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Light sensitivity

Light sensitivity occurs when bright light hurt your eyes. Also knows as photophobia, this symptom is related to different conditions which may range from minor irritations to serious medical conditions. Certain mild cases will make you look through in a bright light room. But more severe cases lead to extreme pain when the eyes get exposed to any kind of light.

Symptoms of light sensitivity

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Pain in your forehead
  • Different shades of light
  • Tears from the eyes
  • Squinting one or both the eyes
  • See bright coloured spots in the dark or with closed eyes
  • Difficulty to look at pictures or read properly
  • Feeling of shutting your eyes
  • Sensing your eyes are extremely dry
  • Discomfort or pain when looking at light
  • Sense of light to appear excessively bright

Causes of light sensitivity

  • Encephalitis – Encephalitis takes place when the brain gets infected from viral infection or other cause. Severe cases can be risky for life.
  • Meningitis – This type of bacterial infection may lead to inflammation of membranes which surrounds spinal cord and brain. It might be the reason for severe complications such as – loss of hearing, damage to the brain, seizures and death.
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage – Subarachnoid hemorrhage happens when there is some bleeding between the brain and surrounding layers of the tissue. This can cause brain damage or stroke.
  • Corneal abrasion – This is an injury to your cornea which is outermost layer of the eye. It generally occurs when you get dirt, metal particles, dust or other substances in the eyes. This may cause serious condition known as corneal ulcer when cornea gets infected.
  • Scleritis – This usually takes place when the whiter part of your eyes gets inflamed. Nearly half cases occur from diseases which affect your immune system, lupus. The other symptoms are – blurred vision, watery eyes and severe pain in the eyes.
  • Conjunctivitis – Conjunctivitis or pink eye happens when the layer of tissue covering white part of eye gets inflamed or infected. This usually occurs due to viruses though it may even take place from allergies and bacteria. Other symptoms are pain in eyes, redness and itching.
  • Dry eye syndrome – Your eyes become dry when the tear glands cannot produce sufficient tears or create poor quality tears. It results in the eyes which makes them extremely dry. Other causes are – age, certain medical conditions, medications and environmental factors.

How to prevent light sensitivity

  • Try to prevent the triggers which can cause migraine attacks
  • Prevent conjunctivitis with good hygiene habits such as not touching eyes with dirty fingers and not sharing eye makeup with anyone
  • Avoid encephalitis by washing hands often
  • Avoid getting vaccinations against encephalitis and exposure to moisture
  • Lessen the risk of suffering from meningitis and avoid contact with the people who have already been infected
  • Get immunization against bacterial meningitis

Home remedy to treat the problem of light sensitivity

You need to stay away from direct rays of the sun and use dimmed lights in your eyes to make light sensitivity less uncomfortable. Make sure you keep your eyes closed or cover them with tinted glasses to get some kind of relief. Other solutions are wear sunglasses inside the house and decrease direct exposure to any dark light.

What is causing sensitivity to light?

The sensitivity to light occurs due to dry eyes, strain in your eyes or other problems such as – eye injuries, infections or problems with eye structure. People who have lighter eye colour will probably have light sensitivity as darker-coloured eyes have more pigmentation to protect your eyes from harsh light.

Do you need to worry about light sensitivity?

When you suffer from light sensitivity, it is important to visit an optometrist and get your eyes checked. An optometrist can examine the health condition of your eyes and detect for any underlying eye condition that can be the reason for light sensitivity.

What vitamin deficiency may lead to light sensitivity?

Riboflavin deficiency can lead to aversion to light or photophobia, inflammation of your face, mouth and tongue (glossitis), extreme oiliness of scalp (seborrhea) and face and angular stomatitis (inflammation of lower lip and fissures).

Can anxiety be the reason for light sensitivity?

During anxiety, your eyes prepare to flee or fight causing sensitivity to light, eye strain and other related symptoms. Hyperventilation can also be the reason for eye-related issues. The effects that anxiety has on your eyes can be treated with an anxiety reduction strategy than treating eyes themselves.

Can light sensitivity mean you require glasses?

When you are highly sensitive to bright light, you might need to wear glasses for photophobia. Glasses for photophobia may shield your eyes from bright light so that you can get more comfortable vision.

What does light sensitivity look like?

Light sensitivity is a kind of sense that the lighting appears extremely bright. You will be able to see bright colored spots in the dark or with closed eyes. You may even find it difficult to read properly or looking at pictures clearly. There might be some discomfort or pain when looking at the light.

Is it possible to cure light sensitive eyes?

There is no cure for sensitivity to light and several underlying conditions. There are some recent developments that can surround the role of green light therapy.

How long will light sensitivity last?

You may expect near-complete reduction of light sensitivity within 3 months. It is necessary to know that excessive production of tears and foreign body sensation are very common during this period.

When you need to see an eye surgeon

You need to visit an eye surgeon if your sensitivity to light becomes extreme or painful. In such situations, you will then have to wear your sunglasses indoors. This sensitivity might take place due to blurred vision, red eyes, headaches and won’t go away in one or two days.