Colored Glasses to Mitigate Photophobia Symptoms Posttraumatic Brain Injury.
J Athl Train. 2017 Jun 26;:
Authors: Clark J, Hasselfeld K, Bigsby K, Divine J
CONTEXT: After a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), patients often suffer from light sensitivity, or photophobia, which contributes to decreased quality of life post-mTBI. Whereas sunglasses may provide some relief from photophobia, they are not practical indoors or in low light. A light-mitigation strategy that can be easily used indoors as needed to optimize the relief. We have found that many photophobic patients experience relief using colored sunglasses.
OBJECTIVE: To provide the athletic trainer with a means and method to assess whether an athlete is suffering from photophobia after concussion and to determine if colored glasses provide relief.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.
SETTING: Rehabilitation clinic.
PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: Fifty-one patients being treated after concussion.
INTERVENTION(S): We assessed postconcussion patients for visual symptoms including photophobia and photosensitivity. Off-the-shelf glasses were used to determine whether specific colors provided relief from photophobia. Screening was done using a penlight and multiple colored glasses.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Self-reported mitigation of photophobia symptoms and the specific color frequency that reduced symptoms in each individual.
RESULTS: Of the 39 patients studied who had vision symptoms, 76% complained of photophobia. Using glasses of 1 or more colors, symptoms were relieved in 85% of patients reporting photophobia. The colors that provided the most relief were blue, green, red, and purple. No adverse events were reported.
CONCLUSIONS: An empirical assessment of frequency-specific photophobia is easy to perform. A traditional penlight is used to elicit photophobia and then the colored glasses are tested for optimal relief. Frequency-specific photophobia can be reduced with a strategy of light-mitigation therapy, including colored glasses, sunglasses, hats, and light avoidance. This, we believe, helps to improve the patients' quality of life and may aid in the recovery process. More work is needed to identify the best colors and methods of mitigating frequency-specific photophobia.
PMID: 28650685 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]