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Eye sensitivity to light, causes and treatment methods

Study guide

Sensitivity of the eye to light occurs when the eye can not tolerate bright light. Another name for this problem is photophobia. In this article, we have described the “how” of the causes and methods of treating eye sensitivity to light. Stay with us.

Eye sensitivity to light has different intensities and varies from slight sensitivity to light to severe eye disorders. In the mild state of this allergy, you have to close your eyes slightly when entering a bright room or light environment outside the house. In more severe cases, your eyes hurt whenever you are exposed to any kind of light.

Cause of eye sensitivity to light

There are several reasons for sensitivity to light, which are mentioned below:

1. Eye sensitivity to light and migraine headaches

One of the most common symptoms of migraine headaches is photophobia. Migraine is a severe headache that is caused by factors such as hormonal changes, consumption of certain foods, anxiety and environmental changes. Other symptoms of migraine include nausea and / or vomiting.

It is estimated that more than 10% of the world’s population has migraines. Migraine headaches are more common in women than men.

2. Brain problems caused by diseases

Sometimes the sensitivity of the eye to sunlight or light bulbs is caused by a series of serious diseases that negatively affect the brain. These diseases include the following:

Encephalitis or inflammation of the brain

Encephalitis occurs when the brain becomes swollen due to a viral infection or any other disease. Severe cases of this disease can be life threatening.


Meningitis is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation of the membranes around the brain or spinal cord. The form of the bacterial infection determines the severity of the disease, including brain damage, hearing loss, severe seizures, and even death.

Subarachnoid hemorrhage

Subarachnoid hemorrhage is a type of cerebral hemorrhage caused by damage to the brain and surrounding tissue layers. This type of bleeding can sometimes cause death or brain damage or stroke.

3. Sensitivity to light due to some diseases

Sensitivity to light is also present in diseases that damage the eyes. These diseases include the following:

Corneal abrasion

When the cornea of ​​the eye, the outermost layer of the eye, is damaged, it is called a corneal abrasion. This type of injury is common and occurs when sand, dirt, metal particles and other materials get into your eyes. Scratch infection leads to corneal ulcers.


When part of the white of the eye becomes inflamed, it is called scleritis. About half of all people with this eye condition have a history of debilitating immune systems, such as lupus. Other symptoms of scleritis include pain, watery eyes, and blurred vision.


Conjunctivitis, or redness of the eye, is an inflammation of the membrane of the eye that occurs when a layer of tissue covering part of the whites of the eye becomes infected or inflamed. This infection or inflammation may be of viral origin, but it can sometimes be caused by a bacterial infection or allergy. Other symptoms of this eye disease include itchy eyes, redness and pain in the eyes.

4. Dry eye syndrome

Dry eyes occur when the lacrimal glands no longer produce tears or there are very few tears. In this case, the eyes become extremely dry in the absence of tears. Causes of dry eye include age, environmental factors, certain diseases, and the use of certain medications.

5. Bright and colored eyes

People with light, colored eyes may be more sensitive to light or sunlight than people with dark eyes. Darker eyes contain more pigment and protect the eyes from bright light.

6. Other diseases

Other diseases that cause the eyes to be sensitive to light include the following:

  • Progressive paralysis;
  • The possibility of a tumor in the pituitary gland;
  • Uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye);
  • Inflammation of the cornea (in this case, the cornea, the clear layer that covers the colored part of the eye, becomes very inflamed);
  • Iris inflammation (swelling of the colored ring around the pupil);
  • Cataracts (a disease that begins when the lens of the eye becomes blurred);
  • Damage to the retina (the sensitive layer behind the eye);
  • Contraction in the eyelid (a problem that causes the eyelids to jump or close involuntarily).

Time to see a doctor

When eye sensitivity to light is caused by one of the eye diseases, you should see a doctor. If you have one or more of the following symptoms, take it seriously and be sure to go to a health center:

1. Symptoms of corneal abrasion

  • Blurred vision;
  • Pain or burning in the eyes;
  • Red eyes;
  • The feeling that something has gone into the eyes.

2. Symptoms of encephalitis

  • severe headache;
  • High fever;
  • Fatigue;
  • Confusion.

3. Symptoms of meningitis

  • Ague;
  • severe headache;
  • Dry neck;
  • nausea and vomiting.

4. Symptoms of subarachnoid hemorrhage

  • Severe and sudden headaches that extend to the back of the head;
  • Irritability and confusion;
  • Decreased consciousness;
  • Anesthesia in parts of the body.

Methods of treating eye sensitivity to light

With the following treatment methods, you can greatly solve your photophobia problem:

Home care

Reduce eye sensitivity to light with polarized glasses

Do not expose to sunlight and darken the space inside the house a little. This way, the eye’s sensitivity to light will not be annoying. Closing your eyes or wearing dark sunglasses is also effective in relieving light annoyance. Of course, sometimes sunglasses are not suitable for everyone. These glasses make some people even more sensitive to light. So talk to your ophthalmologist about the best way to treat photosensitivity.

Also, when you want to be in very bright sunlight, it is better to use polarized sunglasses. These types of glasses protect your eyes from the reflection of light from water, sand, snow, concrete roads and other reflective surfaces more than regular sunglasses.

If you are very sensitive and sensitive to light, you can use artificial contact lenses. These lenses reduce the amount of light that enters the eye and will make your eyes more comfortable.

Medical treatments

If you have severe eye sensitivity to light, see a doctor immediately. He or she will examine your eyes and the intensity of your eyes’ sensitivity to light to determine the root cause.

The ophthalmologist can diagnose the cause of your photophobia in some of the following ways:

  • Slit lamp test. An ophthalmologist examines your eyes using a microscope equipped with a lamp.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). All the details of your eyes are examined using magnetic devices and radio waves.
  • Check the tears in the eyes. This test will test the amount of tears you have to see if you have dry eye syndrome.

Some of the medical treatments, depending on the main cause of eye sensitivity to light, include the following:

  • Medication and rest in conditions of migraine;
  • Use eye drops to reduce eye inflammation in case of scleritis;
  • Prescribing antibiotics to treat conjunctivitis;
  • Prescribing artificial tears for the treatment of mild dry eye syndrome;
  • Prescribing antibiotic eye drops to treat corneal abrasions;
  • Use of anti-inflammatory drugs, bed rest and drinking fluids for mild cases of encephalitis (in more severe cases, more care is needed, such as helping the person breathe);
  • Prescribing antibiotics to treat bacterial meningitis (the viral type usually goes away on its own after 2 weeks);
  • Surgery to remove excess blood and reduce pressure on the brain in case of subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Methods of preventing photophobia

Although the sensitivity of the eyes to light can not be completely eliminated, there are some things you can do to prevent this sensitivity to a large extent:

  • Avoid stimulants that cause migraine attacks;
  • With proper hygiene, do not touch the eyes and do not use eye cosmetics in common to protect against conjunctivitis;
  • Keep your distance from people who have meningitis so that you do not run the risk of developing the disease. Wash your hands regularly to stay safe from bacterial meningitis;
  • Also, prevent encephalitis by washing your hands regularly. Get vaccinated against encephalitis and also stay away from mosquitoes and mites to avoid getting the disease;
  • If you are sensitive to light at night or the sun is bothering you, you can use light filter protectors. These filters are designed for use with prescription glasses. Filter shields are usually made of several different colors and have the ability to reduce the amount of light. Of course, it is better to get this type of light filter protection in consultation with your doctor to suggest the most suitable one.

last word

Eye sensitivity to light is very annoying and you should pay attention to it very quickly. If you have this problem, we hope you can find a solution for yourself according to this article. Also take eye sensitivity to light in children (if any). We are happy to tell you about your experiences in this field.

Warning! This article is for educational purposes only and you should consult your doctor or specialist to use it. more information






Eye sensitivity to light, causes and treatment methods

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