What is Photophobia and How to Deal with it?

Photophobia, also known as light sensitivity, is a condition which results in one being intolerant to light, causing major discomfort and hurting the eyes in more brightly lit environments. People who suffer from photophobia are mostly experiencing discomfort when being exposed to bright light, but in more severe cases any kind of light may be causing irritation to the eyes.

What are the causes?

Photophobia is not a disease but rather a symptom of an underlaying such. Some of the underlying causes that result in light sensitivity may be:

- Uveitis

- Scleritis

- Dry Eye Syndrome

- Detached retina

- Irritations cause by contact lenses

- Refractive surgery

- Meningitis

- Corneal abrasion

- Eye infection


- People who have a lighter eye color may also experience sensitivity to light, in example when exposed to bright sunlight, as lighter colored eyes contain less pigment to protect against more severe lighting.

Photophobia can also be caused by disease that are not eye-related, such as:

- Migraine

- Albinism

- Rabies

- Mercury poisoning


- Color Blindness

How to Treat it?

Staying out of bright sunlight and keeping the lights low and dimmed when inside can help when it comes to making photophobia a bit less discomforting. Keeping the eyes closed periodically and covering them with tinted glasses is also one way to provide some relief to the eyes.

The type of medical treatment usually depends on the underlying cause that is the reason for the light sensitivity to appear in the first place.  Medications and rest can help a lot when the cause is migraine. Eye drops for inflammation and medications that a doctor will prescribe after having a proper examination.

If the light sensitivity is a result of a medication, you are taking then you should talk with your doctor to replace the drug in order to get rid of the problem.

In case you are naturally photophobic then you should avoid environments in which your eyes will be exposed to strong lights. Wear UV protection when going outdoors in the sun and you may also consider having eyeglasses that are with photochromic lenses as they darken and block 100% of the sun’s UV rays.

And for severe cases you may be advised to wear prosthetic eye lenses, as they reduce the amount of light entering the eye and make the eyes experience less discomfort.

If you notice that you are experiencing any symptoms, please contact a professional immediately to get your eyes properly checked!

Eye conditionsEye health awarenessOphthalmology