Light sensitivity, also known as photophobia, is a condition where you are unable to tolerate light.
When you have photophobia, any light source such as street lamp, headlight, sunlight, fires and fluorescent light, can cause discomfort.
The level of discomfort will depend on the severity of your photophobia.
Some people are only bothered by bright lights but in extreme cases, any source of light can agonizing.
Photophobia typically causes a need to squint and close the eyes. And it is often accompanied by headache or nausea.
Photophobia is fairly common and occurs in all ages, young and old.
Here are some signs that your light sensitivity might have increased:
Photophobia is not an eye disease but a symptom of many possible causes. Let’s break it down into two categories - natural and external factors.
If you have a habit of reading drug label, you will notice that numerous medications include ‘increased light sensitivity’ somewhere in their long list of side effects.
Many drugs alter our nervous system which causes the pupil to become larger and allows additional light into the eye.
Common medications known to cause light sensitivity include antibiotics such as tetracycline and doxycycline, antiviral drugs such as iodxuridine and trifluridine, motion sickness drugs such as scopolamine, diabetic drugs such as chlorpropamide and glyburide, and any medications that dilute the pupil.
The best way to treat photophobia is to identify and treat the underlying cause. Once the underlying cause is remedied, the sensitivity level will be decreased and photophobia disappears.
If your light sensitivity is caused by:
To find out how to treat the other causes of photophobia such as retinal detachment and cataracts, click on the appropriate links under the External Causes section for specific treatments.
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