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Dr. Visits tips and tricks

Hi guys,

I was just wondering if anyone had any tips and trick on how to manage daily activities like going to a doctor’s appointment? I need to make a dentist and “lady doctor “ appointment but am anxious about the lighting at these places. How does everyone else manage? Trying to not let my anxiety get the best of me

I’d say: get out as much as possible so these events are not so unusual. Then you’ll be more used to the sensations, calmer and possibly more compensated.

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Personally, I use Theraspecs which helps me with the florescent lights. From what I notice without the glasses on; the longer I have MAV and more my brain “calms down” I’m able to prolong how long I don’t need to have the glasses on while under florescent lights, but the duration of adding more time (healing) without needing the glasses on is long. I can’t quantify how long is long, but when I had a very bad relapse in March 2018 I couldn’t be under florescents at all without the glasses. Now without the glasses I can endure 15~ mins or so, but I tend not to push my luck.
As James above said, also get exposure but don’t overdo it; you will learn your limits and your limits will extend too over time.

As an FYI, I only use them for stores and when I was working so my brain was continually compensating outside of those structures. At home, I never use them. They’re a good aid, but you also want to still train your brain.

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Theraspecs (US) WearOver Theraspecs (US)
More relevant eyewear here
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If you wear glasses anyway like me I have found a very inexpensive solution on Amazon which are clip on antiglare shades. They fit over your usual glasses and are absolutely perfect for reducing glare from headlights, sunlight and florescent lights. Since my cataract surgery I am even more light sensitive and these clipons have been an absolute godsend.

(NB from admin: these images link to products members have found helpful and at the same time help fund the site: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. More recommended products here. Thanks for your support!)

Splaks Clip-ons!
More relevant eyewear here
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Tinted/dark wraparound glasses and a wide brimmed hat are best answer I’ve found short-term and in strange surroundings watch out for sudden light level changes as you move room to room. I’ve done dentist, neurologists, fracture clinics and even a minor op/biopsy in dark wraparound sunglasses and, amazingly nobody ever mentioned it even. I have always found I still get symptoms, delayed. They would come on much later. After it - whatever it was - was behind me and all finished, and I was back home. I’ve no idea how badly your balance is affected but do remember to be your own advocate and look out for triggers and take control of the environmental situation. I’m probably an absolute pain but it’s a case of ‘can I sit with my back to the light please?’, ‘can you manage with that blind down?’, ‘can you turn that mirror away’, etc, etc. With the dentist chair decide before you are physically moved, are you better going back/forwards with the chair or by your own movement. Only you know. You should also have some idea of ‘how far the chair can go back and you still feel comfortable enough to stay still. I always avoid injections if at all possible. Some drugs react with migraine preventatives, Lidocaine and Propranolol one example and if you are dizzy, a frozen ear if only for a few hours is something one doesn’t really need, If you experience vertigo lying down, don’t be rushed or ‘helped’, tell them you intend to lie down/come back up in your own time. Don’t be hurried. You should find www.vestibular.org website gives some info on living with MAV in specific situations you may find helpful. Helen

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Excellent advice. Avoidance Anxiety can be difficult to deal with. Best to keep going as ‘normally’ as possible. Helen

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Thanks for product recommendations (keep 'em coming!), Topic updated with nice pics :slight_smile:

You’ve missed out the wraparound ones, with dark panels on the sides, and the overglasses, that fit over prescription specs. You obviously haven’t ‘been there man’! (And I sincerely hope you never will). They were essential for me. My photophobia was so extreme I was looking at face clinging goggles (used by lupus sufferers mainly). Photochromatic didn’t cut in quick enough and clip-ons let in too much light for me although I appreciate that’s all many people need. Apparently some people find tinted glasses in supermarkets, for computer use efc is all they ever need. Lucky devils. Helen

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Those are the Theraspecs on the right of @Space_Cadet’s post:

They have tinted side windows too :slight_smile: If you go to the target page they show the glasses from different angle.

Migralens do a similar one that is available in UK too:

I’ve tried both Theraspecs and Migralens, and not got on with either of them. I use wraparound top-quality sunglasses outside and on essential visits to public buildings, ie hospital visits, and cheapy anti-glare driving wraparounds (amber) if overly sensitive indoors. Any good optician will make up prescription lenses with specified tints too as long-term overglasses aren’t particularly comfortable. I’ve got some-of those too but as @Space_Cadet says all best used short-term. Helen

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Yes, the lighting can be hard. My dental hygienist encourages me to wear sunglasses when I am having cleaning or procedures done. My therapist schedules our meetings in a room that has dim lighting, bless her. If you express your difficulties with lighting beforehand, maybe your doctors etc. can see you in a more comfortably lit room or area, or adjust the lighting so it is bearable.

Bright/harsh/fluorescent light are extremely difficult for me these days but I managed to get through my last dentist appointment without a major attack, which is a first in a while. the sunglasses probably helped and I also consciously made myself relax my face as much as I could (and my hands, etc. when I realized I was gripping my sweater for dear life).

It will be ok. Do your best to stay calm and expect that you may feel wobbly after. It feels like a victory to get through each appointment.

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