The Wavelength of Light Causing Photophobia in Migraine and Tension-type Headache Between Attacks
Article first published online: 19 APR 2002
Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain
Volume 40, Issue 3, pages 194–199, March 2000
How to Cite
Main, A., Vlachonikolis, I. and Dowson, A. (2000), The Wavelength of Light Causing Photophobia in Migraine and Tension-type Headache Between Attacks. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 40: 194–199. doi: 10.1046/j.1526-4610.2000.00028.x
- Issue published online: 19 APR 2002
- Article first published online: 19 APR 2002
- Accepted for publication September 27, 1999.
- tension-type headache;
Objective.–To ascertain the wavelength of light that patients with migraine and tension-type headache find uncomfortable between attacks.
Background.–Photophobia is an abnormal perceptual sensitivity to light experienced by most patients with headache during and, also, between attacks.
Methods.–We examined the discomfort threshold to light of low, medium, and high wavelengths in a group of patients with migraine (n=21), patients with tension-type headache (n=19), and healthy controls (n=21).
Results.–The results indicate that the migraine group had significantly lower discomfort thresholds at the low (P=.001) and high (P=.031) wavelengths compared with both the tension-type headache and control groups; the latter two groups had similar average discomfort levels at these two wavelengths. With the medium wavelength, the control group had significantly higher discomfort thresholds than the migraine (P=.002) and tension-type headache (P=.031) groups; the latter two groups had similar discomfort levels at this wavelength. With unfiltered (white) light, the migraine group had the lowest discomfort threshold and the control group the highest (P=.026), whereas the tension-type headache group had an intermediate discomfort threshold.
Conclusions.–There were significant differences between migraineurs, patients with tension-type headache, and healthy controls in the wavelengths that are uncomfortable between attacks.