How to Treat Light Sensitivity

How to Treat Light Sensitivity

Mar 01, 2023

Do you usually squint and feel pain when exposed to intense light? If you are, it could be that you are suffering from light sensitivity. It could be quite frustrating, and the physical discomfort could trigger other symptoms, negatively affecting your daily life. That’s why many patients with light sensitivity will have to seek the help of our optometrist in Glendale to receive care.

We have to admit though, treating light sensitivity is not as easy as it may seem since there is no particular medication known to deal with all the symptoms. You cannot just tuck your head somewhere and hide from all the light. So, the question remains, how can light sensitivity be treated? Stick around to find out!

What’s Light Sensitivity?

You might come across light sensitivity being referred to as photophobia. The term photophobia is transliterated as “fear of light.” Technically, it is not an actual phobia but describes a scenario where you have an extreme sensitivity to light because of a medical condition or medications.

Photophobia affects the function of the eyes and the nervous system, which could lead to other symptoms, such as migraines. However, photophobia is not a condition but a symptom of another underlying issue linked to light sensitivity.

Even though anyone can get photophobia, certain factors can increase your chances of experiencing the symptom, such as:

  • People with migraine. If you suffer from migraines, you are most likely to experience light sensitivity as a symptom
  • Eye color. If you have a lighter eye color, there is a chance that you might experience photophobia

Some conditions that trigger photophobia are related to the eye, and some may affect how your body detects pain. The conditions affecting the eye may cause the pupils to allow too much to enter the eyes, which could be unpleasant.

On the other hand, trigeminal neuralgia and migraine cause the eyes and head to be sensitive to sensations that would otherwise not cause any pain, such as sound and light.

Also, some diseases, such as meningitis, may cause inflammation, affecting your eyes and making normal stimuli such as light intolerable. In this case, you will have no choice but to seek treatment from our optometrist near you.

What Are Some of the Causes of Photophobia?

As mentioned before, photophobia is a symptom of another condition. So this means that it could be caused by a variety of issues, which could be temporary or indicate a medical condition such as:

Head or Face Pain

Dental problems, tension headaches, and optic nerve diseases such as optic neuritis or meningitis can irritate your eyes, leading to photophobia. At times, light sensitivity could indicate that you are developing the illnesses mentioned above.

Behavioral Issues

Depression, anxiety, psychosis, and drug withdrawal can induce photophobia. Adults and children with autism can also be hypersensitive to surrounding stimuli and can be upset by bright light.


Certain medications can cause temporary light sensitivity. Some of the medications known to elicit photophobia are certain antibiotics and anti-inflammatories.

Eye Problems

Light sensitivity could be intense when eye problems cause it. In such situations, your eyes might not be able to protect you from light, and moderate light might seem too bright. When an eye issue is an underlying cause, then you might experience severe pain, redness and even vision change.

Common eye conditions that lead to light sensitivity include corneal abrasion, dry eyes, albinism, light-colored eyes, glaucoma, uveitis, retinal detachment, cataracts, and dilated pupils.

Hypersensitivity to Pain

So far, migraines are the main cause of recurrent photophobia. Fatigue, facial neuropathy, or even face trauma can cause light sensitivity.

What Are the Early Symptoms of Photophobia?

Some of the common symptoms that are linked to photophobia are:

  • Tears
  • Forehead pain
  • Aversion to light
  • Sensitivity to light
  • A sense that regular lighting appears excessively bright
  • Difficulty looking or reading
  • Squinting one or both eyes
  • A sense that your eyes are excessively dry
  • A feeling that you want to shut your eyes

Which Is the Best Vitamin for Light Sensitivity?

Vitamin A is always a good addition to your meals. It contains a protein known as rhodopsin, which allows the eye to see in low-light conditions; that’s why when you have a deficiency of this vitamin, you will experience night blindness.

You can also indulge in vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps reduce the occurrence of cataracts and eye pressure.

Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant that shields the eye from UV rays, reducing the risk of eye damage and cataracts.


Our eye doctor offers several treatments, such as antibiotic eye drops, artificial tears, sedatives, melatonin and other medication. You will also receive glasses that can help reduce the intensity of light.

You will need to contact our optometrist at Glendale Eye Medical Group to find the best treatment for your scenario or if you might need other eye care services.

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