Migraine Glasses - Understanding the Science Behind Avulux®

The science behind avulux migraine glasses

The Relationship Between Light and Migraine

Certain Light Affects the Cells in Your Eyes

Our eyes have the ability to process light thanks to two photoreceptors (light receptors) located at the back of the retina called rods and cones.

Based on a study run in 2010, we know that there are other intrinsically-photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGC’s) at the back of the retina3. One of these ipRGCs is melanopsin, which is activated by certain wavelengths of light in the 400nm to 500nm range5. One of the functions of melanopsin is to aid your vision with color correction in high-brightness situations.

If you have migraine, you are likely to experience an increase in pain in bright-light situations. In the same 2010 study, it was found that the exacerbation of migraine related headaches by light are likely to involve both extrinsic photoactivation of ipRGCs by rods and cones, as well as intrinsic photoactivation of melanopsin3.

To put it simply, exposing your eyes to light that activates these cells has been found to worsen your migraine related pain.

Avulux used the research behind melanopsin as one of the main scientific drivers behind the optical engineering involved in creating Avulux migraine glasses.

Migraine treatment using 480nm

Precision Tinted Lenses and Filters

Gray Filters vs Precision Filters

A study in 2011 tested precision tinted filters versus gray filters and simple colored filters on subjects with migraine who were made to look at a series of illusions and visual distortions.

The researchers found that the subjects’ brain activation normalized when they observed the visuals through the precision tinted filters (glasses) versus the other filters. They concluded that their study suggests a neurological basis for the therapeutic effect of precision tinted lenses4.

With good reason, people with migraine quickly run to a dark room at the onset of their migraine symptoms. However, it’s simply impossible at times. Migraine affects people in the most productive years of their lives. It’s not always reasonable to drop what you’re doing, run into a dark room, and cancel your plans.

Testing A Next-Generation Migraine & Light Sensitivity Lens

2016 Avulux Study

Avulux's team of researchers put a new lens to the test in 2016. That study6, which is now published in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, explored the effect of wearing glasses that blocked wavelengths of light in the 480nm notch against lenses blocking at the 620nm notch.

The findings were astounding and eye opening. Subjects found a significant reduction in how migraine and light sensitivity impacts their daily activities with the 480nm lenses and 620nm lenses. Based on the HIT-6 headache impact test, 19 out of 37 subjects who completed the study moved out of the “very severe impact” category when wearing one or both lenses. 23 subjects reported at least a 6 point improvement in HIT-6 scores while wearing one or both of the lenses.

Migraine Glasses precision optical filter study avulux

The researchers further studied and reviewed clinical evidence to determine why there was such a positive effect with either lens. They determined there's a physiological basis in the response they observed per a study performed in 20097, wavelengths at 481nm and 587nm are the peak bands affecting Melanopsin, the previously discussed ipRGC.

This study was the basis for the further evolution and engineering of the Avulux lens. 

2019 Avulux Study

After the 2016 study, the Avulux team engineered a new multi-band precision optical filter. The enhanced Avulux lens, which is the lens available to you today, absorbs up to 97% of the most painful blue, amber, and red light while allowing beneficial green light through.

In 2019, an independently run double-blind, randomized, crossover trial, was conducted to test the new Avulux lens versus a color-matched sham lens. Subjects were instructed to wear the Avulux lenses for three weeks, with a one week washout period, and then wear the sham lenses for another three weeks. 

The results8 showed a clinically significant decrease in the headache impact test (HIT-6) for both the Avulux lens and the sham lens. Meaning that it was a clinically meaningful reduction in how migraine affects one’s activities of daily living.

To effectively color match the lenses, to avoid bias, our team used the Avulux technology and accidentally created an ‘active sham’ which was also effective for subjects in the trial. This led the team to alter the trial protocol for the 2020 study.

2020 Avulux Study

After the crossover trial proved difficult, as color matching the lenses would require the use of the Avulux technology for the active and sham lenses, an independent third party conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the Avulux lenses versus a true clear placebo lens9.

An 11-point pain scale was used (from 0 to 10, with 10 being the worst pain) and the results showed that the Avulux glasses (when worn within 1 hour of migraine symptom onset, without any abortive medication taken, and when analyzing all reported severe migraine headaches) were able to reduce the subjects’ light-triggered pain by an average of 3 points compared to 1 point for the placebo.

avulux migraine glasses study boxplot

Both clinical and statistical significance was achieved when analyzing this data. Which means that the results can be replicated and are clinically meaningful.

The Migraine and Photophobia Problem (also known as “light sensitivity”)

Photophobia Affects Most People with Migraine

Approximately 80% of people with migraine experience photophobia1. It’s no mystery that light sensitivity is a major issue for them, yet the majority of treatments on the market do not address it.

A study conducted in 2016 had subjects with migraine placed in a dark room2. The subjects were then intermittently exposed to varying colors of light (white, blue, green, amber, and red) and assessed for:

  • Intensity of their headache
  • Throbbing sensation
  • Muscle tenderness
  • Cephalic areas (areas on the head) affected by the pain.


The researchers found that white, blue, amber, and red light increased the subjects’ headache pain intensity, while green light was actually shown to reduce pain intensity.

Therefore, filtering out the specific wavelengths of migraine inducing light while allowing in green light may prove beneficial in reducing light sensitivity (photophobia) and headache intensity2.

Green Light Migraine Study

This study's findings aligned with what the Avulux researchers found in their 2016 study. Avulux's engineers worked to refine a lens to prevent the wavelengths of light around the green band of the spectrum from entering a wearer's eye.

Avulux's Solution to Your Light Sensitivity Dilemma

Over eight years of optical engineering, experimentation, and clinical research have gone into developing the Avulux lenses specifically for light sensitivity (photophobia) related to migraine. That lens is now used in Avulux Migraine & Light Sensitivity Glasses. It is a new generation of precision tinted optical filter, that means it is a lens for glasses that more effectively and efficiently absorbs wavelengths in high percentages at only certain slivers of the light spectrum.

Avulux customers report back that they feel like they’ve just run into a dark room after putting on their Avulux migraine glasses!

Feeling like Avulux is Your Portable Dark Room™ is no coincidence. Avulux’s precision tinted optical lenses are specifically designed to absorb up to 97% of the most pain-triggering wavelengths of light that have been clinically shown to both increase pain for those with photophobia and cause migraine attacks (known as 'migraines') to begin and worsen, while allowing the beneficial wavelengths of light in. Unlike other glasses or sunglasses, Avulux allows in the soothing wavelengths of green light. Unlike sunglasses, wearing Avulux continuously will not make you more sensitive to light, it will not cause chronic dark-adaptation.

The Avulux lens protects your eyes, and effectively your brain. Avulux's lenses have been refined to do so without turning your world dark or any uncomfortable color like red, green, or yellow. You'll probably forget you're even wearing them as your color perception remains intact and your color contrast increased.

Our lenses absorb light so well, and from many angles, that we can use traditional frames instead of wrap-around frames to achieve the same results.



Avulux Migraine Glasses Ocular Migraine Loop



That dark room you’ve always wanted to carry in your pocket is now a reality.

Avulux is Clinically Proven

Backed by Multiple Independent Studies

Engineering a lens so precise and effective was no light task. Migraine subjects included in the clinical studies varied from those with as few as one headache every month or two to those with more than 15 headache days a month. Individuals in every one of these subject groups were able to manage their light sensitivity and its associated symptoms.

Real world experience with the Avulux lens has shown that:

  • 38% of Avulux users prevent light-triggered photophobia pain if Avulux is worn at the earliest onset of a migraine symptom or light sensitivity.
  • More than 90% of Avulux users are able to manage their light sensitivity and return to their normal activities of daily living.
  • 74% of Avulux wearers reduced or eliminated their usual amount of medication needed to enable them to continue with their activities of daily living.

What Are Migraine Glasses?

An Engineered Light Sensitivity Solution

In today’s terms, it's Avulux's migraine glasses. As the only evidence-based lens of its kind, these glasses are proven to help manage the impact of light sensitivity in individuals with light sensitivity symptoms resulting from migraine. They are safe, effective, and wearer's don't build a tolerance to Avulux's positive effects. Now, you finally have access to this tool at any time to fight migraine & light sensitivity and seize the day.

Avulux bli migraine glasses help ocular migraine

Why Avulux Migraine Glasses Over Other Glasses (Photophobia Glasses, Light Sensitivity Glasses, Blue Light Blockers, and FL-41)?

Other Glasses

The term migraine glasses has historically been used to label glasses that have helped some people cope with their migraine related light sensitivity. Maybe you’ve associated migraine glasses with:

  • Blue light blockers
  • FL-41 (dark, rose-tinted glasses)
  • Light sensitivity glasses
  • Photophobia glasses
  • Dark orange, red, blue, or green glasses

Prior to Avulux, these glasses were the only available non-evidence-based optical filter solutions that physicians and people with migraine and photophobia were driven to use.

Avulux is the first clinically proven optical filter available that's been proven to help manage migraine related photophobia and the symptoms associated with light sensitivity. 

Shortfalls of Other Glasses

These glasses may only prevent a portion of the harmful, pain-inducing light from entering your eyes.

Also, they normally use a film that is placed on the surface of the lens. If that film becomes scratched, it affects the lens' efficacy at preventing light from entering your eyes.

Although wearing these other glasses for light sensitivity relief may be better than not wearing any at all, these generic non-evidence-based lenses aren't clinically proven to help manage light sensitivity during a migraine attack.

Not all optical lenses are the same and lenses can vary wildly without strict quality control. Even lenses that are made in the same lab!

Avulux's lens laboratory has nearly 40 years of experience in the lens market and maintains strict quality control measures to ensure a consistent premium lens in every pair of Avulux glasses.

Read more about migraine glasses here.

The Only Lens with Evidence-based Results

The unique and patented10 Avulux lens technology is designed to precisely and effectively absorb the additional harmful wavelengths of light that other glasses on the market do not absorb. Best of all, you can wear them indoors and outdoors without color distortion.

If you haven’t tried the patented Avulux glasses, then you haven’t truly tried migraine & light sensitivity glasses. The term migraine glasses is given a whole new meaning. Experience what could be one of your essential light sensitivity management tools.

Wearing Avulux does not cause any adverse side effects and you can try them for 60 days.


Avulux migraine lenses are hardcoated and anti-scratch to military specifications.

Avulux's migraine & light sensitivity lens technology is engineered into the lenses uniformly at the molecular level. That means that if your lenses do become scratched, it won't affect the amount of light prevented from entering your eyes. The entirety of the lens effectively works to keep your eyes and your brain safe.

Our frames are lightweight, durable, stylish, and comfortable. Avulux migraine glasses will become your go-to tool in your migraine & photophobia toolkit.

Without Avulux:

  • Are you struggling with light-triggered migraine pain, light sensitivity, and negative side-effects from traditional migraine medication?
  • Do you feel isolated and like migraine and light sensitivity often takes over your schedule?
  • Are you finding yourself remaining indoors or avoiding brightly lit places to reduce your exposure to migraine triggers?
  • If you're wearing other glasses, are the heavily tinted lenses distorting your color perception?
  • Are the tints on your glasses scratching off, leaving you exposed to light?
  • And then comes the feeling of having to weather the storm and fight through the pain and side-effects with your current medication.

With Avulux:

  • You can manage your light sensitivity by filtering the most pain-triggering light, without any negative side-effects.
  • Manage your light sensitivity with a tool that’s been vetted by multiple independent clinical trials.
  • Take command of your schedule and your life with Avulux at your side.
  • Go to those brightly lit places, spend time with your favorite people, enjoy a concert, even feel comfortable working in front of your computer hour after hour.
  • Feel confident that Avulux will continue performing together with you. Our clinically proven, military spec., anti-scratch, hardcoated migraine & light sensitivity lenses will keep you protected from the light and keep your eyes and brain relaxed.
  • We care about your wellbeing and we hope you’ll use Avulux to help be at your best.
Before and After Avulux Migraine Glasses

What Did You Learn?

  • Light can negatively affect people with migraine and/or light sensitivity.
  • Certain wavelengths of light are harmful and painful while others are beneficial.
  • Several studies hypothesized that migraine attacks (migraines) can be prevented by effectively preventing specific harmful pain-inducing wavelengths of light from entering your eyes.
  • Most people with migraine suffer from light sensitivity.
  • Avulux is evidence-based and proven to help you manage the impact of light sensitivity on your activities of daily living whether it's a symptom of migraine and/or other neurologic and eye disorders.

  • Let Avulux help you get back in control whether you have ocular migraine, vestibular migraine, hemiplegic migraine, or migraine with aura. Even wear Avulux when you're not experiencing light sensitivity to keep your eyes relaxed while you're working behind a screen or under harsh lighting.

The Avulux Promise

We understand the impact of pain-triggering light and want you to experience an improvement in your quality of life.

When you make the decision to try Avulux for yourself, do so with confidence. We care about your wellbeing, so we're giving you 60 days to try them at home -- it's your time to be sure that you're satisfied with Avulux.

Avulux bli photophobia glasses for migraine relief

Try Avulux Migraine Glasses at Home for 60 Days.

Shop Now



1 Choi, J.-Y., Oh, K., Kim, B.-J., Chung, C.-S., Koh, S.-B., & Park, K.-W. (2009). Usefulness of a Photophobia Questionnaire in Patients With Migraine. Cephalalgia, 29(9), 953–959. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2982.2008.01822.x

2 Rodrigo Noseda, Carolyn A. Bernstein, Rony-Reuven Nir, Alice J. Lee, Anne B. Fulton, Suzanne M. Bertisch, Alexandra Hovaguimian, Dean M. Cestari, Rodrigo Saavedra-Walker, David Borsook, Bruce L. Doran, Catherine Buettner, Rami Burstein, Migraine photophobia originating in cone-driven retinal pathways, Brain, Volume 139, Issue 7, July 2016, Pages 1971–1986, https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/aww119

3 Noseda R, Kainz V, Jakubowski M, et al. A neural mechanism for exacerbation of headache by light. Nat Neurosci. 2010;13(2):239–245. doi:10.1038/nn.2475 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ articles/PMC2818758/

4 Huang J, Zong X, Wilkins A, Jenkins B, Bozoki A, Cao Y. fMRI evidence that precision ophthalmic tints reduce cortical hyperactivation in migraine. Cephalalgia. 2011;31(8):925–936. doi:10.1177/0333102411409076 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles /PMC3132147/

5Brown, R Lane, and Phyllis R Robinson. “Melanopsin--shedding light on the elusive circadian photopigment.” Chronobiology international vol. 21,2 (2004): 189-204. doi:10.1081/cbi-120037816. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ articles/PMC2376768/?report=classic

6 Hoggan RN, Subhash A, Blair S, et al. Thin-film optical notch filter spectacle coatings for the treatment of migraine and photophobia. J Clin Neurosci. 2016;28:71-76. doi:10.1016/j.jocn.2015.09.024
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles /PMC5510464/

7 Mure LS, Cornut PL, Rieux C, et al. Melanopsin bistability: a fly's eye technology in the human retina. PLoS One. 2009;4(6):e5991. Published 2009 Jun 24. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005991

8 Optical Treatment of Migraines Using the Avulux™ Optical Filter in the Form of Spectacle Lenses 

9 Use of the Avulux® Lenses as an Aid in Reducing the Impact of Migraine Headaches

10 Avulux Migraine & Light Sensitivity glasses patents