Light Sensitivity

Many sunglasses let in light at the sides; if this bothers you look for a ‘wraparound’ style. Prescription sunglasses can be obtained. There are also wrap-around sunglasses that fit between your glasses and eyes (ask an optician), and others which will go over the top of glasses.

A baseball cap or sun-hat shades the eyes (preferably with a dark coloured peak which reflects less light). Blindfolds/ sleep masks are available from some chemists (e.g. SUPERDRUG), or if you know someone who is travelling, airlines give them out on long flights. They can also be improvised or home made using several thicknesses of cotton folded with aluminium foil. Some lampshades (e.g. ‘up lighters’) diffuse the light more than others. Several lamps with low watt bulbs are easier on the eyes than one bright one. Dimmer switches (which buzz a little) and different coloured bulbs may also be worth a try. Bulbs can be bought with a silver coating, which reflects the light upwards so it is more dispersed. If your light sensitivity is severe, you may find indirect light best, perhaps from an electric night light, candle, torch or illuminated globe. Blinds reduce the glare of the sun without making the room dark. Blackout curtain lining and blackout blinds are available. Some specialist blackout blinds are sealed at the edges and can be used to make the room pitch black, but new blinds release chemicals for over a week after installation. The father of one girl with M.E. turned her bed into a four-poster. She uses the curtains when the light in her room gets too bright.

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