The modern world has ruined my brain. I’m in constant need of stimulation, watching TV and scrolling TikTok at the same time, or playing Tetris while mentally adding all of Jenna Ortega’s outfits in Wednesday to my cart. I know. I need help.
I’m not quite the adult equivalent of an iPad kid. At least, I can still put my phone away while in the presence of other people. But couple my phone addiction with a job spent writing on a computer screen, and my skull and eyes have started to revolt. I’m plagued by eye fatigue and pounding headaches, the latter of which may or may not be a result of the aforementioned habits. Sometimes the headaches are throbbing, hitting me like a bolt of lightning. For added measure, occasionally my vision blurs for 20 or so minutes before the pain strikes. (These ocular migraines started before I owned a smartphone, for what it’s worth.)
I thought I was destined for a life of pain and discomfort, left with nothing to blame but my own poor choices. But then I tried Therabody’s smart goggles. The company is best known for its Theraguns, the powerful and professionally priced massage guns. When I heard about these goggles, I wasn’t sure what to think—they could either be great or an overpriced gimmick, but my throbbing brain needed a solution. Thankfully, these warm, vibrating goggles turned out to be the former. I love them.
The smart goggles work by combining massage, heat, and vibrations to ease headache pain and reduce eye strain and tension. They look a little like a VR headset, and I feel like I should be teleporting somewhere when I bring them over my eyes. I have a few sensory issues and can feel incredibly uncomfortable very fast if even one thing is touching me incorrectly, but these feel good, not annoying. Plus, there’s an adjustable strap to make it looser or tighter. The eye area is sufficiently padded, and it’s easy to wipe that part clean. You should use it on clean skin, but occasionally I need to use it in the middle of a full-makeup day.
The goggles are Bluetooth-enabled and connect to the Therabody app (available on iOS and Android), where you can adjust controls and session times from five to 30 minutes. There are also small buttons on the top of the actual device. I like having the option to not use my phone, but adjustments are much easier and straightforward on the app. You can turn the vibrations and heat off, but the massager is always on. It squeezes just enough to relieve pain, but it isn’t uncomfortable, and it releases and contracts frequently enough that it shouldn’t bother you. It took my husband a little bit to get used to the feeling, while I could have had my brain squeezed a little harder, if we’re being honest. (I was imagining myself opening up my skull à la Dr. Finkelstein from The Nightmare Before Christmas.)