Fluorescent Lighting and Lupus

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peacesoul
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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2430
   Posted 3/13/2009 5:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey all
 
So it was my first week back at work. It was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. I have a new work area from where I worked 9 months ago and this area has a TON of fluorescent lighting.
By wed of this week, I was feeling terribly sick and by yesterday, I felt like I was in a "flare". included was a MAJOR migraine (which I never get)
 
I asked them to remove some of the fluorescent bulbs over me and it helped.
Then I googled fluorescent lighting and lupus and saw in Wikipedia, that the UV light from these lights can cause a flare.
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorescent_lamp

Have anyone every experienced this?
Does anyone else feel "not right" or "Unwell" also when they are shopping in large stores?

 I emailed my Rheum about this and this is what he said
 
"I recall one other patient like you in fact with some features of Lupus, but not all the classic criteria, who also was sensitive to UV fluorecsent light. No one believed her- she got her work to change things but they made her life miserable, and I think she eventually changed jobs. I could not prove the diagnosis with 110% certainty and so they gave her the run around, sent her to other doctors(their doctors) etc..... It was messy. Sound familiar???


My beautiful inspiration
 
The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong in the broken places


 


Ginny
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5511
   Posted 3/13/2009 8:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Peacesoul,
 
Fluroescent lighting is poison!  You are not imagining this at all.  One hour under fluorescent lights is equivalent to 15 minutes of sun exposure.  So if you're spending 8+ hours under them, it's like being in the sun for 2 hours.  Not so good!
 
The other thing about these lights is that they're full of Mercury and Lead.  Really dangerous. We can't even recycle the bulbs that burn out.  They have to be taken to a hazardous materials waste site.  I don't know why this information isn't getting out to the public faster.  I'm stock piling the old incandescents.  I will never have fluorescents in my home.
 
I had to become self employed to avoid having to work under those lights.  I'm that sensitive to them. I get physically sick and get funny hives just from grocery shopping. 
 
 
I can do anything through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I have learned in whatever state I am in,to be content. Phillipians 4:11-13

35 years old. Diagnosed with Lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, Anti-phospholipid syndrome(APS)(stroke, 2002), Sjogren's, Raynaud's, Libman Sach's Endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, arthritis (neck), anxiety, Chinook migraines. Prednisone, Imuran, Coumadin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, Didrocal, Cozaar, Zoloft, Neurontin, calcium, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B6, Acidophilus
 
Co-Moderator for the Lupus and Fibromyalgia forums


Lynnwood
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 5621
   Posted 3/13/2009 10:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I would like to see a study that says 1 hr flourescent equals 15 minutes of sun!!

Both bother me, but they are such different sources that I'd like to read just which pieces they are comparing.

Thanks

Lynnwood, Co-Moderator: Lupus Forum
SLE(’00), Sjogren's Syndrome, Raynaud's Syndrome, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Depression, Herpes Simplex 1
Plaquenil, Prednisone(15 5mg), Piroxicam, Xanax, Trazodone, Boniva, Wellbutrin, Valtrex, Vicodin, Prilosec
Links: Diagnosing Lupus (4 of 11), Lupus.org Info, Lupus Resources, Help HealingWell, Drug Interactions

Life is far too important to be taken seriously. –Oscar Wilde, 1882


lucysgd
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Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 659
   Posted 3/13/2009 11:18 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Peace, Be sure to read the thread "Help for thinning hair" as it involves the problems stemming from flourescent lighting.  Apparently there are special sleeves that fit over the flourescent lights that block almost twice the emissions that regular covers do.  This helped a young girl who was flaring from exposure in her classroom.  I always wondered how effective the average covers are, and apparently, not very. 

I also avoid large stores/malls and limit my time in them.  I couldn't figure out why they made me feel so awful - but I do believe it's the lighting.  I hope you are wearing sunblock all the time.  This is recommended by doctors on Lupus.org - inside or out, sunny or cloudy.  I have gotten more sensitive since being on Plaquenil.

Lucy


diagnoses:  mono 1972; postviral CFS 1997; fibro 1998;  UCTD (dx limbo) 2007
meds: Plaquenil 400 mg, occasional low dose xanax for sleep aid, artificial tears w/ ointment at night, Advil/aspirin prn
 
 


lucysgd
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 659
   Posted 3/13/2009 11:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I just read through the Wickipedia link on your post.  Thought it was interesting that the flickering of flourescents also causes problems in sensitive people.  I cannot tolerate a flickering flourescent light - makes me feel weird and I've gotten occular migraines (visual disturbance w/o pain) as a result of not getting away from one quickly enough.

diagnoses:  mono 1972; postviral CFS 1997; fibro 1998;  UCTD (dx limbo) 2007
meds: Plaquenil 400 mg, occasional low dose xanax for sleep aid, artificial tears w/ ointment at night, Advil/aspirin prn
 
 


peacesoul
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2430
   Posted 3/14/2009 8:18 AM (GMT -6)   
I didn't post my dr's entire email, but he also went on to say this

"we then also discovered that Plaquenil might increase sensitivity to fluorescent lights....."


Lucy, I'll check out that thread. There are sleeves you can use, but no company wants to spend any money on them. I know if I complain loud enough they would do it, but I'm only back a week and will wait a few more to make "noise' about this. We are very large company and have a special dept just for health and safety, so I will be making mention of this soon.

I'm on another board for vertigo and there is a thread in there about why people feel sick or get panicked in places like walmart, well I think the ligting is the answer to this.

Ginny, I agre, these lights are very dangerous. And the medical community wonders why there are such high incidence of illness as opposed to 30 yrs ago.
And I don't know why this info is not getting out either?! Humans are a funny bunch, denial is much easier than facing these overwhelming realities. It's usually alwaya about the almight buck!
I have 18 more months in order to get my naturopathic certificate and then, God willing, I'll be working out of my home as well.

I wear sunscreen on my face only (in the winter) but I wear long sleeves to work now, In summer I'll lather the protection 50 all over.

This topic is truly interesting. I'm sure others with other illnesses experience the same issues with these lights.
I'm going to keep researching this.....

thanks for the input, would love to hear more
My beautiful inspiration
 
The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong in the broken places


 


Ginny
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5511
   Posted 3/14/2009 11:35 AM (GMT -6)   
It was my rheumy that told me about the fluorescent = sun exposure.  Flurorescents give off the same UV rays as the sun, just in smaller amounts. I think they're mainly talking about the uncovered, overhead fluorescents in offices and stores. But the compact fluorescents in our homes will still give off a small amount of UV rays.
 
Peacesoul, prednisone makes us more sensitive to the sun and these lights too. Are you on Pred?
 
Lucy, my ocular migraines get worse under them too.  We can't win!! 
 
I can't believe that in just a couple of short years, all we'll be able to buy are those compact fluorescents.  That's why I'm stock-piling the old bulbs!  They're pulling the old incandescents off the shelves in 2010 ( I think ), here in Canada.  Not sure about the US.
I can do anything through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I have learned in whatever state I am in,to be content. Phillipians 4:11-13

35 years old. Diagnosed with Lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, Anti-phospholipid syndrome(APS)(stroke, 2002), Sjogren's, Raynaud's, Libman Sach's Endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, arthritis (neck), anxiety, Chinook migraines. Prednisone, Imuran, Coumadin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, Didrocal, Cozaar, Zoloft, Neurontin, calcium, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B6, Acidophilus
 
Co-Moderator for the Lupus and Fibromyalgia forums


lucysgd
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Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 659
   Posted 3/14/2009 1:10 PM (GMT -6)   

Peace, and anyone reading this who missed the "Help with thinning hair" thread, it was stated that the flourescent light sleeves that did a much better job filtering the UV rays were purchased for $5 from their local Lupus support chapter (which gets them at a discounted price).  This could be really helpful for anyone dealing with a workspace dilemma.

I agree that the lights could be a culprit for many disorders and symptoms.  I felt like a nutcase for years because I would start feeling so strange in Walmart type stores or anyplace where the flourescents were especially prominant.  I have trouble in airports too.  It often did feel like anxiety.  And I always said in reference to the flickering/buzzing flourescent "makes me feel like I'm going to have a seizure".  Guess I wasn't far off.  It is amazing that between the Uv problem, and the mercury - that flourescents are being mandated.  Trading one problem for another.  Ginny - I guess I'll be stocking up on the incandescents as well.  I think I did read somewhere that there may be a loophole for people with sensitivities/illnesses made worse by the flourescents.  Maybe on Lupus.org. 

Peace - are you in the US?  Where are you getting your naturopath certificate?  This is something that interests me as well.  Thanks for including the rest of your rheumies response regarding Plaq and flourescent sensitivity.  Good to know.

Gonna go buy some old fashioned lightbulbs...have a good day!

 

 


diagnoses:  mono 1972; postviral CFS 1997; fibro 1998;  UCTD (dx limbo) 2007
meds: Plaquenil 400 mg, occasional low dose xanax for sleep aid, artificial tears w/ ointment at night, Advil/aspirin prn
 
 


peacesoul
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2430
   Posted 3/14/2009 2:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Ginny, I've never taken pred for my lupus. I did try Plaq, but it made me feel worse. I've been drug free for close to a year now

I'm in Montreal, Canada. and I'm taking my cert through a montreal school.
I've always been interested in natural healing, but getting sick pushed me harder towards it. My opinion of dr's and medications went downhill when I realized no dr could really help my situation and they were just throwing drugs my way which didn't help one bit.
My beautiful inspiration
 
The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong in the broken places


 


MJLD
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1048
   Posted 3/14/2009 8:19 PM (GMT -6)   
I have never noticed a reaction to flourescent lighting, but I have a younger cousin with Lupus and she can't tolerate them at all. If she wears short sleeved shirts to school every are of her skin that is exposed becomes rashy! Judy

Melissa D.
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 255
   Posted 3/15/2009 10:45 AM (GMT -6)   
I experience the same reaction with flurescent lighting exposure. Yesterday I was feeling really good, so I ran some errands. I went to Hobby Lobby and Target, by the time I left there I had a splitting migraine, this is no coincidence, it happens every time I do grocery shopping as well. When my husband and I owned our own business many years ago I had fluresecent lighting in my office, I purchased the protective tubes that go over them to shield me from the harmful rays emmitted, I can tell you I felt tons better after they were put on. Also, when I began working for my current employer I would always get a doctors note to have the lights above my desk removed, if I didn't I would feel horrible and have a migraine by the end of the day.

These new curly energy effiecent light bulbs that are out are twice as bad! They are emmitting twice the amount of harmful UV as well as mercury and lead as a regular flurescent because they are so compact. There are many articles out on the web about them and how they are making people sick and causing really bad rashes and such. I saw a report on tv a few weeks back about a person with lupus who had one of these bulbs in a lamp that she read by, she couldn't figure out why she was getting these horrible rashes and feeling so bad after she would sit down to read, long story short, it was caused by the light bulb!

So, Peacesoul, it's not in your head! Employers have to change out the lighting if your doctor provides a note saying the current lightening is harmful to your health! It's the law!

Melissa
Lupus - 1997   Fibro - 2001    Sjorens  -  2007   Raynauds  -  2008
Plaquenil, Imuran, Prednisone, Synthroid, Topomax, Effexor, Norco, Prilsec, Xanex, Elidel, Restasis


cured4real?
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1942
   Posted 3/15/2009 10:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Peacesoul, Lights bother me of all kinds because my eyes are affected by something and very sensitive to light, as well as my sun sensitivity which, depending on the health of my liver, can get really really bad. I raise fish and have lots of aquariums and have found that the bulbs that are combined with actinic light do not bother me nearly so bad, and in fact are soothing. I wonder if there are any studies on actinic light (moonlight--blue/purple spectrum) and sun sensitivity? They now make many differnt size screw in bulbs for older incandesccent fixtures that contain various percentages of actinic light at the pet stores, for reptiles and ome other creatures and for fsh. I light my house with aquarium bulbs. They seem to work fine. The 100% actinic looks like a blacklight almost, but there are some blended bulbs that are brighter and tolerable for me. It seems to be a percentage thing with me, once I get over acertain percentage of sunlght I can't metabolize it.

I hope you can get through to your employers. I hated those bulb and used to turn them off when I worked nights and brought a lamp witha shade. I don't know what leds do, they are used to emulate moonlight as well.
Love, Marji
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus cond., AI polygland. dysfunction 2, hyper/hypopigment, scoliosis,kyphosis,stenosis, deg.,O.A.,spine surgeries, salivary/lymphectomies, NASH, COPD, RLS, UT/GI bleeds, hystero, brain/nerve damage,TB
Meds--INH,Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, HRT and Lidocaine patchs, Voltaren gel, Klonopin, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol, steroids


conorsmom
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 3/16/2009 11:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi! I am very sensitive to fluorescent lighting. I discovered this years ago when I worked nights in a busy trauma center where the lights were on 24/7. I started wearing sunblock to work and also long sleeves and this helped. But the combination of working 12 hrs shifts and the fluorescents did me in. I had to go on SSD and  have been since 2002. I still wear sunblock everyday, even at home. The LFA is involved in the fluorescent lighting discussion (on their website, under Advocacy). Good luck! Sandy:)
Diagnosed with SLE 1994,Fibromyalgia 1994,Interstitial Cystitis 2000,lupus pneumonitis 2002,peripheral neuropathy 2002,cerebral anoxia 2007,
 
I can do all things through Christ who strenghthens me. (Phil 3:13)
 
 
Go Gators!


peacesoul
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2430
   Posted 3/16/2009 1:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone. Thanks so much for all the input.
These lights do a lot of damage.
My beautiful inspiration
 
The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong in the broken places


 


twinkiet
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 3/16/2009 6:49 PM (GMT -6)   
More than fluorescent lights, car headlights hurt my eyes to no end. If I am driving and it is at night, on coming traffic with regular headlights blind me and it sends shooting pains through the back of my eyes. Also, if someone driving behind me has their lights on when it hits my sideview mirror it sends more shooting pains through the back of my eyes. Going to the mall is like running a marathon for me. I am hot, clammy and when I get home I am ready to pass out and I am a shopaholic!

cured4real?
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1942
   Posted 3/16/2009 8:48 PM (GMT -6)   
twinkiet, I have the same problem, including the extreme pain. I have found that Pugs makes a black rimmed light amber lens sunglasses that is uv effectve during the day and also effective and light enough for night driving. It also doesn't discolor stop lights like some sunglasses do.
Love, Marji
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus cond., AI polygland. dysfunction 2, hyper/hypopigment, scoliosis,kyphosis,stenosis, deg.,O.A.,spine surgeries, salivary/lymphectomies, NASH, COPD, RLS, UT/GI bleeds, hystero, brain/nerve damage,TB
Meds--INH,Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, HRT and Lidocaine patchs, Voltaren gel, Klonopin, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol, steroids


twinkiet
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 3/17/2009 2:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Great Info Marji,

I do a lot of driving and by the time I get to where I am going, I'm not so much tired as i my eyes really hurt from the lights.

lilbitz
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 3/28/2009 9:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone!!I just joined and was browsing around to find info on flourescent lighting .I am  so happy to see I am not the only one with this issue.Everyone around me thinks that I am crazy because I keep saying I am having allergic reactions to the lights.Good to know there are others who can relate.

Ginny
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5511
   Posted 3/29/2009 9:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi lilbitz,
 
Welcome to the forum!  Yes, these lights are evil! You can start a new topic to introduce yourself if you'd like! More people will know you're here if you do that.
 
Ginny
I can do anything through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I have learned in whatever state I am in,to be content. Phillipians 4:11-13

35 years old. Diagnosed with Lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, Anti-phospholipid syndrome(APS)(stroke, 2002), Sjogren's, Raynaud's, Libman Sach's Endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, arthritis (neck), anxiety, Chinook migraines. Prednisone, Imuran, Coumadin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, Didrocal, Cozaar, Zoloft, Neurontin, calcium, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B6, Acidophilus
 
Co-Moderator for the Lupus and Fibromyalgia forums


PattyLatty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2548
   Posted 3/29/2009 10:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Peacesoul,

I've had this conversation with my rheumy and she said that she has seen patients become very ill from exposure to fluorescents, while others don't seem to be bothered as much. What she does stresss is sunblock. In fact, her parting words to me after every appointment are "Wear your sunblock."
SLE, fibro, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines, costocondritis.

prednisone, plaquenil, arava, neurontin, synthroid, triamterene, actonel, tri-est, cymbalta, tricor, acifex


Lord_Walters_Lady_Bug<3
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 4/30/2009 10:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Wow I am so like the quote at the top of the page. First I was iron deficient and anemic and that was fixed by supplements. Then I had a kidney infection which caused hematuria and since then I have had 2 postiive anas(one 1/160 speckled and one high at 243) and a bunch of symptoms including a photosensitive rash which is brought out much of the time by the fluorescent lights at school. I have been going to drs since sept and have since then became photosensitive to lights as well as the sun and the rash has gotten more frequent. I have many other symptoms including mouth ulcers, 3 types of peripheral neuropathy(raynauds, erythromelalgia and meralgia paresthetica)and symptoms of cns lupus. I also had seizures when I was younger so im not sure if it could be vasculitis or not. My other more specific labs were negative so the local rheumy says my symptoms are caused by my heart murmur (mitral valve prolapse) and being double jointed. That makes no sense to me. The symptoms come and go and I just think its rediculous. Just wanted yall to know I can relate to the lights and anybody have any suggestions? I go to a new rheumy at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore may 21st. I also had a friend who went to all 3 drs here including the one I saw and all said she was fine. She went to Baltimore to the University of Maryland and got diagnosed with CNS lupus. We have a lot of the same symptoms only her rash is hives and she gets ulcers in her nose too. I just wish it wasn't so hard to get dx especially when no one will give me anything at all until they "know" what is wrong. My rash is so horrible right now and it burns. I get it on my nose and cheeks and my arms and sometimes chest. It's awful. Well I am kind of ranting and rambling now lol Thanks for the opportunity to share though :) *hugs* and God Bless to all -Brittanee
*Wifey & Mommy*

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