What causes light sensitivity?
A condition linked with extreme sensitivity to lights is called photophobia, or also known as light sensitivity. When photophobia starts to become severe it can cause bad eye pain, even in low light.
Photophobia causes inflammation inside the eye which is called acute iritis or uveitis. It can burn your eyes and cause corneal abrasion and corneal ulcer.
When you take drugs such as amphetamines, atropine, cocaine, phenylephrine, scopolamine, they cause you to become extremely sensitive to light.
Excessive wearing of contact lenses or wearing poorly-fitting contact lenses may cause the eyes to become more sensitive to light.
During eye testing, your eyes are dilated.
Meningitis, migraine headache, and recovery from eye surgery can cause your eyes to become sensitive to light.
Tips to ease light sensitivity at home
Make sure that you avoid exposure to sunlight. Regularly close your eyes, wear dark glasses and keep your room dark.
See your health care provider about the cause of light sensitivity if eye pain starts to become severe. Proper treatment may treat your eye pain problem. If your pain starts becomes moderate to severe, get medical help immediately.
When the following occurs, contact a medical professional immediately:
- Light sensitivity starts to become severe eyes become painful (For example, you need to wear sunglasses indoors).
- Headaches, red eye or blurred vision may occur.
- If pain doesn't go away in a day or two.
If you have any of these symptoms make sure to tell your health care provider:
- If you feel headache or neck stiffness, nausea or dizziness, and pain in the eye
- You're starting to have blurred vision, sore eyes or a wound in the eye.
- You begin to have redness, itching, swelling, numbness or tingling.
Usual exams performed for patients with light sensitivity problems are corneal scraping, lumbar puncture, pupil dilation, and slit-lamp exam.
How does light sensitivity cause you pain?
Remember what science has taught us that images are formed when light enters through the pupil. Light and signals pass along the optical nerve to the brain (where an image is processed) and retina. Light sensitivity happens when images refract through the lens.
Treatment of light sensitivity or photophobia
Taking a comprehensive eye exam is the first step in treating light sensitivity or photophobia. The eye exam helps identify out other possible causes of light sensitivity.
An essential part of diagnosis and treatment is to understand all the contributing factors that caused pain because those factors can have a significant bearing on the type of therapy selected.
For instance, special lubricating eye drops, topical or oral medications may be used in the treatment for dry eyes. Treatment also includes minor procedures that help in tear production and flow.
Treatments such as oral medications, BOTOX injections and other therapies may be helpful in treating patients with symptoms such as migraines or blepahrospasm.