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Why wearing stripes just might be the cause of your headache

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Is it time to say au revoir to the pattern?

It’s bad news for all you Breton stripe-loving, t-shirt wearing fanatics out there… Because, according to a new study, your favourite print just might be the cause of all the headaches you’ve been having.

Traditionally stripes have been seen as forever French chic and a go-to choice for those days when you don’t want to put in too much effort but still want to look polished.

And now according to the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC) in the Netherlands, you may have to ditch those stripes for the sake of your sanity and the sanity of those around you, with research completed suggesting there are parallels between severe headaches, migraines and the pattern.

By monitoring the brain while participants looked at a variety of visual images, the study found that stripes caused gamma oscillations in the mind to increase. Which essentially has links to headaches and in worst case scenarios, seizures – eek!

And FYI it’s not just your t-shirt wearing habit that might be contributing to the issue.


“Our finding[s] 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 Dora Hermes of the UMC.

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

However, if you’re squirming at the thought of ending your relationship with stripes, it’s not all bad news.

“Vertical orientation of stripes are in general worse than horizontal,” says Dr Dorothée Kasteleijn-Nolst Trenité of the UMC.

Noted – horizontal stripes are a tad better for your health.

Photos: Pinterest.

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