fluorescent light sensitivity

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 135
   Posted 8/18/2007 9:54 PM (GMT -6)   
The doctor says that my lupus flare could have been caused by the fluorescent lights and stress that I had for 8 hours one day. When I get under fluorescent my skin turns very red, my joints swell and I get a low grade fever. Anyone else have this experience? And I am worried because I would love to have a type of teaching job. But I would be under fluorescent lights all day. How can I make this work? Is it really the fluorescent lights causing a problem?
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome 1992, Restless leg syndrome 1998, SVT tachycardia/Arrythmia '06 (gone after ablation 07), SLE '07, Raynauds '07....Plaquenil,  NorQD, Naproxen, Folic Acid (for mouth/nose sores), Multivitamin, magic mouthwash, Prednisone.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 8/18/2007 10:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Kitty. I haven't experienced this personally, but there is a lady in my local support group that has BIG problems with the fluorescent lights. She has explained actual "outbreaks" just like I've read about in my lupus books, flare level even. She has told about terrible reactions her skin would have (not only rashes, but actual sores like welts if I'm remembering correctly). I know she has to wear high spf sunscreen at all times, but I'm not sure if that even helped with the fluorescent lights. I just know she tries to avoid them. Hope this helps. I just don't have any personal experience with this. Maybe others can help.
Always looking for the silver lining, Sharen

SLE '06, Sjogren's '06, Traumatic Head Injury '94
Prednisone 10mg and tapering, Caltrate 1200mg, Multi-vitamin, Prevacid 30 mg, Actonel 35mg

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 474
   Posted 8/18/2007 11:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes. The lights are awful for me. I actually get lightheaded and sick to my stomach when I spend too much time under the lights. Hope you are feeling better.
Take care,

Dx: Lupus, sjogren's, celiac, severe allergies.
Meds: Plaquenil, Zyrtec, Prilosec, Nasacort, Prednisone, Prozac daily.
Meds: Epinephrine, Benadryl, albuterol (as needed).

Audrey Ann
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 815
   Posted 8/18/2007 11:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I have had some trouble myself with flourescent lighting but not to the extent that you describe. If you want to teach, though, you can request different lighting for your classroom but you might end up moving frequently if there are enrollment fluctuations - sometimes new teachers end up with different assignments the first few years because of this. Also, the entire school has flourescent lighting so you will still come in contact with it throughout the day. You might need to use a high SPF lotion and wear long-sleeved shirts, jackets, and pants to help you get through the day. You might need stronger meds, too, to help keep your flares in check. I used to get ill from sunlight similar to what you described but, even though my meds make me more sensitive to sunlight, I don't have much of a problem now.

I hope this helps - my prayers are with you - Audrey Ann...
Audrey Ann
Diagnosis: Lupus and RA
Medications: Plaquenil (400 mg), RelafenMethotrexate Injections, Folic Acid, Aldactizide for High Blood Pressure, Lipitor for High Cholesterol, Actonel for Osteopenia, and Allegra & Patonel Eye Drops for Allergies.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 5403
   Posted 8/19/2007 11:24 AM (GMT -6)   
I also have a pretty bad reaction to flourescent lighting. I get very red and sometimes get red raised areas on my skin as well as feeling sick and feverish. Like Audrey said, you can request different lighting and I have also heard there are special filters that can be put in place over flourescent lights to minimize their effects.
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
Meds:  Plaquenil 400mg; Prednisone 5-10mg; Tramadol 100mg 3-4x daily; Amitriptyline 25mg; Neurontin 200mg; Prevacid; Steriod Cream and Mouth Rinse for tongue and mouth ulcers; Hydrocodone 5/500 prn for severe pain; Restasis eye drops



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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2570
   Posted 8/19/2007 11:43 AM (GMT -6)   

I have heard of this sensitivity before but since I'm never around flourescent lighting, I haven't experienced this before. I was thinking when I read your post along the same lines as Audrey Ann about requesting a different type of lighting in your classroom if you got a teaching job. Let us know what you find out. This is an issue I haven't seen discussed here in depth.
Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren's, osteoarthritis, fibro, ibs, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines.
cellcept, neurontin, prednisone, plaquenil, synthroid, triamterene, tramadol, actonel, tri-est, imitrex, cymbalta, multivitamin, calcium w vit D, fish oil, aspirin

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 8/20/2007 10:03 AM (GMT -6)   

There are special filters that can go over these lights but you need to request them through the school. I'm not sure the laws in your state, but because its a health hazard to you, many employers need to oblige. I know you may be pretty uncomfortable about asking for it but you would be amazed how accomodating employers can be about stuff like that. I wish you luck with it.

Take Care
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
Co-Moderator ~ Lupus Forum 
Dx: IBS 1989, Diverticulosis 2004, Idiopathic Acute Colitis 2006, UCTD 2007
Meds: Plaquenil 400mg, Chlorzoxazone 500mg, Lyrica 50mg, Protonix 40mg, Naproxen 1000mg, Klonopin PRN, Miralax 17g, Supplements


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