Green Eyeglasses Reduce Pain-Related Anxiety in Fibromyalgia Patients

Summary: Using eyeglasses that filter a specific wavelength on the green light spectrum reduces pain-related anxiety and could decrease the need for opioids for those with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions.

Source: American Society of Anesthesiologists

Wearing special green eyeglasses for several hours a day reduces pain-related anxiety and may help decrease the need for opioids to manage severe pain in fibromyalgia patients and possibly others who experience chronic pain, according to a study being presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY 2022 annual meeting.

“Our research found that certain wavelengths of green light stimulate the pathways in the brain that help manage pain,” said Padma Gulur, M.D., lead author of the study and executive vice chair of Duke Anesthesiology and Duke Health, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “There is an urgent need for additional treatments to reduce the use of opioids among patients with fibromyalgia and other types of chronic pain, and green eyeglasses could provide an easy-to-use, non-drug option.”

Few alternatives to opioids — especially non-drug options — exist for patients with severe and chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, which causes pain all over the body. Fibromyalgia affects about 4 million U.S. adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pain and anxiety share similar biological mechanisms. Additionally, fear of pain exacerbates anxiety, often leading to increased opioid use, said Dr. Gulur.

This shows a woman in pain
Pain and anxiety share similar biological mechanisms. Image is in the public domain

The researchers studied 34 fibromyalgia patients who were randomized to wear various shades of eyeglasses four hours a day for two weeks: 10 patients wore blue eyeglasses, 12 wore clear eyeglasses and 12 wore green eyeglasses. Patients who wore green eyeglasses were four times more likely to have reduced anxiety than those in the other groups, which saw no reduction in anxiety.

“We found that although their pain scores remained the same, those who wore the green eyeglasses used fewer opioids, demonstrating that their pain was adequately controlled,” said Dr. Gulur. “We would recommend the green eyeglasses treatment for those with fibromyalgia and are studying patients with other chronic pain conditions to determine if it would be beneficial.”

The eyeglasses are specially formulated to filter a specific wavelength on the green light spectrum, said Dr. Gulur. She noted that most patients who wore the green eyeglasses reported feeling better and asked to keep wearing them.

About this pain and fibromyalgia research news

Author: Julia Cremin
Source: American Society of Anesthesiologists
Contact: Julia Cremin – American Society of Anesthesiologists
Image: The image is in the public domain

Original Research: The findings will be presented at ANESTHESIOLOGY 2022

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  1. I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis, cycle related migraines, and Fibromyalgia. Every time one flare up stops, another starts. I will try almost anything to stop living in chronic pain, fatigue, and with ridiculous widespread muscle weakness and joint instability. I’m a tiny fraction of the woman I used to be. I’m only 37, and I honestly don’t want to do this anymore. It’s exhausting.

  2. Yeah I too have Fibromyalgia Arthritis with bone on bone issues in in my right kne and Spinal Stenosis I get back injections for that. I just had a knee replacement two months ago and I doing fine with that,surprising because I’ll be 80 in Dec! I’ve had Fibro for years and years I mainly use Lyrica and a lot of Tylenol to manage it.

  3. As a Rheumatologist I treated Fibromyalgia (FMS) for 40 yrs.
    Scientist/researchers FMS patients suffer, don’t print the research unless
    are willing to disclose the wavelength specifications of these glasses.
    An analogous setting would be to show pictures of food to people who are starving!
    Have a heart guys!
    KH

  4. Only 34 fibromyalgia patients? Is that it? Why a study with so few test subjects is already being published – even advertised, it seems – as something that is proven to work? We already got people in here saying they want said green wonder-glasses… Heck, even I want them, tbth! Anything to fight this terrible pain would be welcomed.

    My question should really be… will there be a vast follow-up study with a much MUCH larger group of patients encompassing different age groups? They mentioned that they are testing it out not only w/ fybromyalgia patients, but also with patients of various other medical conditions that cause chronic pain. Gotta wonder if they are talking about Chronic Arthritis and Degenerative Disk Disorder cause those are the ones I’ve been diagnosed with so far. But I suspect some of my pain could also be fybromyalgia cause it’s everywhere (not just lower back and cervical) and it keeps getting worse every passing day.

  5. Very interesting reading. I could do with a pair of these. Been on opioids for 20+ years. What shade of green and would I be able to get them in the UK.

    Thank you for your research.

  6. I want to try a pair. Great question about the shade and intensity of the lenses.I also am curious, what does the optic nerve have to do with interpretation of pain and anxiety,or is it just a calming effect due to less intensity of light, similarly to soft or dim lighting? And why was the study limited to the two colors?

  7. Where can I buy these type of glasses? Is there a specific shade of green in the glasses that help them work for patients with Fibromyalgia? I have Fibro, anxiety, c-PTSD, extreme depression, BPD, and a lot more. I have major pain from low back stenosis, a collapsed hip bone on bone, a knee beyond bone on bone, and other health issues which are exacerbated by having Fibromyalgia.
    I really would like to give this a try.
    Thank You

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