About

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If GLARY is defined as having a dazzling brightness (Merriam-Webster dictionary), then GLARminY is an intended community of Glarmins, people who suffer from above average light sensitivity. GLARminY is also a desired state of a Glarmin in which glare that enters our eyes is minimized to avoid headaches and fatigue thus living more normally. Glarminy’s mission is, therefore, to help Glarmins, by providing a place where we can share our glare related problems and solutions. Glarminy is where we can help each other.

What is glary to a Glarmin would hardly be perceived as disturbing brightness by other people. Examples include several ordinary situations:

  • Driving at night: unbearable discomfort caused by headlight glare and even the glare from tail lights, traffic lights or road signs!!
  • Driving in daytime: fatiguing discomfort caused by reflections of the sun from one’s dashboard, from the road, from other cars, etc.
  • Work & home: disturbing reflection of light reflected form paper when reading, fatigue caused by the contrast between a computer screen and office lighting as it changes with the movement of the Sun and the clouds), discomfort caused when a window is behind the person to whom you are talking, uneasiness whenever there is a light bulb anywhere in the field of vision, etc.

If you are a Glarmin, you identify with the above situations and glare bothers you nearly all of the time.

Using flashing or bright light is a well-known method of interrogation. This technique is designed to overload the senses, interfering with sleep, cognition, and concentration. A light sensitive person might suffer the same adverse effects in normal daily situations.
Using flashing or bright light is a well-known method of interrogation. This technique is designed to overload the senses, interfering with sleep, cognition, and concentration. A light sensitive person might suffer the same adverse effects in normal daily situations.

Glare disturbs us, Glarmins, because it leads to headaches, tension around the eyes and general weariness. It makes it difficult for us to lead a normal life (for example, one hour of driving may tire you to the point of having to lie down to rest and recover from headache and eyestrain). Ophthalmologists call this condition photophobia or light sensitivity or intolerance to light (see www.eyehealthweb.com, or www.allaboutvision.com). Light sensitivity may be a symptom of another condition or disease that may be treated, thus removing the problem with light sensitivity. However, some people are naturally more sensitive to light (their pupils might be larger, allowing more light to enter their eyes such that they might see better at night, but brightness disturbs them more).

Do leave me a note if you identify with a Glarmin or know someone who is! I am very curious to see how many of you out there share this condition with me. The statistics in my country say that about 5% of total population report glare-related problems when visiting an eye doctor.  Do you think that is about right? Do you have access to statistics that differ significantly from this number?


About me

My name is Uroš, I am from Slovenia (so I hope you bear with my English) where I live with my wife and four children.

VIP Kriz&mi

I got my B.Sc. degree in Applied Math and Economics in the USA, MBA in Spain, and recently a Ph.D. in Slovenia. In all these countries I also worked for extensive periods of time, mostly as a sales manager or a general manager of smaller businesses (here is my LinkedIn profile).

I love my family, managing businesses, working with/helping people, hiking and mountain biking.

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14 thoughts on “About

  1. My light sensitivity is a pretty recent discovery for me. About a month ago, I began noticing what I felt were increased symptoms from inner ear issues, such as dizziness/vertigo and a bodily “tilt” to one side. I have noise-induced hearing loss in my left ear from an incident where a child pointed a cap gun at it and pulled the trigger, so I had reason to believe it may have caused vestibular problems. While researching vestibular issues, I found out that fluorescent lighting could be a trigger. At work, I had a fluorescent light on my desk that I used all day, everyday at work. It was right near my head. I decided to stop using it and felt the vestibular-like symptoms reduce significantly. Over time, though, I would feel worse and worse with remaining exposures. I’ve used blue light reducing apps on my computers, tablet, and phone. I ordered prescription lenses with Crizal Prevencia and Transitions XTRActive. I replaced the fluorescent lighting in my home with LED bulbs. The LED bulbs in my kitchen and laundry room are 4000K and don’t seem to cause issues. I’ve begun wearing a visor to work to block out the overhead lights, similar to this one, http://shop.georgiadogs.com/COLLEGE_Georgia_Bulldogs/Mens_Nike_Red_Georgia_Bulldogs_2017_AeroBill_Sideline_Performance_Visor?p_src=dti. I also plan to experiment with a pair of TheraSpecs to see how they compare to my current prescription lenses. I’ve read that vestibular damage can cause increased reliance on vision to compensate for the job that the vestibular system can no longer do effectively. Perhaps this may have caused my increased light sensitivity because all the fluorescent/blue light exposure along with the vestibular compensation is just too much work for my eyes? I’ve also read that in general, people with vestibular disorders are more easily fatigued than average. I know when I’ve been exposed to blue light or fluorescent lighting long enough, I become very noticeably fatigued. My hope is to see an ENT specialist to figure out what exactly is going on with my noise-induced hearing loss, possible vestibular damage from the acoustic trauma, and how the damage might be connected to my light sensitivity.

    1. I’ve also began having a vestibular disorder a month ago and spaces with a lot of fluorescent lighting, such as stores, offices is difficult. As well as eye strain on the computer. Do you find the Crizal Prevencia that blocks out blue light from 415-455 nanometers helpful in those conditions? I was looking at the TheraSpecs and they seems they focus on filtering 480-500nm wavelengths. While http://www.blublox.com indicate that blocking out above 450nm may not be necessary or healthy for you. It all seem very contradictory, complicated, and difficult to sort out what would be the best solution. Not to mention expensive if you have two pairs of prescription glasses (reading or computer work and long distance) that a filter would need to be applied.

      1. Yes, I think my glasses with the Crizal Prevencia have been helpful. I have however found that a visor with just the front being shielded is not as effective as a hat with a brim all the way around. That way, I get extra shielding on the sides as well. I think the TheraSpecs work okay too, and I have a pair as a backup pair.

    2. As an update, I’ve found that in addition to light sensitivity, motion also triggers symptoms. I’ve had to try modifying computer usage by scrolling using the page up and down buttons when possible and closing my eyes otherwise. I used to use two monitors at work, but I would get vertigo by looking back and forth at windows open on both monitors, so I decided to go back to using just one monitor. I’ve found that doing things like wiping down countertops will bring on the spells of vertigo if I don’t track the movements with my eyes. Some things are just impossible to track, though, so I turn my head or close my eyes in those instances. My ENT doctor had me undergo VNG testing, which came back normal, so he’s referred me to a neurologist, which I don’t see for nearly three months. I hope to speak to my eye doctor about these issues as well, and I should hopefully see him next month. I think migraine-associated vertigo (or vestibular migraine) sounds likely, as I have a past history of painful, unilateral headaches. I haven’t gotten bad headaches in years, although now I have the visual vertigo brought on by light and motion.

  2. Hi Uroš,

    I started suffering from vision issues about 4 years ago. These include sensitivity to glare, afterimages, trails from LED lights. Having been healthy person for more than 30 years, these chronic and debilitating issues have lead to depression and anxiety for me. The worst aspect are the glare caused by the sun and reflected sunlight and the glare from headlights and taillights at night. Anyone who is back lit (in front of a bright window or doorway) looks like a dark silhouette to me. Bare light bulbs and camera flashes are very uncomfortable and sometimes blinding.

    I haven’t been able to find much relief. I have custom, extra dark sunglasses that help a bit, making unbearable glare only uncomfortable. Anti glare coating and tinted glasses don’t do much. Talk therapy and a study of Buddhist tenants (mindfulness, letting go, acceptance) has been fruitful.

    Anyway, I’m happy to see a site like yours bringing these issues into the forefront. Please keep up the good work!

    Patrick

      1. Hey Uroš,

        I’ve tried yellow, amber, rose and blue. They have helped when things feel too bright overall, but have had no effect on glare.

      2. Patrick, I asked because your story sounded so similar to mine. Of course it is dangerous to jump to conclusions based on a few paragraphs because light sensitivity is such a complex issue that has to do with our eyes and our brain.

        Still, at the risk of telling you something you’ve already tried, let me tell you about my experience:

        I found the greatest relief with lens tint that has a cutoff at 550nm – they block nearly all blue light. However, above 550nm they let through around 90% of light, for an average of about 50% transmission. That is somewhat surprising because they are anything but extra dark. Specifically I am talking about the Uvex SCT Orange safety glasses (but there are others with similar characteristics).

        Those blue blockers worked very well in most situations you mention, except on snow, water, and when driving into the sun. In those cases I had to combine the SCT orange lens with a dark grey polarized lens and still wasn’t too happy.

        Recently I’ve been testing copper tinted “drivers” glasses from EDGE (polarized and non-polarized). They block most blue light and let through only 8% of visible light. Unfortunately this year we had very little snow, so I could only test them for one day. Hardly enought to draw conclusions. But the first impression was quite good; Better than the SCT Orange + dark grey combined :).

        As I am better able to manage my eyes’ exposure to computer screens, along with some other measures described here on Glarminy, I’ve noticed to be a bit less light sensitive (do you see any connection between computer use and light sensitivity in your case?)

        When you find other solutions to your light and glare sensitivity do let me know – I am very interested.

        Anyhow, forgive me if this is something obvious to you.

        Best of luck with your light sensitivity!

  3. Hi Uroš,

    My name is Matheo. I’m a web user interface designer, roughly 90% of my work is executed on a computer. I stare at a computer screen for a minimum of 6-8 hours a day, and on a long day roughly 8-12 hours of my day is dedicated to the computer. Needless to say I suffer from digital eyestrain.

    Your site caught my attention because I’ve suffered from light sensitivity ever since I was a child. I recall coming home Light-sick from the doctors office on more than one occasion because of photophobia. Due to the nature of my career I’ve learned to cope with chronic eyestrain, but I’ve always kept faith that there must be hope in the brightness; a reprieve from the light.

    So far, I’ve yet to discover this reprieve for us Glarmin, but I’ve not given up on hope. I’m researching methods to design for the web with light sensitivity in mind. Your site is an excellent example of light conscious design, which reduces the amount of strain on the readers eyes. Thank you for curating this community dedicated to us Glarmins.

    Kind regards,

    Matheo

  4. I’ve had light sensitivity all of my life. I have my own insurance office in Wisconsin, USA and have had eye problems increasingly. I’ve been looking for someone who understands/shares this problem because I really don’t want to do something else, this job is great. Thank you so much for posting all of this. There has been some experimenting on my end to try and get rid of the eyestrain/headaches. I think because most people don’t have it to this extreme they can’t quite understand why it causes so much hardship. This information is so valuable, I can’t thank you enough. Many internet searches have not produced this level of detail and your site is truly underappreciated at this moment in time.

    1. Bud, thanks a lot for your comment. It is a very apreciated cheer for me to continue with this site. I wish you all the best with your eye problems and everything else!

      1. I am happy to find this site as well. I suffer from digital eye strain, and spend 8-12 hours a day (M-F) on a computer. I’m in my late 30s and have used computers since 1998. One thing i noticed is that my left eye seems to suffer more than my right eye. Both eyes burn (at the end of the day), but the left eye (upper lid) slightly droops (after being exposed to the blue light). I experimented with F Lux software just recently, and the burn and droop went away. My only problem is that i’m a graphic designer, and color accuracy is important. I’m really trying to find a screen protector that blocks close to 100% blue light, but preserves close to the original appearance of the monitor.

        I also noticed that led backlit computer monitors seem to effect me worse, than ccfl, but both cause strain. LED causes headaches. Apparently led spectrum of blue light/and flicker is stronger than ccfl monitors. So, i had to look online for used ccfl lcd monitors (that are non led backlit).

        There is a blue light screen filter from photodon (Blue Light Cut) that claims to cut close to 100% of blue light, with minimal appearance effects. The filter life is about 24 months.

      2. MG, I don’t envy you at all being blue light sensitive and depending on color sensitive computer work!

        What do you do graphic design for? If it is for software or web, you could help yourself and others by focusing on design that avoids colors that have high blue light content, particularly blue and white. For some reason it seems that designers love these two colors, although they are the worst for eye comfort!?

        Unfortunately, you are on mission impossible trying to find near 100% blue blocking filter that doesn’t distort colors – think about it: you can’t block blue light and see it too!?

        Blue Light Cut: I’ve found this data about the Photodon filter you’ve mentioned. The blue blocking rate is not very impressive:

        – 44% at 400nm (digital screens don’t emit with high intensity at 400nm
        https://glarminy.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/eye-fatigue-high-blue-peak-in-modern-computer-screens-spectral-power-distribution.jpg?w=570&h=360
        moreover there are screen protectors and blue blocking glasses that claim no color distortion that block near 100% at 400nm

        – 20% at 450nm (this is where digital screens peak in blue light emissions – see above image). 20% is not that much for someone with your symptoms – but why not try it, maybe 20% is enough for your eyes!?

        Best!

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