- by Dr Alok B S
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- Apr 20 2017
What is Photophobia or light sensitivity
Intolerance of light is known as light sensitivity or photophobia. Origins such as fluorescent light, sunlight and blazing light all can cause irritation, along with a need to close or squint your eyes. Light sensitivity may also lead to headaches.
Sometimes people with light-sensitive are bothered only by bright light. However, any light can be irritating in extreme cases.
Causes of photophobia:
A symptom of many disorders such as inflammation or infection that can aggravate the eyes is known as Photophobia and it is not an eye disease.
Unrevealed diseases that don't directly affect the eyes, such as virus-caused illnesses or severe headaches or migraine can also be a symptom of light sensitivity.
Darker-colored eyes contain more pigment to protect against harsh lighting, so individuals with a lighter eye color also may encounter more light sensitivity in environments such as bright sunlight
Other frequent causes of photophobia involve uveitis, corneal abrasion, and meningitis a central nervous system disorder.
Light sensitivity also is related with refractive surgery, a detached retina, sunburn and contact lens irritations.
Photophobia often partners iritis, keratitis, conjunctivitis, mercury poisoning, rabies, botulism, albinism (lack of eye pigment) and total color deficiency (seeing only in shades of gray).
Certain uncommon diseases like genetic disorder keratosis follicularis spinulosa decalvans (KFSD) are known to cause photophobia. Also light sensitivity may be caused due to some medications as a side effect, involving doxycycline, tetracycline, quinine, furosemide and belladonna.
Addressing the hidden cause is the best treatment for light sensitivity. Photophobia disappears in many cases once the triggering factor is treated.
Talk to your physician about replacing the drug or discontinuing medications if you are taking a medication that causes light sensitivity
Avoid other harsh lighting sources or bright sunlight and if you are naturally sensitive to light. Wear sunglasses with ultraviolet (UV) protection and wide-brimmed hats.
For mild sun sensitivity photochromic lenses are another solution. These lenses block 100 percent of the sun's UV rays and darken automatically outdoors.
For bright sunlight, consider polarized sunglasses. These sun lenses provide extra protection against glare-causing reflections of light from water, sand, snow, concrete roadways and other reflective surfaces.
In an extreme case, you may consider wearing prosthetic contact lenses that are specially colored to look like your own eyes. Prosthetic contact lenses can reduce the amount of light that enters the eye and make your eyes more comfortable.
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