.

I work in flourescent lighting and get extremely irritable and can barely think.

I have never thought of the lights as a cause until i read these posts. I just thought it was a symptom.

In the past 5 years i have tried many things to lessen my symptoms of: brain fog, irritability, anxiety, depression. one such thing i tried was a ketogenic diet. (zero carb) this seemed to help me quite a lot. however i have since stopped it and am back to the same symptoms.

my point is this diet is a treatment for seizures, and a lot of posts here tie seizures to the lights.

worth some investigation for some.

lola

January 7, 2009 12:49 AM

January 12, 2009 issue of TIME magazine has a picture
of a compact fluorescent light bulb on the front cover : "Why we need to see the light about energy efficiency."
Of course it doesn't mention those of us who cannot toloerate these bulbs!
We should sign the Irlen petition linked above and send comments about the article re: problems with CFLs to TIME.

TIME's e-mail address is:

letters@time. com

Dan

January 12, 2009 08:08 AM

I how so many physical issues from fluorescent lighting and computer monitors and any flashing lights or spinning.
The Irlen Institiute set me up with special colored glasses that I where all the time at work. I had to change the color on my computer from white back round to a purple color (white backround and black text is bad for "us"). I had to get a different computer with LCD flat screen and the refresh rate set as high as possible.
I can't beleive the governmant is forcing these lights on us, it will really ruin my life.

rebecca Johnson

January 12, 2009 01:14 PM

Just want to say to Monica that I experience exactly the same. Forcing us to use fluorescent lighting will also ruin my life. It's hard enough even queuing in the post-office or shopping in Tesco or Woolworths (though they've gone now of course). The cheaper the lighting, the harder it is to remain in the shop without becoming disorientated and dizzy. I can't fly on planes because the lighting gives me such acute anxiety I can't breathe. I have to have low-level incandescent bulb lighting and my own office, and can't even use a normal PC screen because of the effects these lights have had on my sight. I can only say that I wish I had known this condition existed as I'd have stayed well clear of fluorescent lights and hoped to avoid a life of restriction and pain if I could.

rebecca Johnson

January 12, 2009 01:19 PM

By the way, people, as we're all commenting here, can we start a support/campaign group for those of us who suffer from these lights? I don't mind doing some of the work for it. Contact me if you'd like to be part of it or take on some of the organising: i'm at rebeccaji@hotmail.com

Businessweek - if you don't allow email addresses, please could you organise some system to allow us to contact each other to set this up? It would really help us all.

Vivian

January 12, 2009 05:05 PM

Jesse has started a group at:

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/photophobia/

lola

January 12, 2009 07:43 PM

This link is interesting regarding rashes and EMR:

http://www.ei-resource.org/illness-information/related-conditions/electrical-sensitivity-&-hypersensitivity/

rebecca Johnson

January 14, 2009 09:26 AM

Dear all
I have been moved to start a facebook group page for people so that we can converse with each other. The more I read of this blog the more I'm convinced that if we get together and set something up we will have a much better chance of a) convincing governments to retain incandescent bulbs at least in enough measure for us to lead normal (ish) lives; and b) to figure out between us how to go about treating this, how to approach doctors (I've noticed - and I have had the same problem - that many of you say your doctors have no idea or have never heard of such a problem) and can perhaps lobby for some research on it.
Who is with me here? Please sign up to the facebook group. Log on to facebook (or sign up if you don't have a membership - it's very easy) and look up "Fluorescent light sensitivity" under groups. We can then exchange information and thoughts and plans.

All the best, and let's try to do something about this!
rebecca

Sharon V

January 14, 2009 08:11 PM

I am a family physician with 2 children who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities. After 10 years of searching for answers, a psychologist suggested that my children be screened for Irlen syndrome, which I had never heard of. Both of my children, as well as several members of my extended family and myself, have been found to have this condition. It is a hypersensitivity to certain wavelengths of light, most commmonly in the fluroescent spectrum, but this can vary greatly from person to person. It is a hereditary disorder - ie it runs in families, although the degree of severity can vary widely as well. Many people have a mild degree of sensitivity, but this can increase suddenly with head injuries, concussions, whiplash type injuries, certain medications, and the list goes on.

Irlen Syndrome is named for Helen Irlen, the psychologist who has researched this area for almost 20 years. There is a petition on her website lobbying government to halt their ban on fluorescent lights. The website also has extensive information on the syndrome, accomadations for school and workplace. rogerwheaton.com is also a very informative website. I completely agree that it is only through affected individuals banding together that we can get government and the medical establishment to do more research into the health effects of this huge manipulation of the human lighting environment.

Money Plog by the Ignorant gov.

January 19, 2009 03:56 AM

Got I hate the GOV. I can't stand flor lights I work under them at Walmart I get terrible eyestrain I'm going to the optical to get a old pair of glasses tinted to see if that helps.
Gov only intrest is money just look at the mess Bill Clinton got us into by approving Nafta and Cafta now America has gone out of business.

Peter

January 20, 2009 07:43 PM

Hi im another one of you guys with so many similar and identical symptoms.
I have tried many doctors most havent heard of problems like ours.
But now im angry becouse in Australia
They have cleared out normal bulbs in our stores and only sell fluro bulbs
If only the government new in the future that prolonged exposure to fluro globes would cause all these problems that we have. How many other people are there out there who get these symptoms but dont know what causes them.
Some people might be diagnosed with anxiety when the go into buildings becouse they get some of these symptoms.
What about the people like me and you that will have to use candles for light and have to get a outside job labouring when we had great jobs in our workplace.
Anyways i think joining a group on facebook like Rebecca said might get more people to join and get the word out there that WE ARE NOT HAPPY LIVING WITH FLURO LIGHTS.
Mabe if we could get in contact with Dr OZ from Opra he seems to know everything.
Thanks

Peter From Australia

Peter

January 20, 2009 08:14 PM

Hi Guys and Girls
I found a Facebook group called
Anti Compact Fluorescent light bulbs!
If anyone would like to join.
Theres only 18 people but thats a start.

Thanks

Peter

Joe

January 21, 2009 08:06 PM

Take a look at www.naturalux.com. Look at the testimonials, and if you can identify with some of the issues that were relieved, this product might help you.

Maxine

January 22, 2009 03:45 PM

unable to read everything posted on florescent lights/need to strictly limit computer use. I am unable to go anywhere there are florescent bulbs/I wear a wide brim hat and two pair of dark sunglasses and have to carry a white cane if I need to enter a store. Surely I'm not the only one who is so handicapped by the lights. I have had migraines but those are the last of my symptoms if I persist in computer/florescent use. I can however watch TV which I don't understand. Any help?

CC

January 23, 2009 10:37 AM

Never had this problem before...why now?
Sometimes just low lighting bothers me a bit and the spaciness sets in. I feel like I'm in a box. My headaches are getting more frequent. I know for a fact that department type stores now really affect me, but is the computer time also adding to that. What types of things do we all have in common to cause this especially since I never experienced this until recently, and I am in my 40's.

JL

January 31, 2009 10:20 PM

I have optic nerve damage in both eyes and I can barely focus my thoughts when I am in a large department store because of the lighting my sight gets real blurry. I thought it was because of the damaged nerves. I'm glad to see many have the same issue.

Lois

February 1, 2009 10:05 PM

Seeking Technical Advice

I am working in a private elementary school with high ceilings and florescent lights that are covered with diffusers.
Yes, it could be worse, but I believe it could also be much better. The right change would make a considerable difference for the kids who are having focus and learning difficulties. The administration will consider reasonable changes that will improve student performance.

It may not be necessary to re-invent the wheel.
Any ideas with regard to type of light or particular diffusers?

I there such an entity as a tube incandescent? Or an incandescent that could be inserted into the existing
fixture.

Also, I would appreciate comments regarding the effect of indoor window daylight combined with any artificial light --incandescent or florescent has on photo-sensitives.

Rita

February 2, 2009 03:04 PM

Lois, Go to www.naturalux.com There is a lot of information on this site. Also these are probably some of the best diffusers made. There is a type of fluorescent tube that is less offensive that could replace the old tubes. Most Lowe's carry them. I cannot remember the exact name. Many people with this problem do better while sitting near a window. Seemingly the more natural light the better. Another site is www.schoolconcerns.com On this site you will find that fluorescent lights raise the levels of cortisol and ACTH in the body causing multiple symptoms.

Vivian

February 3, 2009 03:52 PM

Lois,

Regarding your comment:

"Also, I would appreciate comments regarding the effect of indoor window daylight combined with any artificial light --incandescent or florescent has on photo-sensitives."

Bright light of any kind causes me eye pain, so natural light is bad for me when it is a bright, sunny day and the sunlight is streaming though the windows. I keep the blinds closed when it is sunny outside.

40 and 60 watt incandescent lights work best for me. Of course fluorescent lighting is used at work, and for my office,I had some of the tubes removed so that there are 2 to a grouping instead of the traditional 4. That cuts the brightness in half and has helped me a lot.

Sherry

February 7, 2009 06:34 PM

I have worked in a store for seven years now. Before going to work there I had perfect vision, now I cannot read anything that is in lights - it is just a blurr. Sometimes while at work things start spinning in my eyes and then the horrible sick headache comes on which really just has to run its course - headache medicine just doesn't make it go away. When I come home I am just exhausted and want to lay down and close my eyes until the next day. I do not turn on lights - it drives my boyfriend crazy that I want to eat in darkness (he has to see his food!). It is nice to see that I am definitely not alone!!!

Lois

February 10, 2009 02:54 AM

Re: Diffusers, Tubes, Tube Guards
Thanks, Rita and Vivian for your responses.
You mentioned a mild florescent tube from Lowes.
Could someone please be more specific? I visited Kevin's site, Naturalux. Before calling I'd like to know if anyone here actually experienced or bought his diffusers or tube guards? There are a lot of options-- Tube guards, sleeves, prismatic lenses--would these be used together?? Also sizing 6:00, 8:00, 12:00 . . what does that refer to? I'm guessing it's not about time. Would the soft Lowe bulb be used with this.? (They have no distributors in Illinois where I live ) Also, I notice that there are no price$ listed on the Naturalux site. Are there other comparable options?

Rita

February 10, 2009 10:41 AM

Lois, On the Naturalux site Kevin has a place to send him an e-mail. Write your questions and he will get back to you as soon as possible or call the number if you can and leave a message. He is an excellent and reputable businessman. The lights which I purchased at Lowe's were fluorescent lights for gardening. They help by reducing the severity of the light but the fluorescent aspects are still there.

Vivian

February 10, 2009 04:26 PM

Lois, The sizing your are asking about (6:00, 8:00, 12:00, also labeled as T6, T8, & T12) refer to the diameter of the fluorescent tube. The smaller the number, the narrower the tube. I prefer the T12 tubes because they are not as bright as the T6s and T8s. Unfortunately for me, the T12s will eventually be phased out because T6s and T8s are more energy efficient.

Mark

March 6, 2009 03:54 PM

I live in the UK and contacted the government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Part of the response (2nd March) : "The Government recognises that the use of some types of energy efficient lighting can have adverse effects on individuals with pre-existing light-sensitive conditions, including those who cannot tolerate daylight. The Government raised this issue with the European Commission for consideration as part of measures to phase out incandescent lighting via the Energy-using Products Directive. The problems associated with the use of these lamps could affect an absolute maximum of 0.05% of the population of the EU. Recognising that it is important that this measure does not have any unintended consequences for this minority of individuals, the EU's measure will allow halogen `look-alike' lamps to remain on the market so that there is choice still available.
"
I don't know where they found their figure of "0.05%", but moving beyond that ...
I have started investigating his reference to halogen 'look-alike' lamps and he appears to be referring to this sort of thing :
http://gbbulbs.co.uk/acatalog/Osram_Halogen_Energy_Saver_.html
I am intending to test some.
Having read through all of these posts, I just found this :
http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=223740&C=Froogle&U=223740&T=Alias&MA=300%20LED%20Fluorescent%20Tube%20Replacement
which looks like a halogen replacement for a fluorescent tube.
I realise that these will not be suitable for many on this blog, but maybe some of us can turn to halogen instead of fluorescent.

Mark

March 7, 2009 12:21 PM

Ah, sorry – that should have said that it looks like an LED replacement for a fluorescent tube. I have also started thinking about flat computer screens with an LED backlight instead of a fluorescent backlight. I am hoping that newer technologies will replace everything that is currently reliant on a fluorescent light.
I find that I am ‘triggered’ by fluorescent or flashing lights, and once triggered my head becomes ultrasensitive for approximately three weeks during which time it is disturbed by anything visually ‘alarming’. I was only able to discover this after isolating myself from all triggers and discovering that it was possible for my head to calm down. I no longer go into ANY shops (I do all my shopping online) and I don’t go out when it is dark - especially I do not drive at night.

Bryan in Fl-purgatory

March 11, 2009 04:57 PM

The company I work for recently took advantage of a sizable federal grant and replaced all our lighting of every type for any purpose with a new higher efficiency fluorescent lighting. They even replaced the old fluorescent lights in the offices and bathrooms with them. For some time, I had used special "daylight" fluorescent bulbs in the fixtures in my office because.......less eyestrain and headaches. We were told that to obtain the grant they ALL had to be retrofitted or replaced including mine. I am in hell! By lunch time every day I am zoned out, bleary eyed, and have massive headaches that will not go away. May I repeat, I am in HELL. I always had some problems with fl lights but nothing like this.
Can anybody suggest something to help?

Vivian

March 12, 2009 05:03 PM

Bryan,

About 10 years ago the company I formerly worked for replaced all their fluorescent lights with more efficient fluorescent lights. It was a total lightmare for me because I couldn't tolerate the harsh glary light. It took over 6 months to convince the company to replace the on/off switch in my office with a dimmer switch so I could adjust the lighting to a level that was comfortable for me. I don’t know if a dimmer switch would work in your situation, but it is worth a try. In the meantime could you have several of the flurescent tubes removed in your office to reduce the light? Another idea is to wear a hat with a brim, although it desn't look very professional in the work environment depending on your job.

Lori

March 13, 2009 09:37 AM

Thank God I don't feel crazy anymore! I could not figure out why at work (under fluorescent lighting)I would get so incredibly exhausted, my eyes felt so tired and would become bloodshot and I could not focus or concentrate (I thought I had a form of ADD). When I work from home though, I can work the same amount of hours doing the same work and at the end of the day I still have energy left over! I get out of work and I feel like I haven't slept in 3 days. It has affected my work life, my social life and my family life. I always suspected it was the fluorescent lighting that was affecting me but couldn't prove it and my family thought I was nuts. I am SO glad to find other people who can relate and share their symptoms. How do we prove to doctors, employers, even the government that this affliction is real? We really need this to be researched and I will gladly stand in line as a test case to at least get answers and a permanent solution. Heck, to just have the medical community acknowledge that this is real would be a start. There are some days I literally feel like I cannot function at work. I am a manager in an office and I need to be on top of things but any more my energy and focus is so off. I wish I could just work from home everyday but in my position that is not possible. I'm going to join any group out on Facebook or other places that deal with this. There is strength in numbers and it seems there sure are alot of people here who are sufferers.

l.e.

March 15, 2009 11:37 AM

i also get nauseau right away and headache under flourescent lighting and certain stores by me, like trader joes is unbearable. i have to run in and run out. Please give me information where to contact someone in government about this too. I have complained to stores with no avail.

Algebra

March 23, 2009 12:02 AM

Here in Argentina, South America, I entered to work in an office where they have a program in Energetic Efficiency. All bulbs were replaced to fluoresecnt and LEDs. After a while I started with headaches by lunch time and then I ended up using optical glasses for the first time in my first 40 years of life ... some coworkers complained about migraines too ...not quite sure the cause was the light bulbs but it looks familiar reading all these testimonials ...good luck ... thanks to all

Matthew Levick

March 26, 2009 01:04 PM

I'm currently trying different regimens with my neurologist to find a successful therapy that prevents migraines from these blasted things! I don't believe, in my case, that the flicker is the problem. I think it has to do with the spectrum of light. I have only read one report of someone preventing migraine from fluorescent lights with medication, and she used a drug called "Namenda". There are lots of drugs out there which my neurologist says may help. I'm going to ask him about the Namenda- but I've read that it's mostly used to treat Alzheimer's- so I'll keep trying the other other migraine meds. If they don't work, I'll try the Namenda stuff. Cheers, Matt

Jeffrey

March 26, 2009 05:07 PM

Hello. You can find documentation of the health effects of fluorescent lighting if you go to www.ifyoulovethisplanet.org, and then go to the Reports, Studies and Conferences page. On the Reports page, find the section Toxic Pollution, at the bottom of which there are links to 7 or 8 studies that show that fluorescent lighting weakens health. And on the home page of this website, at the bottom of the Articles on the right, there are a few articles about fluorescent lighting such as "Fluorescent Light Ain't Right" that might be of interest.

Chromalux full-spectrum bulbs are my solution at home to avoiding fluorescent lighting. They also make full-spectrum fluorescent tubes. Go to www.lumiram.com for more information. Other companies like Seventh Generation make full-spectrum bulbs, but Chromalux is the largest line. One distributor you can buy the Chromalux bulbs from is Ion and Light Co., http://ionlight.com.

Some of you affected by fluorescents at the office might talk to your doctors and show them the studies I mentioned above. They might assist you in asking your employers to use full-spectrum fluorescent bulbs, or better yet, to consider dimming or shutting off the fluorescents in certain areas, and allowing some people to have lamps with regular incandescent full-spectrum bulbs in them. I believe that Germany has outlawed certain kinds of fluorescent lighting in office buildings and hospitals.

Getting some sunlight exposure (even in the shade) during a lunch hour could help.

But I am with many of you that fluorescent lighting is unhealthy, and of course the bulbs with mercury in them also harm the environment.

Tanya

March 30, 2009 12:32 PM

I used to just suffer a lot of reddness and heat/warmth on my face, neck, and arms from fluorescent lighting. Recently my job change the lighting to a blue spectrum light, and this has set my world on FIRE. I actually BURN as if acid has been thrown on my face, neck/chest, and arms now. They have since changed the lighting several times, but they have set me off to where my allergies are unbearable. I am seeing my rhumatologist today as I have Sjogren's (auto-immune). Anyone experience this? It takes about 4 hours for the worst to go away. Help please!

Sue

April 3, 2009 03:32 PM

I work in a cube farm under fluorescent lights that I just find annoying. I clamped a white artists umbrella to the cube and I feel much better. Everyone around me thinks I'm crazy, but we'll see.

For a lot of people the solution is to work for a company that allows telecommuting and flex meeting stations when you must see each other. Microsofts new communicator software is great...encourage companies to set us free!

Jan

April 12, 2009 10:06 AM

I work at an art studio for adults with disabilities. An artists with epilepsy has seisures about 1x every 2 months. It is always after being in the studio for about 5 hours. I have wondered if it could be because of the florescent lights. We also have artists with autism. I am wondering if changing the lighting in our warehouse type studio could help. I myself don't have a visual problem with them but I hear them. Even in a gym with a game taking place I hear the lights. This is very distracting to me.

Rita

April 14, 2009 11:45 AM

Jan, I think you have answered your own question. There are 2 good sites for information. One is www.schoolconcerns.com and the other is www.naturalux.com

Kevin

April 17, 2009 12:08 PM

Oh my gosh, where to begin... It has been far too long since I visited this site. Dear fellow sufferers, there IS hope! First of all, my deepest thanks to Rita for helping get the word out. I'm glad our NaturaLux solution is working for you. For those of you who do not know me, I have worked in ophthalmology for 36 years now. I studied at the Univ. of Iowa, USC, UCLA and Johns Hopkins. I used to teach ophthalmologists diagnostic ultrasound at Loma Linda Univ. In my experience, the far-and-away greatest number of complaints in the eye clinic are centered around the headaches, eyestrain, visual fatigue and blurred vision associated with fluorescent lighting. These symptoms are lumped into a visual condition known as "asthenopia." When asthenopic patients came into the clinic and complained about their symptoms, we would typically prescribe a new pair of glasses and send them on their way. Unfortunately, because we treated the "symptoms" and not the "problem," the patient would generally return in 6-8 months telling us that the symptoms had returned. We have prescribed a variety of colored tints for glasses since the 1960s, but the most common are blue and pink. The problem is, each color only helped some of the patient population, not all. The other problem is, the light from the fluorescent fixtures would creep over and around the glasses anyway, negating much of the benefit. That is what led me to research and develop a light filtering device that could be used in close proximity to the light source. These colored filters come in the form of a lens and/or tube guard sleeve that transform ordinarily harsh fluorescent light into a UV-safe, color-correcting, soothing light.

I invite any of you who would like to discuss this problem with me personally to contact me directly, or through our website: www.naturalux.com (kevin@naturalux.com) and I will do my utmost to help you find answers, whether it is with our products or some other solution. We ARE here to help...

kelly

April 27, 2009 05:36 AM

i have just spent the day at work feeling like i was going to have a stroke or something. dizzy and feeling 'not right' maybe an anxiety attack? the worse thing was not being able to talk to people face to face - my eyes blinking and squinting and feeling like i couldn't concentrate a minute more and that i must look like a crazy person with my eyes darting around everywhere unable to focus and look properly. where i work is full of fluorescent lights. i'm fine at home and out in daylight (as long as it's not a 'bright' overcast day) i haven't had headaches from the lights, just this weird thing with my eyes flicking and not being able to look at anyone in the eye...does anyone else have that symptom? glad i found this site - don't feel so crazy now.

earthspirit

April 27, 2009 06:06 PM

All flourescent lighting is harmful to people and animals but CFLs and LED are by far some of the dangerous lighting there is; they cause retina dammage, rapid skin and eye ageing, they even make the skin have a horrible odor.
It takes the same amount of electricity to run an incandescent bulb as it does a CFL or LED.
All the hype on CFL or LED bulbs is so that corporations and politicians can make more money off ignorant consumers, George Bush has made large investments in flourescent light manufactoring companies,(do the math).
CFL and LED lighting is harmful to your health and the environment, do not buy them or use them, and be considerate to others by not using CFL and LED lighting. CFL and LED are toxic.

sofearinozat

May 7, 2009 01:55 AM

The society is facing problems with such laws. This has to go legal and it’s needed to be sorted at the earliest.

West Virginia Drug Treatment Centers

tikis

May 13, 2009 02:19 PM

I recently got a job at a home improvement store. I wondered why I started to feel like I had seasonal affective disorder in March. (That is usually when mine ends). I have been so depressed since I started working there. I also cannot concentrate. Everyone always asks me at work why I look so tired. I think I really do get sick at work. I literally feel like my brain flatlines and I cant do the simplest things sometimes. I am not the same person I was when I started my job. I know this sounds really weird but its like my personality is gone and I am really depressed.Working in floro makes me feel like some kind of drone robot. When I am off for a couple days I start to feel normal again. I am glad this doesnt happen to just me. I wonder why it affects only certain people. COuld it be because I am sensitive to light with my seasonal affective disorder? I am so sensitive to the light that I get sad and cranky in a dark room.Thanks for reading

Nancy

May 14, 2009 11:23 PM

My daughter attends a high school where they use the florescent lightening in the whole building, every classroom. She has been getting ill everyday at school with nausea,ringing in the ears, weakness, severe migraines, sweating, chills, clamminess, shaking, eye blurriness and "aura" and "general flu type symptoms". Her Dr. has taken her out of school and now she goes half-days because it has become a daily problem. She comes home very ill everyday and is in bed for hours at a time. We have tried numerous drugs to no avail. We are very concerned as we don't want her to have to quit school or be home schooled. What do we do next year when school starts again?? She is miserable, and we just don't know how to help her. Anyone have any suggestions???

Rita

May 15, 2009 12:09 PM

Nancy, If you read all of the responses on this site you will see that this is a very complex problem. These are the symptoms of a cued panic attack but there are other causes as well. If you can do so you might find that one doctor may not have the answers. Fluorescent lighting triggers panic attacks in about 20% of people with panic disorder. Panic attacks and sensitivity to light can be symptoms of other diseases. A qualified specialist should be able to help you (ie.) endocrinologist, psychiatrist, opthamologist, neurologist. I am not a doctor but a medical professional who has worked in these areas. May you soon find some answers for your daughter.

BJ

May 26, 2009 04:55 PM

I went back to school last year to get my masters degree. Within 5 weeks I could barely function. My whole world had turned into a dream-like state. From the time I woke up, to the time I went to bed, it was all like a dream. I couldn't concentrate, I couldn't even remember a question on a test by the end of the sentence, it was so bad. The rooms of the school were filled with florescent lighting; almost every ballast was full. I had a hunch that it was the lighting but wasn't completely sure. I had to drop out at that point because I couldn't do the simplest of work. Within 3- 4 weeks I was completely normal again. I tried to return the following semester, but the same thing happened. Finally I took a home study course. My question now is, how many young school children have the same unidentified problem and are cast as underachievers ???

Theresa

June 10, 2009 12:06 PM

I just started this job in a department store and my eyes are so bad they feel swelled up and very red i dont know wht to do,it feels so bad and when i get home and wake up my eye lids are swelled up bad from it.please help

Sharon

June 27, 2009 11:11 PM

I am heartened that the list of people finding this site is growing but disheartened that the government marches on with their plan to impose CFL's and other noxious light sources into our environment. I now have about 200 patients in my practice with documented fluorescent light sensitivity. They are the tip of the iceberg whose symptoms are severe enough that they keep pursuing medical attention. In reading the last 2 years of comments on this web site, there is one common theme: affected individuals being unable to work, attend school or go into public buildings without suffering physical illness because of the lighting environment. The situation is now critical as our home environment is threatened as well. No one would dream of forcing an asthmatic to work surrounded by smokers, or a fair-skinned individual to work outside without sunscreen.

Please consider going to www.irlen.com and signing the petition.

Also, Nancy, if you read this. Your daughter may well have Irlen syndrome. This entity describes the symptoms felt by someone who is sensitive to a particular part of the light spectrum, most commonly fluorescent. The light they are sensitive to can trigger migraines, intense fatigue, nausea, panic attacks, abdominal pain, poor memory and concentration.... and more. She can be screened for it - there is a questionnaire on the website that goes through many of the symptoms. Good luck.

a new yorker

July 25, 2009 04:21 PM

i also get really bad effects under the fluorescent lights. i get lightheaded,heart , weak and i also get acid reflux, does this happen to anyone? i also have adrenal fatigue

a new yorker

July 25, 2009 04:23 PM

i too had to quit only after working for one day at the last job i started. now, i have to try to find a job at home. how can we get disability for this? i can never work in any office with fluorescent lights now which is all offices

Mike

August 4, 2009 08:00 PM

I use full spectrum light bulbs. They are better for your eyes since the light comes close to natural sunlight.

The great thing about them that you also get vitamin D from the light. They are about $10 to $15 per bulb. For the long bulbs for offices etc I don't know the prices. I suggest you try a brand first then if it works for you then buy more. There are some fake ones out there so you have to watch out.

Rhonda

August 5, 2009 06:44 PM

I'm now unable to work full-time because of this. These lights are everywhere. In some places they affect me immediately and in others I don't notice it for a few minutes or an hour or so. After teaching a class at the college for 3 hours, I'm wiped out for the rest of the day. Headache, exhaustion, eye strain, brain fog...

When I substituted in public schools, I felt awful, minutes after arriving. I began to wonder if that's why so many kids are so strange nowadays. Hyper, jittery, sickly, and having to use those colored overlays to read their work.

In some schools, they go from the fluorescent lights of the classroom to the fluorescent lights of the gym and rarely get any natural light. I can feel a huge difference and relief when I step out of that lighting into the sunlight.

I know fluorescents are bad for me. I wonder if they're bad for a lot of people who don't even realize what's wrong with them.

Elle

August 6, 2009 12:55 AM

UV light sensitivity is an autoimmune dysfunction associated with Sjrogren's Disease which is associated with Lyme Disease.

The frequency of UV lighting can actually interfere with your body's electrical system and can cause the heart to beat irregularly. Other symptoms such as dry eyes (sandy or gritty feeling), headaches, migraines, disorientation, itching, skin redness and rashes, nausea, vomiting, body aches, and fever are all possible.

All of you who suffer from autoimmune related conditions (Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Thyroid Disorders, Epilepsy, Diabetes I, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Autism, and many others) should ask your doctor to test you for Lyme Disease. Ask for the Western Blot and not just the ELISA test.

Other associated conditions:
- Juvenile Arthritis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Reactive Arthritis
- Infectious Arthritis
- Osteoarthritis
- Fibromyalgia
- Raynaud's Syndrome
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Interstitial Cystis
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
- Fifth Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- scleroderma
- lupus
- early ALS
- early Alzheimers Disease
- crohn's disease
- ménières syndrome
- reynaud's syndrome
- sjogren's syndrome
- irritable bowel syndrome
- colitis, prostatitis
- psychiatric disorders (bipolar, depression, etc.),
- encephalitis
- sleep disorders
- thyroid disease

You can also check out the documentary Under Our Skin at www.underourskin.com.

Peace.

adggjs

August 6, 2009 06:14 PM

These are the very things discussed on a new web site.

There is considerable medical and scientific research on this topic.

Now, we need to figure out how to slow or stop CFLs before we are all "prisoners" in our homes.

The web site is:

cflimpact.com

Joe

August 10, 2009 03:50 PM

Inspired Sales is the distributor for Naturalux Products. Our policy has been to give a 20% discount on our products to Lupus patients. I will extend that discount to anyone who references this blog.

Joe

Joe

August 10, 2009 03:54 PM

If you take the time to visit the Naturalux site(www.naturalux.com), and feel that Naturalux might help relieve your problem. Reference the Business week blog, and we will give a 20% discount on our products.


Joe

libby

August 22, 2009 10:03 PM

I just went back to school and my first fifteen minutes in a computer lab with flourescent overhead lights put me in la la land. I couldn't focus. I was struggling to read and felt very angry that I couldn/t turn the overhead lights off. My next class I wore a wide brimmed hat. I finally put my polarized sunlgasses on. I was to the point I didn't care what anyone thought. I'm worked in office settings for 15 years and always felt I could see better if I turned the lights off. I always felt my energy drained from them. I will NEVER work in an environment with these lights even if it means taking a lower paycheck. I work two jobs and am quite happy. One in the natural sunlight and one with an old fashioned lamp.
Questioning whats wrong with me? I researched and found
it's unnatural and unhealthy for our bodies. Also read its relationship to ADD in kids.

Danielle

August 25, 2009 10:56 AM

My husband and I just went on vacation this past week. We went to several tourist spots, including tours. At first I thought that I was feeling "odd" because I suffer from CFS & FMS...add to that being 20 weeks pregnant and I was just assuming that I was pushing it a little to hard. We went on a tour and within the first five minutes I had to race out of the building because I felt like I was going to faint, was beginning to black out and was dangerously close to vomiting. Once I was outside I started to feel better. We went to lunch and took a nap and returned to the tour. As soon as I entered the building I started to feel the same. After we left the building I started to feel better and was able to make it through the tour using my husband as a balance for most of it. The next day we had breakfast and went on another tour. This time the first building was larger, more spacious but again within a few minutes I began to feel sick. I told my husband "here we go again". I was able to make it through the tour and my husband noticed that I got better as soon as we were outside. Afterward we were trying to figure out what had caused these "episodes". We both noticed that with all the difference in the tours, time of day, level of rest, eating, etc. The thing that was the same was that both buildings had flourecent lights that had been flickering. After reading up on it today, I'm shocked at all the information that is available and interested to see what my doctor has to say when I go later today. My mother-in-law thinks I'm nuts...but I know how I felt! It is scarey to think that flourecent lights have been connected to miscarriages and other things such as ADD. I'm going to be doing my research, that is for sure. Anyway, I'm hoping that we can figure this out. Good luck to all of you!

Rita

August 26, 2009 01:14 AM

Has anybody who has written on this site ever really found a solution that really solved their problem and now they can go into buildings with fluorescent lighting and have no problems? If so could you plesae share some or all of this info. with the rest of us? Thank you.

Philip King

August 27, 2009 07:40 AM

Scary news from the UK, I heard on the radio 2 days ago that the government are planning to ban the sale of the traditional incandescent bulbs very shortly. As if it's not enough that I have to suffer headaches and dizziness at work, I'm now going to be forced to buy these horrible so called low-energy flourescent lights at home too. Or maybe I'll start buying candles instead or living in the dark?

Seems mad to me that the government are forcing this on us, what happened to freedom of choice? If it's to encourage a lower energy option then I'd reluctantly accept a tax on incandescent bulbs, but an outright ban is so wrong. Gordon Brown? Gordon Bennett more like. I've e-mailed my MP so will be interesting to see what her response is.

On the subject of a solution for this, I've seen my doctor a few times and he suggested it could be related to sinus problems I am having, does anyone else have sinus issues? Also, at work I've taken to wearing dark-grey tinted glasses which does help somewhat (although by no means 100%) but has caused a bit of teasing (usually good-natured thankfully!)

Good luck all. Hopefully one day in the future when the authorities finally realise how damaging flourescent lighting is to people's health we'll look back at this forum with a smile on our faces..

MIke

September 2, 2009 08:24 PM

I too am sensitive to flourscent light. Your lcd monitor uses flourscent light also. You can use full spectrum light bulbs to fix this. Yes it looks like the normal flourscent light bulb until you turn it on. The light is brighter and clearer and easy on the eyes.
You should ask your work place to switch. For home you can order from dr mercola web site. Just google his name with full spectrum lights. There are fake ones out there so watch out.

I love my full spectrum light bulbs!

holly

September 4, 2009 07:24 PM

Does the energy bill allow for the use of LED lights? A lot of products are switching to LED because they are safer, better, etc. My LED laptop is much better for me.
For those that posted that the problem is probably only with the old style of flourescents, it isn't. The tube type are definitely much worse for me, however, the new style are still bad. My father insists on using the flourescent bulbs throughout his house, and I can't stand to be there when the lights are on. This is a real problem. It has affected every step of my life. I have a genius iq, but I can't stay conscious through a class. I finally figured out that if I take daytime classes, where sunglasses, only take short classes, spend the break out in the sun, and take an extra long break, I can make it through the class. I look for online classes whenever possible (my laptop is LED), but I want to be a doctor. How will I survive the lab classes? It has a cumulative effect as well: I can do every other semester, but if I attempt two in a row, I can't stay conscious. I used to think that I was falling asleep because it starts with a gradual dizzy, fatigue feeling before I black out. I tried coffe, sugar, protein bars, fruit, anything anyone said would keep me awake. I "fell asleep" with my coffe cup in hand.
There is an answer. If I ever make it through medical school, I intend to find it. I sure hope someone beats me to it, though.

Vivian

September 6, 2009 01:53 PM

I have more trouble with the newer, more energy efficient fluorescent lights than the older types because for me, the light is so much brighter, harsher and glarier - causing me eye pain. Daylight fluorescent lights are especially bad for me.

Laura

September 6, 2009 09:51 PM

I'm another with problems with all fluoros - new, old, whatever. Although, the old recessed-and-covered-with-a-diffuser are somewhat better for me than the naked-above-a-grid tubes that are in all new construction.

Within a few minutes under fluoros, I have nausea, dizziness, and headache (basically, motion-sickness). If I have to go as long as an hour, I become neurolocially impaired and can't walk without leaning against a wall.

I used to have bad fibromyalgia flares until I made the connection with the fluoros and began tightly controlling my exposure to them. In the last 4 years, I've only had 1 bad flare, and it was caused by injury. I wonder how many others with "fibromyalgia" actually have fluoro sensitivity?

Unfortunately, halogens are also bad for me, and LEDs are even worse than fluoros.

I bought online some magnetic bumper stickers that say "I'm pro-choice on light bulbs" with an incandescent bulb on one side and a CFL on the other. If we all display these on our cars, filing cabinets at work, etc. maybe we can raise some awareness.

Kat

September 10, 2009 11:21 PM

I also have problems associated with flourecent lighting. I also have problems with sunlight. I wear UV protective clothing and sunblock, uv hats etc. But they dont work with flour lighting. I break into a rash get tired, headaches, etc, If anyone has any ideas or suggestions I would really love to hear them. I have already changed all the bulbs at home back to incadecent.But in the stores, work etc ?????

James

September 25, 2009 05:55 AM

I'm thrilled to see so much discussion about energy efficiency, whatever the opinion. As an energy-efficient lighting vendor I've found the best method of increasing awareness is simply informing my consumers about the latest products. The fact is that when they purchase energy efficient CFL or LED light bulbs they do see the savings on their energy bills. There is a lot of discussion about government mandates and whatnot; while this does benefit my business, I think simply selling the newer bulbs on their own merit is the best way to go.

James Paul,
Superior Lighting Dot Com.

Rita

September 28, 2009 10:23 PM

James, You may not have had the time to read all of the stories on this site. If you did you would find much suffering from fluorescent lighting. A few people did better with CFLS and LEDS but for most these also cause much suffering. You are entitled to your opinion but I would suggest that you be informed. This is a most insensitive comment to most of the people on this site. Energy efficiency is not the bottom line here-compassion is. We need increased awareness about how people are suffering from fluorescent lighting and can only function with incandescents. This is the message we are trying to get out here.

Lyla

September 30, 2009 02:46 PM

I used to get migraines every day at work. They had the really harsh fluorescent bulbs and by mid-day, I could hardly stand it. I tried using sunglasses in the office, but it's not only annoying, it's not really allowed at the office because we meet with clients here.

I was researching online and found out that diffuser panels have been shown to help with migraines. So I told my boss and he ended up getting some for my office and for others who had problems with the fluorescent light.

We all have seen a major reduction in the migraines and problems we used to have and could not be happier about that!

The ones we have in my office are called Skypanels, or something like that. They're great, with pics of clouds on them. Research it on google. It's definitely worth it!!

Katie

October 4, 2009 02:31 PM

I'm not the first to say I'm so glad I came to this page! Large, warehouse type stores, or anywhere with fluorescent lighting makes me feel so out of it. I have blurred vision, feel dizzy, hot, off balance, and jittery. It is a feeling of panic, and I can't wait to get out of the store. It's awful having to stand in line with all of those feelings especially. Has anyone come up with a better solution for those who work in corporate offices and don't have control over the lighting?

Kevin

October 5, 2009 12:52 AM

Katie, I am sorry to hear about your health issues inside the warehouse stores. This is a common complaint I have heard in the eye clinic for 20 years. Have you visited naturalux.com yet?

Lorraine

October 10, 2009 06:13 PM

Over the last several months I feel like passing out or throwing up and can hardly wait to get out of our popular 24 hour convenience store and a few others locally and thought that this is crazy! I feel fine before I go in and shortly after exiting. This is so very consistent and especially stores that have low ceilings with flourescent lighting. It dawned on me yesterday that my gut feeling was that it had something to do with the lights and mentioned it to my friend at the risk of sounding crazy. He told me that this lighting does effect some people and so here I am on the net doing research. Anyone who is skeptical is just lucky that they are not effected. I am in the store thinking please let me get out of here with out passing out. I am not sure if it is caused by the flickering or emissions and will try wearing uv sunglasses and see if that helps. Enjoyed your comments

xoswiss

October 12, 2009 03:12 PM

Hi Lorraine! Your symptoms are extremely similar to mine. Do you feel nauseous, sweaty, dizzy, and like you can't think straight? I also get a tightness in my chest that is just inexplicable. Do you have Lupus? Also try wearing HIGH broad spectrum sunscreen ALL OVER your body, as well as long sleeves, pants and even a scarf aroud your neck / hat for your face. It seems to dim it a little for me, but not much. :( Best wishes - google my name to find my blog about Lupus.

xoswiss

October 12, 2009 03:23 PM

Laura: I love the bumper sticker! I think I'll embroider something similar into a shirt, or a patch! LOVE IT.

Kat: Typically I find that wearing a hat almost doesn't even matter at a grocery store. UV rays bounce off of shiny surfaces, which the grocery store is covered in.

I went to school everyday under these lights and was constantly sick, nobody knew why. Why did I suddenly feel better when I went home? Everybody was sure I was a faker. ;) Not so much!

At one point I was working at a mall - fluorescent hell. It was difficult. I was constantly soaked with sweat, pale, shaky, nauseous. I had to throw up several times (in the public restroom because mall management was just swell - quite embarrassing to be retching in a stall and to come out and see a customer.)

At one point, I was getting off work and was going to catch the bus home. Often times I would feel so tired after work I would call and beg my mom to come pick me up. Once, I was so exhausted from working a 6 hour shift underneath the lights I went to call my mother - and I couldn't figured out if the "o" in 1-800-collect was a zero or an o. It's embarassing and difficult to think about - but I'm glad I have my home sanctuary. (But probably not for long.)

Vivian

October 13, 2009 03:29 PM

Light sensitivity needs to be recognized as a disability. If it was, then banning incandescent light bulbs would be violation of the ADA because incandescent light is the best option for some light sensitive people.

Hannah

October 14, 2009 05:20 PM

Hi everyone

I am glad to know that i'm not alone! i found out i was sensitive a few years ago. Starts with my eyes then pain in my head and neck which then turns to extreme pain in my head. I also get palpitations and feel sick and extremely fatigued.

Luckily i have got round work places to remove the bulbs near me.

I'm a trainee solicitor now and luckily the guys i work with understood this before i started working with them but the damn lights are everywhere. i was in the Magistrates' Court today and the light thank god are high in the ceiling but i still came away with a headache and feeling sick. they are even in the cells so there's not escaping. I have to go on a secondment to qualify and that means again explaining the situation. i do feel like the odd one out!

INterested to know if anyone else has the same effects in sunlight? i use to be a real sun worshiper and now i can't. also i can't sit in front of old computers and even this laptop gets to me.

after the symptoms i have outlined above, if i don't get out of the lights i end up with a sore throat and a cold. it's like they rinse my immune system!

Cara

October 25, 2009 11:17 AM

I seem to have this problem too with the lights. It gives me horrible anxiety and a sense of "derealization-depersonalization" (google that if you have never heard of it) I can sense light flickering giving me vertigo. I also wondered if you look in the mirror with your eyes fixed on one point, if anyone notices their pupils getting large to small over and over pretty fast without changing what your focusing on. I swear mine do this and none of my friends or husbands do. I really think its a contributing factor. Just wondering if anyone else noticed this?

Rita

October 26, 2009 10:27 AM

Cara, I am not saying that this is your problem but this is actually one of the tests for adrenal fatigue. A normal pupil constricts under bright light. In adrenal fatigue the pupil constricts and then dilates. It will not stay constricted as it should. You might want to talk to an endocrinologist who has studied adrenal fatigue.

Rita

November 6, 2009 08:12 PM

Article of interest concerning ongoing research on light sensitivity. Google it at: SCENIHR and light sensitivity
or
http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_risk/committees/04_scenihr/docs/scenihr_o_019.pdf

Vivian

November 8, 2009 05:48 PM

My parents from Ohio told me when their electric company announced they were going to send all of their customers 2 CFLs, so many people complained to the company about it that they decided not to send them out.

Rick

November 9, 2009 11:51 PM

I FINALLY figured it out! I've been getting SO sick; dizzy; the top of my eyes and brain feel like they are filled with sand. Last night, my heart started beating so randomly, and I almost passed out (like a bad panic attack,but, I was just reading casually). This has been happening off and on for like a year+. I thought I was going crazy.

Then, I finally figured out I only seemed to get "sick" at night, or at the grocery store. And only in certain rooms. I never in a million years thought about the floresant bulbs doing this to me, but is all makes sencs now. I can work all day, and feel fine, but at night, the sickness would start. So bad sometimes I'd have to lay in bed for hours. I'm so glad others have this problem too.

BTW, what is "Lupus", and what are it's symptoms.

Laurie

November 11, 2009 01:05 PM

Hi. I found this site a few months ago and thought that was my problem. I have been for many tests, MRI's,... nothing was found. Just yesterday I put 2 floor lamps in my office and shut off the flourescent lights. I felt much better. The only problem is, the whole building has the flourescent lights. I have many of the symptoms when I go to the stores with the lights. These "bad" lights are everywhere. I would get so bad I had balance problems, walking problems, I would walk and need something to hold onto. When I got home from work, I would usually crash on the couch I was so tired and my muscles would just be very weak. When I made the change yesterday, I actually had more energy when I went home. I hope this change continues to help me. Good luck to everyone with these problems. Lets keep the regular bulbs!

Chronic Fatigue Lights

November 18, 2009 02:41 AM

For more information about fluorescent lights and the effects of electricity on life in general, human health in particular, watch the video of Dr. Magda Havas' presentation at Royal Roads University, Victoria, B.C., Canada: http://www.veoh.com/browse/videos/category/activism_non_profit/watch/v18850997pSrnHrmp

We're also going to be stuck with these chronic fatigue lights in 2012, I believe. Dr. Havas and other scientists now know that people with mercury in their bodies (have you ever had a "silver" filling in your teeth? they're 50% mercury!) or a vaccine with thimerosal (mercury), then you've got a body burden of mercury because mercury and other heavy metals accumulate in the body and make you a virtual antenna. I hope this helps you all; I've been suffering with fluorescent vision problems for years! Good luck!

Rita

November 19, 2009 01:19 PM

To: Chronic Fatigue Lights; This is one of the best sites and educational videos on electrical sensitivity I have seen. Thanks for recommending it. There is a ton of information here that could help many people writing here including myself. Thanks again!

Joyletta

November 23, 2009 07:47 PM

Thank you for this website. I had two MRI's, two CAT Scans, heart monitor, neurological monitor, sleep apnea study not to mention unexplained surges of hypertension, two trips to the emergency room with symptoms of irregular heartbeat, nausea, faint, bloodshot eyes, etc. All of the tests were negative. The symptoms really increased after we remodeled our home and added "cloud fluorescent" lighting. Walmart, Lowes and mega stores a are a definite "no, no" for me and I do most of my shopping online.

I'm stocking up a lifetime supply of 60 watt light bulbs.

Robin

November 25, 2009 12:48 AM

Wow, was I glad to find this site. I have been living with this problem for
over 30 years; I tried researching it back then, and dreamed of working for education and change, but there was no site like this, and all research was much harder to do.
I can't write much now, or even read it all (computer monitors also bother me), but here are some quick thoughts.
We need to form a support group, if none exists, to publicise the problems(ie write, get on talk shows), fight initiatives to switch to fluorescent lights,assemble research, and share information and support. The Irlen in Calif, but a separate group would be useful. Any ideas for a name?
I'm an old fashioned organiser, and have ideas of what it could do, but I suspect there is a more modern way to do things using the internet.
For starters--does anyone know how to break up the info people send in by threads--ie coping at work, coping
in personal life, ideas for press, symptoms, latest research, types of glasses, etc.
I was struck by the word "spaciness"; that's often how I feel. As well as irritable, confused,...
I also believe it affects my immune system (possibly the stress factor?);
if I go to a conference, where I am under fluor lights all day, I generally get sick. A google search
on fluor lights and immune systems got some hits.
A WARNING:While I often wear dark wrap around glasses, there is a down side to that--your biological clock needs a certain amount of light; you must remove them part of the day, preferably morning.
I don't know how some of you work at jobs where you are under these lights all day. I eventually got disability
because of an assortment of factors, including the difficulty finding a
suitable work environment.
I have found, though, that as my general health got better and I got stronger, my tolerance for the lights has increased.
One other thought--there are full spectrum lights with a magnetic shield around them that were developed for people needing light therapy for seasonal affective disorder(SAD). Has anyone tried these?
Good luck to all. Remember you are not alone.
How about setting up meetings in major cities, in a fluorescent free environment. If nothing else, it would give us a chance to get out of the isolation of our homes.

I qwa

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