Charlie worked for a large employer in the north of England. When her employer moved to new premises, Charlie found that she was completely unable to tolerate the lighting there. The building was equipped with automated fluorescent lighting throughout. There was no alternative lighting available, no private offices and the lighting could not be switched off.
From the first day Charlie suffered excruciating eye pain which developed over three months to severe and lasting headache. Attempts to resolve the situation within the workplace were slow and ineffectual. After three months she was signed off sick with shingles. Since that time Charlie has been unable to tolerate any exposure to fluorescent lighting without suffering lasting headache and nausea.
Charlie now works from home as a self-employed translator, on a fraction of the wage and without the hope of any career progression. She finds she is well if she stays away from all fluorescent lighting but this means she is unable to work outside the home or take part in the life of her community. Medical services, transport, council services, education, places of worship, leisure and recreation are all out of bounds for her. However the lasting pain that she suffers on exposure to fluorescent lighting is of such severity that it feels there is no choice but to live with such social exclusion.
This situation has recently got a lot worse with the introduction of LED street lighting where she lives which causes the worst pain yet. The County Council are installing this lighting across the county: a particularly bright version on main roads and a slightly less bright version on residential streets. Charlie has found that this lighting causes migraine, extreme photobia and severe depression lasting many weeks. Charlie no longer goes out after dark, but feels this is an unacceptable constraint on her life too far.