View Full Version : fluorescent lights

08-06-2006, 04:33 PM
Has anyone else noticed being photosensitive to fluorescent lights? Iíve never had a doctor warn me about being around uncovered fluorescent lights, but Iíve found a couple medical journals and fluorescent lighting companies warn about lupus patients being sensitive to the UVB emitted from fluorescent lights. There is an office I have to visit for work and I always feel awful like Iím starting a flare after I leave. Iíve always assumed it was due to stress or working too much, but after reading about the uncovered fluorescent lights, Iím thinking it is the lights. The last couple times Iíve worked in that office Iíve worked on a computer in a room by myself so I shut the lights off and I didnít have any problems. I also avoid shopping because I have mini flares after shopping for as little as an hour. Iíve always assumed it was do to all the walking around Ė but most stores have uncovered fluorescent lights. My nose and cheeks turn red Ė that is the only rash I get under the fluorescent lights, but I feel awful Ė nausea, muscle and joint aches, major fatigue and memory troubles.

I was just wondering if anyone else has noticed this.

The articles Iíve read said that if the light has a plastic cover over it Ė the UVB rays are supposed to be absorbed. Iíve noticed I donít feel as bad under the lights with plastic covers, but I felt even better when I shut the lights off. Iíve also tried sunscreen and it seems to help, but again the lights being off seems to be best for me.

08-06-2006, 05:16 PM
Yes, I've noticed it as well. I've become very photosenstive and I'm close to developing an aversion to the sun. 8) I even asked my doctor if there was such thing as a prescription to allow us to get tint in all the windows of a car without getting a ticket from the cops. In the state I live in, its illegal to tint the front windows. NOPE, not such thing. :( Oh well. :( We need to use sunscreen (one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays and has a SPF of at least 30) whether we're indoors or out. We can get much UVA light exposure even through car windows or by sitting in a sunny room. Make sure your halogen and fluorescent lights are covered in a plastic case.

08-07-2006, 05:42 AM
Hi all. Great site! Great people!

I'm still going through the diagnostic process. My docs and I have no doubt that I fall somewhere within the autoimmune spectrum --- we just don't know where. My ANAs are positive and off the chart.

So far, I've lost both hips to avascular necrosis and have all the usual other crazy symptoms that were big question marks to my doctors over the years. Finally, some smart young ones have put the puzzle pieces together and are willing to thoroughly investigate my symptoms. They are saying Lupus as their best first guess. Maybe, part of the trouble in the past has been lack of training in med schools.

I digress . . .

Fluorescent lights: I have been working about twenty hours a week for the the last year and a half under banks and banks of fluorescent lights in a big box environment. I work in a pharmacy which has extra super-duper commercial lighting for obvious reasons.

Having just been preliminarily diagnosed as having autoimmune something-or-other, no one had a clue why I have continually had a cold/flu solidly for the last year, or why my nose (left nostril only) spontaneously starts running when under fluorescent lights. The lights also bring on dizziness, lightheadedness, extreme fatigue and major drops in blood pressure. When away from work, most of these symptoms subside.

The runny nose is still a big question. It only happens at work. One of the considerations is stress and leaking spinal fluid.

Sorry about the long post. I just wanted you to know I experience very real symptoms under fluorescent lights. The natural sun does just the opposite --- it makes me feel good. Strange, isn't it?

Best wishes to all. This sure is an interesting journey.

08-07-2006, 08:03 AM
I become photosensitive to flourscent lights. In college I had to have all the lights changed to regular ones in my dorm and my on campus apartment. If you really have problems at work with florcent lights you should really talk to your employer about changing the lights or trying to provide other lighting. It's a disability issue and they should take care of that for you. I work under them now at the hospital but they are higher in the ceiling and when my patients are done I usually shut the lights off.
Buddhabelly I would check into NJ"s laws if you haven't yet. I know when I lived in Pennsylvania you were not allow to black out your front windows, but they could be slightly tinted to a degree. So my front windows were slightly tinted darker and the back windows were completely blacked out. All I had to do was carry a note from my doctor in the glove box and if I got pulled over just give it to the cop. So check into that a little further. Hope that helps :lol:

08-07-2006, 10:02 AM
Oh wow! :D Thanks for the info about the window tinting. Which doctor did you go to for the note? I asked my nephrologist about that whole tinting thing, and he said no, because its illegal. :?

08-07-2006, 11:02 AM
Check with the Dept of Motor Vehicles in your state (that's what it's called in FL anyway) I had to get a form from them signed by my dr and take it back to them and get a permit for both my car and dh's truck. But it's a lifetime thing that I don't have to renew so long as I own that car. If I sell it they have to take the tint off or THEY get a ticket. I'll have to look on my form to see what it is actually called tho.
edited to add http://www.state.nj.us/mvc/pdf/About/MR-15.pdf this is the form for NJ that you have to get filled out by your dr. If it doesn't show up just go to the NJ State site and put in sunscreening medical exemption in the search bar there. I had to pay a 6 dollar fee for FL so not sure if you will have to pay for it or not but definitely worth it to keep the sun out (and not get in trouble for it).

08-07-2006, 05:06 PM
Every time I get under flourescent lights without covers I feel sick and my Malar rash is ten times worse. I go home feeling like someone has run me over with a truck and then backed over me for good measure. Butterflyrn and Tracy Dawn that is really good information about the tinted windows. I didn't know that you could do that. I'll look into it here.


08-07-2006, 05:17 PM
Thanks for all the wonderful replies ! :)

08-07-2006, 05:42 PM
Thanks for the link TRACYDAWN. :wink: I'm printing it out as we speak. I can't wait to get my front windows tinted. It will help me so much. 8)

08-07-2006, 10:29 PM
I inadvertently figured this one out on my own. I get so fatigued that I can barely move when I go to the store.

08-08-2006, 09:48 AM
OH my gosh you guys...here I was thinking that I was just a big baby for not being able to go to the grocery store! I could never figure out why I had such a hard time with that or in particular, when we went to Home Depot last weekend. I felt so awful when we were done, that I had to lie down. My face and chest were bright red, like I had been outside, and I felt nauseous and dizzy, and my whole body ached. I never once considered it could be the lights....I can't wait to tell my husband. thanks.

08-09-2006, 06:48 PM
You know what else I noticed with fluorescent lighting? During the days when I'm at work, I find myself feeling so tired. It doesnt matter what time of the day. I catch myself yawning all the time. The lights throughout the office are all fluorescent. I yawn so much more at work (I'm never bored- always have something to do) :? than when I'm at home. Weird, huh? Is it the lights, or is it the air circulation? :?: