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Alternative Names Return to topLight sensitivity; Vision - light sensitive; Eyes - sensitive to light
Definition Return to top
Photophobia is eye discomfort in bright light.
Considerations Return to top
Photophobia is a fairly common symptom. For many people, photophobia is not due to any underlying disease. Severe photophobia may be associated with eye problems and cause severe eye pain even in relatively low light.
Causes Return to top
Home Care Return to top
The discomfort of light sensitivity can be reduced by avoiding sunlight, closing the eyes, wearing dark glasses, or darkening the room. However, the cause for the light sensitivity should be determined, since proper treatment may cure the problem. Seek urgent medical attention if pain is moderate to severe in low-light conditions.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your doctor if light sensitivity is severe. For example, if you need to wear sunglasses indoors.
Also call if the sensitivity occurs with headaches, red eye or blurred vision or does not go away in a day or two.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit Return to top
The doctor will perform a physical examination, including an eye exam. You may be asked the following questions:
Tell your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:
The following tests may be done:Update Date: 4/13/2009 Updated by: Paul B. Griggs, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.