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Eyes and Light: Exploring the Causes of Light Sensitivity

December 22, 2023

Light sensitivity, also known as photo phobia, is a common condition that affects many individuals. It can range from mild discomfort to severe pain, impacting daily activities and quality of life.

In this article let us learn more about what causes light sensitivity for your eyes.

  • Corneal abrasion: Corneal abrasion, a common eye injury, occurs when the cornea gets scratched. This can cause significant discomfort, redness, and sensitivity to light. In addition to affecting vision, a scratched cornea increases the risk of infection. Factors like dry eyes and prolonged use of contact lenses can contribute to corneal abrasions.
  • Dry eye syndrome: Dry eyes happen when the glands that make tears can’t produce enough or even not good-quality tears. This leads to your eyes becoming very dry, which may cause discomfort in bright light. Reasons for this can include getting older, the environment around you, specific health conditions, and certain medicines you might take. If you’re experiencing dry eyes, it’s essential to consider these factors and talk to an eye care professional for advice on how to manage and treat them.
  • Allergic conjunctivitis:Allergic conjunctivitis is a form of pink eye that causes redness and swelling in the clear layers covering the white parts of your eyes and the insides of your eyelids. It happens when your eyes react to irritants like dust, pollen, or pet dander. This type of conjunctivitis can be seasonal or happen throughout the year. The good news is that you can take steps to avoid allergic conjunctivitis, and medications are available to help manage the symptoms.
  • Refractive errors: Uncorrected refractive errors, like nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), or astigmatism, can contribute to light sensitivity. Proper prescription glasses or contact lenses can often lessen this issue.
  • Uveitis: It is a form of eye irritation that impacts the middle layer of eye tissue. It can affect people aged 20 to 50, and sometimes even children. The exact cause of uveitis is uncertain, but it may result from infections, injuries, or autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Uveitis poses a serious health risk and may lead to permanent vision loss. Timely detection and treatment are crucial for effectively managing this condition.
  • Migraine: Light sensitivity is a common symptom of migraine. Individuals experiencing migraines often find relief in dark, quiet environments.
  • Iritis: The inflammation of the iris (the colored part of the eyeball) impacts the control of pupil dilation and the entry of light into the eye. This condition poses significant risks, including severe vision loss and potential blindness. Surprisingly common, iritis can affect individuals of all ages, from children to adults. Various factors, such as injuries, infections, inflammation, or reactions to medication, can contribute to the development of iritis.
  • Neurological conditions: Certain neurological conditions, including meningitis or traumatic brain injuries, may lead to increased sensitivity to light.
  • Detached retina: The retina plays an important role in visual processing between the eyes and the brain, influencing your sensitivity to light. If the retina becomes detached from the eye, you may notice a sudden increase in light sensitivity, visual floaters, flashes, or even vision loss. While retinal detachment can happen at any age, it’s more common in individuals over 40. Seeking prompt treatment from an optometrist is crucial if you suspect a detached retina.
  • Medications: Some medications, such as certain antibiotics, anti hypertensives, or psychiatric drugs, can cause photo sensitivity as a side effect. It’s essential to discuss any medication-related concerns with both your eye care and healthcare providers.
  • Inherited conditions: Some individuals may have light sensitivity genetically. Conditions like albinism or certain retinal dystrophies can result in increased sensitivity to light.

Get your eyes treated for light sensitivity at Ojas – Eye Hospital in Mumbai

Addressing light sensitivity involves identifying the underlying cause and implementing appropriate measures for relief. Regular eye check-ups, prompt treatment of eye infections, and lifestyle adjustments can significantly improve comfort for individuals experiencing photophobia. If you or a loved one is dealing with light sensitivity, consult with our experienced team at Ojas – Eye Hospital in Mumbai for comprehensive eye care and personalized solutions.


Ojas Eye Hospital A Center of Excellence for Contoura Vision, Femto Bladefree Lasik in Mumbai, India.