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Green glasses reduce fibromyalgia pain and anxiety

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Wearing special green glasses for a couple of hours a day reduces pain-related anxiety and may even decrease opioid use in fibromyalgia patients and others with chronic pain, according to new research.

Padma Gulur, M.D., lead author of the study and executive vice chair of Duke Anesthesiology and Duke Health, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, said:

“Our research found that certain wavelengths of green light stimulate the pathways in the brain that help manage pain.

“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 non-drug alternatives to opioids exist for patients with severe and chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia.

The condition, which causes pain all over the body, affects around two percent of the UK population, with 14,000 people diagnosed every year.

Pain and anxiety share similar biological mechanisms and fear of pain can exacerbate anxiety and lead to increased opioid use, Dr Gulur said.

A total of 34 fibromyalgia patients were randomised to wear various shades of glasses four hours a day for two weeks.

Blue glasses were work by 10 patients, 12 wore clear glasses and 12 wore green glasses.

The patients who wore green glasses were four times more likely to experience reduced anxiety than those in the other groups, which saw no reduction in anxiety.

Dr Gulur said:

“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.

“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 glasses are specially formulated to filter a specific wavelength on the green light spectrum, Dr Gulur said.

The researcher noted that most patients who wore the green glasses reported feeling better and asked to keep wearing them.

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