Tinted Glasses for Sensory Overload?

Since my stroke I can't cope with overhead lighting ( as in supermarkets) along with the whole looking up & down, noise etc. This doesn't bode well for getting back to a busy open plan office. Months ago I asked my consultant if I should see my optician but was told ' it's your brain not your eyes' that have the problem. I did try my existing perscription sun glasses which didn't help. I'm still chasing for OT & assessments, but I'm at a loss as to whether I should persist in going to places with these types of lighting & try to build up tolerance or avoid ( can't completely avoid shops but I keep it to a minimum). Yesterday a lady from the stroke team asked me if I'd considered tinted lenses! I'd asked about this months ago so am now feeling angry & frustrated. Has anyone tried these & did you find them useful or not. I'm just so frustrated with no real information & the time being in endless waiting lists. If there is something I can be doing to help cope with the lighting ( in particular) I'd like to be doing it. Thank you in advance.

Dear Fiona

It is frustrating, to say the least.

Part of the problem is that no two strokes are the same, so the professionals have  real  difficulty trying to help us. They also get a lot of hassle from carers and family so they have to watch their backs.

In general terms we need rest to allow our brain to recover all functions. And yes it is true that there is initially nothing wrong with our organs and limbs it is "just" the messenging that is wonky. But things do go wrong, many get "dropped shoulder" which seems to be a physical deterioration of the muscles (?) and after a few years not using certain muscles we will deteriorate unless we keep it all moving. I start yoga classes on Monday, as an attempt to get everything to work again.

My sight is unaffected. But I have been to the opticians and had their pecial scan to check all is in order.

I can only deal with one thing at a time. And it takes forever.

I couldnt stick inside any hall theatr etc. I had to leave after a few minutes. Then I had the thought it was in fact echos that were causing the problem. Somehow, once I knew that was the issue, it semed to clear the problem. My brain had lost the ability to process an echo. So PA systems etc had been scaring the life out of my brain. Now I am 90% OK with PA systems etc.

Many types of lighting flicker. Especially office/shop lighting. I wonder if its the flickering that affects you ? Maybe your brain has forgotten about flickering lights.

I hope you progress

Best wishes


Thank you for replying to me again Colin. Flickering in lights has affected me since the stroke. Being outside I'm fine but certain strip & panel lights are dreadful; at times I can see flickers that my family don't see. Things on the edge of my periferol vision also bring on headache/wobbles. I'm venting as I'd asked months ago about the possibility of different glasses & if there was anything I could do but no & now 'have you thought of tinted lenses!' Just so frustrating! At times I begin to think it's my imagination & just get on with it but a prolonged supermarket visit leads to overpowering headache & one doctors examination ( non stroke related) with big light above me lead to me fainting. I'll just wait until I eventually get the OT assessment & find out their perceived opinions on tinted specs. I just wondered if anyone had tried tinted glasses for similar issues. Thanks again & sorry for the rant.

It's a tricky one because there is a lot of truth in what your consultant said in that it's the brain and not the eyes.  I have also found that bright lights, flashing lights and annoying TV camera quick shots are worse lately. Trying to watch a football match is awful with the constant moving camera shots especially during the breaks.  I have taken to closing my eyes when adverts are on as well as these are the worst offenders.  

I went for an eye test last week because my eyes are always sore and feel tired all the time even when I'm not tired. I suffer a lot with blood shot eyes which is brought on by air conditioning in shops, cafes etc. The air is so dry and blowing in your face all the time!  I also wear sunglasses for driving pretty much everyday because even in winter, the sky is very bright. The optician tested my eyes and there was only a slight difference in my distance vision but everything else was normal.  I have started with cataracts on both eyes but these are only very tiny ones and not at the stage where they can be operated on.  He did say my eyes were very dry which was causing me to screw my eyes up in bright lights and also making them bloodshot and watery. His bright light that he used for looking at the back of my eyes was a nightmare. He recommended some dry eye drops.  I've been using these and they have helped a lot with the air conditioning problem and the bright lights.

It might be worth getting a cheap pair of glasses with tinted lenses just to try to satisfy your own peace of mind until your assessments come through.  Another thing worth mentioning is vertigo and migraine can also cause flickering in your eyes made worse by looking up and down and noise. I suffer with vertigo which is worse with bright lights.

I too suffer with watery eyes and sensitivity Had this problem long before I had a stroke (9months ago).I always wear sunglasses  all year round .I found sunglasses that I can wear over my glasses this save the problem of constant changing from one to the other.I just push the sunglasses up on my head and they are ready for use when ever. The are inexpensive,handy and available on line& sometime in Booths . Alot cheaper than perscription ones and work equally as well .Thought I would share the handy tip with you. All the best Gretta.

Thanks for replying - I also find that vertigo increases with flickering lights. I already wear glasses, which were very expensive so I'm hesitant in changing without expert advice but I'll maybe see if a temp clip on tint could help. With TV we've upped the light in the settings on the screen which helped. I find programmes filmed in darkness & those streamed (like Netflix) flicker the most & I can only tolerate for short times. There's no pleasure in watching something if I end up dizzy & nauseous. Thank you for sharing your experience as it helps to know I'm not alone with this issue. The light problem is now the main one ( along with the stroke fatigue) preventing me getting back to work. Thanks again. Fiona