Migraine sufferers get surprising benefits from daily green light exposure

Are you one of the many people who regularly suffer from migraine headaches? If so, exposing yourself to green light on a daily basis may be an effective way to reduce how often you experience these attacks, at least according to a new study from the University of Arizona. The research builds upon a previous study implicating green light in the reduction of neuropathic pain in lab mice.

Though there are a number of migraine treatment options on the market, they aren't effective for everyone who suffers from these debilitating headaches. The new study focused on that latter group of people, testing the green light treatment on 29 migraineurs who were unable to get relief using the traditional options.

The researchers note that this wasn't an ordinary green light — well it was, sort of. Rather, the light was presented with a specific intensity and frequency using 'the right exposure time and the right exposure methods,' according to one of the study leads, Dr. Mohab Ibrahim. 'Just like with medications, there is a sweet spot with light.'

Study participants were exposed to the green light over multiple days, reporting a number of benefits: migraine severity was reduced by 60-percent, the duration of the migraines dropped, and the number of these episodes per month was reduced by more than 50-percent. The best part? Unlike medications and injections, green light exposure didn't have any side effects.

The effort was so effective that 28 of the 29 participants chose to keep the green light after the study ended in order to continue using it. There's an obvious benefit to using light as a health treatment, which is that in addition to being inexpensive and readily available, it is also non-invasive. A number of studies have explored the potential benefits and risks of red and blue light, with green light getting more attention in recent years.