Sensitivity to Light
information on nutrition, causes, harmful drugs, lifestyle
Light Sensitivity (Photophobia) is a condition where your eyes are overly sensitive to light, possibly causing pain, tearing and discomfort. When light enters the eyes, it causes a chemical reaction in the back of the eyes. This reaction, effecting the rods and cones, allows us to adapt to differences between light and dark. The light sensitivity may be the result of the rods and cones not recovering efficiently. Other causes include dry eyes and/or corneal issues.
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- Certain nutrients such as lutein, zeaxanthin, bilberry, vinpocetine, l-lysine, a number of vitamins & enzymes, and fish oil may help with light sensitivity and help preserve vision as well
- See self help tips and nutritional recommendations
- See all retinal support vitamins & supplements.
Pain, tearing, discomfort in sunlight or even interior bright light, or glare on a hazy day.
Light Sensitivity Causes
- Those with light colored eyes and skin are more sensitive to light
- Deficiency of beta carotene and lutein.
- Thyroid condition
- Dry eye syndrome makes the cornea more sensitive to light and in severe cases can damage the cornea.
- Computer eye strain. Studies have shown that people who are on the computer a lot blink less, which can result in dry eyes.
- Some drugs and medications can cause light sensitivity.
(See Drugs That Harm the Eyes
for a more complete list of harmful drugs.)
- Certain antibiotics
- Anti-malarial drugs
- Blood pressure medications
- Digoxin - is used for heart failure or heart irregularity
- Photosensitizing drugs
- Wear sunglasses
- Note that it is important to first try to find out if there is an underlying cause for the light sensitivity such as a thyroid problem or diabetes. A thorough eye exam is recommended to evaluate the health of the eye.