Shades for Migraine – June 21, 2023

Shades for Migraine is observed on June 21 as a global awareness campaign asking everyone to wear a pair of sunglasses to show their support for the one billion people living with migraine disease worldwide. Did you know that more than four million people suffer from chronic migraines, with at least 15 migraine days a month? Over 90% of them are also unable to work or function normally during an attack that can last from four hours to three days.

History of Shades for Migraine

Shades for Migraine is a social media campaign created by the Association of Migraine Disorders (A.M.D.) in 2017. It is a way to create a viral buzz about a disease affecting over one billion people the world over. Sunglasses represent photophobia, or extreme sensitivity to light, a migraine symptom. Every year people living with migraine disease along with their families, friends, and co-workers, post pictures on social media wearing sunglasses on and around June 21. Participants use the hashtag #ShadesForMigraine and encourage others to join in to make the campaign go viral.

Organizers declare the campaign is growing each year. In 2019, the Shades for Migraine team gathered in Times Square, New York City, handing out sunglasses, educating people about migraines, and encouraging those living with migraines to share their experiences in a new initiative called “Taking it to the Streets.” This action is a way to make the public recognize purple sunglasses as a symbol of migraine awareness, educate the public about migraine disease, and introduce people having migraines to migraine-related organizations that can help them. Shades for Migraine spread quickly, and in 2020, 44 countries participated, with more than 20 million people reached.

A migraine is more than just a headache. It is a complex neurological disease, and headache is one of its common symptoms. Another common symptom is sensitivity to light or photophobia. In this case, wearing sunglasses is a preventive measure to avoid photophobia. Other symptoms include irritability, sensitivity to sound, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Triggers can be stress, hormonal changes, irregular sleep schedule or changes in sleep routines, caffeine and alcohol, and changes in the weather. Since migraines are often undiagnosed and untreated, it’s better to see a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

Shades for Migraine timeline

1934
Photophobia Defined

James E. Lebensohn describes and defines photophobia as “exposure of the eye to light definitely induces or exacerbates pain.”

2017
Shades for Migraine

The Shades for Migraine campaign is created by the Association of Migraine Disorders (A.M.D.).

2019
Taking it to the Streets

The Shades for Migraine team gather in Times Square, New York City.

2020
The Spread

44 countries participate in the Shades for Migraine campaign.

Shades for Migraine FAQs

How do I deal with daily migraines?

There are several ways to ease chronic daily headaches: get enough sleep; don’t skip meals; avoid medication overuse; exercise regularly, and; reduce caffeine intake.

What lighting is best for migraines?

The best lighting for migraine sufferers is soft, warm white lights, 2,700 Kelvin range.

At what age do migraines stop?

It is said that migraine problems often decline after age 50 or 55, but for some people, they never do.

How to Observe Shades for Migraine

  1. Spread the word

    Participate in the Shades for Migraine campaign by taking a photo of yourself wearing shades on or around June 21. Post it on social media with the hashtag #ShadesForMigraine, and; challenge three of your friends to join in.

  2. Volunteer to help

    If you have skills you want to share, join the Shade for Migraine team. Although there is no guarantee that you will get a volunteer role, try and visit their website to register.

  3. Donate

    Shades for Migraine has products that are available as a gift-with-donation, so you can donate and shop at the same time. They have sunglasses, sunglasses cases, T-shirts, pens, and stickers. You can also just donate money. Donations are used to help fund the campaign and for migraine research.

5 Facts About Photophobia You Need To Know

  1. It’s common in people with mental disorders

    People suffering from mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder are prone to having photophobia.

  2. It’s different from photosensitivity

    Photosensitivity is different from photophobia; photosensitivity is heightened skin sensitivity to ultraviolet (U.V.) radiation.

  3. There is no medication for it

    The most important measure for this symptom is treating the main disease, whether a migraine or dry eyes.

  4. Avoiding light makes it worse

    Wearing sunglasses is a short-term option for photophobia because avoiding light regularly can make it worse.

  5. It can be long-term

    For people with a chronic condition, photophobia can remain for years.

Why Shades for Migraine is Important

  1. It’s a time of support

    Migraines can seriously affect the lives of some people. Shades for Migraine shows migraine sufferers that we care about them.

  2. It can be fun

    Of course, a migraine itself is not pleasant. But, raising awareness about it can be fun. You can participate in the social media campaign, and also have fun when you’re joining in “Taking it to the Streets.”

  3. It’s a chance to give

    Shades for Migraine affords you the chance to give, whether it’s your time or your money. You can volunteer to help or donate money for the campaign as well as for migraine research.

Shades for Migraine dates

YearDateDay
2022June 21Tuesday
2023June 21Wednesday
2024June 21Friday
2025June 21Saturday
2026June 21Sunday

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.