What is the medical term for sensitivity to light?

Asked By: Donis Estigarribia | Last Updated: 19th January, 2020
Category: medical health eye and vision conditions
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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.

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Subsequently, one may also ask, what can cause light sensitivity?

According to Medline Plus from the National Library of Medicine, some causes of sensitivity to light include:

  • Eye inflammation.
  • Corneal abrasion or ulcer.
  • Wearing contact lenses too long or lenses that fit poorly.
  • Eye infection, diseases, injury or recovering from eye surgery.
  • Meningitis.
  • Migraine headaches.
  • Medications.

Similarly, what are the causes of photophobia? The two most common causes of photophobia are migraine and blepharospasm (a movement disorder that causes frequent blinking). Dry eyes can complicate chronic photophobia, so a visit to the ophthalmologist may be helpful. Once the correct diagnosis is made, there are treatments.

Keeping this in consideration, how do I get rid of my light sensitivity?

How to treat photophobia

  1. medications and rest for migraine.
  2. eye drops that reduce inflammation for scleritis.
  3. antibiotics for conjunctivitis.
  4. artificial tears for mild dry eye syndrome.
  5. antibiotic eye drops for corneal abrasions.

How is photophobia diagnosed?

Your doctor will identify the cause of your photophobia by listening to your medical history, performing a physical examination and an eye examination, and possibly doing some specialized diagnostic tests as well. The first thing your doctor will ask you is whether your symptoms occur all the time or at certain times.

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Why are my eyes suddenly sensitive to light?

A sudden onset of substantial or even painful light sensitivity (photophobia) may be caused by inflammation in the eye. This may be due to a foreign body in the eye, an infection of the cornea or an inflammation of the iris or uvea. Light sensitivity can also occur after having LASIK or cataract surgery.

Why are my eyes extra sensitive to light?

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. In extreme cases, however, any light can be irritating.

Can dry eyes cause light sensitivity?

If you have chronic dry eye, you may experience regular dryness, burning, redness, grittiness, and even blurred vision. You may also have some sensitivity to light. This is called photophobia. It's likely a result of an underlying medical cause, such as an eye infection or migraines.

Can astigmatism cause light sensitivity?

However, with more advanced astigmatism, there can be a variety of symptoms including blurred vision, light sensitivity (photophobia), eye strain and fatigue (especially after long periods of concentration, such as when using a computer) and headaches. Severe astigmatism can cause double vision.

Does light sensitivity go away?

This light sensitivity is often referred to as photophobia by medical professionals, and, for many, it can go away quickly. But for others, photophobia can be a persistent symptom of a diagnosed medical condition such as migraine, post-concussion syndrome or dry eye.

Can you get glasses for light sensitivity?

TheraSpecs® are the best glasses for individuals with light sensitivity, blending frame protection with precision-tinted lenses. Based on decades of published research on FL-41 glasses, TheraSpecs lenses block the bad light to provide natural photophobia relief for light sensitive eyes.

What is sensitivity?

sensitivity. Sensitivity has many shades of meaning but most relate to your response to your environment — either physical or emotional. It's the same with emotions — sensitivity means you pick up on the feelings of others.

Do cataracts cause light sensitivity?

Light sensitivity is a common symptom of cataracts. The glare of bright lights can be painful, especially to those with posterior subcapsular cataracts, according to the Mayo Clinic. These types of cataracts start at the back of the lens, blocking the path of light and often interfere with your reading vision.

What is light sensitivity a sign of?

In someone who is light sensitive, any type of light source (sunlight, fluorescent light, incandescent light) can cause discomfort. Photophobia typically causes a need to squint or close the eyes, and headache, nausea, or other symptoms may be associated with photophobia. Symptoms may be worse with bright light.

How do you stop a light sensitivity headache?

Treatment. The best way to ease photophobia is to treat the condition or stop taking the medicine that's causing it. If you're still affected by it, tinted glasses may help. Some people have found relief from rose-colored lenses called FL-41.

Is light sensitivity a symptom of depression?

In fact, migraineurs with light sensitivity between attacks (known as 'interictal' photophobia) are more likely to develop feelings of depression, anxiety and stress. One hypothesis for why this occurs is the result of the aforementioned social isolation or avoidance, which thus exacerbates these emotions.

What is fl41?

FL-41 is a type of specialty eyewear tint designed for people with light sensitivity and most commonly recommended for patients with migraine, post-concussion syndrome and dozens of other light-sensitive conditions.

How long does photosensitivity last?

What are the signs and symptoms of photosensitivity? Your signs and symptoms usually start within 2 to 3 hours of sun exposure. They usually go away within 24 hours after sun exposure. Your signs and symptoms can last up to a week or more.

Which drug may cause photophobia as an adverse effect?

Although rare, anti-ulcer medications and drugs that treat acid reflux disease can sometimes cause photophobic responses for patients. Specifically, cimetidine (Tagamet) and ranitidine (Zantac) are common over-the-counter versions of these drugs, and they can also lead to hallucinations, conjunctivitis and blurriness.

Do migraines cause light sensitivity?

Light sensitivity (also called photophobia) is a migraine symptom for some sufferers. Although figures vary, in one large study by the National Headache Foundation, 80 percent of those with migraine report that they are sensitive to light during their headaches.

What does photosensitivity look like?

Photosensitivity reactions include solar urticaria, chemical photosensitization, and polymorphous light eruption and are usually characterized by an itchy eruption on patches of sun-exposed skin. People may inherit a tendency to develop these reactions.

What can you do for sensitive eyes?

Typically, this can be treated by using antihistamine pills and eye drops. Applying a cold compress and refraining from touching your eyes will also help alleviate the symptoms.