Photophobia, or light sensitivity, is an intolerance of light. Sources such as sunlight, fluorescent light and incandescent light all can cause discomfort, along with a need to squint or close your eyes. Headaches also may accompany light sensitivity. Light-sensitive people sometimes are bothered only by bright light. In extreme cases, however, any light can be irritating. Photophobia is a common symptom of migraine headaches. These are severe headaches that can be triggered by a number of factors, including hormonal changes, foods, stress, and environmental changes. Other symptoms include throbbing in one part of your head, nausea, and vomiting.
HOW IS PHOTOPHOBIA DIAGNOSED?
Ophthalmologists may evaluate your medical history and your symptoms. The doctor may check for other eye diseases like corneal abrasion or detached retina through a complete eye examination.
HOW IS PHOTOPHOBIA TREATED?
The best treatment for light sensitivity is to address the underlying cause. People with photophobia will avert their eyes from direct light, such as sunlight and room lights. They may seek the shelter of a dark room. They may wear sunglasses designed to filter peripheral light and wide-brimmed sun hats.
DID YOU KNOW?
Photophobia may also affect patients' socioeconomic status by limiting their career choices, since many workplaces require bright lights for safety or to accommodate the work being done. Sufferers may be shut out of a wide range of both skilled and unskilled jobs, such as in warehouses, offices, workshops, classrooms, supermarkets and storage spaces. Some photophores are only able to work night shifts, which reduces their prospects for finding work.