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Photophobia

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

Photophobia is eye discomfort in bright light.

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External and internal eye anatomy

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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 health care 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

Ehlers W, Suchecki J, Steinemann TL. Contact lens-related complications. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 4rd ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby; 2014:chap 4.24.

Freidl KB, Troost BT, Moster ML. Migraine and other headaches. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane's Clinical Ophthalmology. 2013 ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2013:vol. 2, chap 16.

Godfrey WA. Acute anterior uveitis. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane's Clinical Ophthalmology. 2013 ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2013:vol. 4, chap 40.

Sharma R, Brunette DD. Ophthalmology. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2014:chap 71.

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Review Date: 5/11/2015  

Reviewed By: Franklin W. Lusby, MD, ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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