Photophobia

Definition

Photophobia is eye discomfort in bright light.

Alternative Names

Light sensitivity; Vision - light sensitive; Eyes - sensitivity to light

Considerations

Photophobia is common. For many people, the problem is not due to any disease. Severe photophobia may occur with eye problems. It can cause bad eye pain, even in low light.

Causes

Causes may include:

Home Care

Things you can do to ease light sensitivity include:

If eye pain is severe, see your health care provider about the cause of light sensitivity. Proper treatment may cure the problem. Get medical help right away if your pain is moderate to severe, even in low-light conditions.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your provider if:

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

The provider will perform a physical exam, including an eye exam. You may be asked the following questions:

Tell your provider if you have any of these symptoms:

The following tests may be done:

References

Ghanem RC, Ghanem MA, Azar DT. LASIK complications and their management. In: Azar DT, ed. Refractive Surgery. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 15.

Lee OL. Idiopathic and other anterior uveitis syndromes. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 7.20.

Olson J. Medical ophthalmology. In: Ralston SH, Penman ID, Strachan MWJ, Hobson RP, eds. Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 27.


Review Date: 6/7/2021
Reviewed By: Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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