Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

A stripe too far? Why your obsession with Breton tops could give you migraines

Breton use.jpg

We love Breton tops as much as the next woman, but we never stopped to consider the detrimental effect they could be having on our health.

Researchers from the University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMC) in the Netherlands have found a link between stripes and the potential for developing migraines or seizures.

Scientists discovered that even looking at static patterns made up of bars and lines can trigger a rise in neural activity, indicating a cause for debilitating headaches.


Read more: The ultimate Breton top gallery


By attaching small electrodes to the scalps of volunteers, the UMC team were able to identify the way in which parallel lines sparked strong “gamma oscillations” in the brain, in a way that other images did not.

This impact can be provoked by a host of material objects caught up in the landscape of modern life,  from stripy tops to zebra crossings, barcodes, radiators and repetitive brickwork.

Stripes

Stripes: beautiful but they may also trigger headaches

This grating effect is especially potent for people who are already sensitive to light. In the most severe cases, it can even lead to epilepsy.

“Our findings imply that in designing buildings, it may be important to avoid the types of visual patterns that can activate this circuit and cause discomfort, migraines, or seizures,” says Dr Dora Hermes, leading the research.

“Even perfectly healthy people may feel modest discomfort from the images that are most likely to trigger seizures in photosensitive epilepsy.”

Around one in five women and one in 15 men suffer from migraines in the United Kingdom, resulting in a loss of 25 million working days a year.

We guess we’ll be viewing our repertoire of stripy tops with a little more caution in the future...

Image: iStock

Related

retro leopard.jpg

Charting the rich and exotic evolution of leopard print

freddie.jpg

Meet the new generation of French style icons

84CCASTEL-TRI15-078245.jpg

Bask in a belle époque retreat in Brittany

Comments

More

“The nervous bride’s guide to the nightmare of wedding dress shopping”

It’s Bridal Boutique Bingo! How many veiled horrors will you check off?

by Amy Swales
25 Jul 2017

Where to buy the most iconic party dresses in film on the high street

Including THAT green dress from Atonement...

by Sejal Kapadia Pocha
19 Jul 2017

Daily outfit inspiration with our look at the best dressed A-listers

Casual dressing ideas from stylish celebrities

19 Jul 2017

25 fashionable and functional bikinis for summer 2017

Invest in one of these stylish pieces to see you through the rest of summer

18 Jul 2017

The latest H&M designer collaboration is here and it's fit for a royal

Kate Middleton, Michelle Obama and Alexa Chung are major fans

by Harriet Hall
13 Jul 2017

Meryl Streep has an insane Barack and Michelle Obama handbag

And you really need to see it

by Kayleigh Dray
13 Jul 2017

H&M just announced a collaboration with this very chic French brand

by Nicola Colyer
07 Jul 2017

Nickelodeon has released a seriously retro fashion range for adults

Because who wouldn't want a Rugrats t-shirt?

by Jasmine Andersson
07 Jul 2017

This week’s Style List: jewels, summer scents and statement towels

All your sunshiny needs sorted

05 Jul 2017

This River Island dress is a summer must-have, according to Instagram

Fashion bloggers are obsessed with this high-street frock

by Kayleigh Dray
05 Jul 2017