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
The best treatment for light
sensitivity is to address the underlying cause. Once the triggering factor is
treated, photophobia disappears in many cases.
If you are taking a medication that
causes light sensitivity, talk to your prescribing physician about
discontinuing or replacing the drug.
If you're naturally sensitive to
light, avoid bright sunlight and other harsh lighting sources. Wear
wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses with ultraviolet (UV)
protection when outdoors in daylight. Also,
consider wearing eyeglasses with photochromic lenses.
These lenses darken automatically outdoors and block 100 percent of the sun's
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