All You Need To Know About Photophobia

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What is Photophobia?

When typical lighting conditions cause discomfort or pain in the eyes or head, this is referred to as photophobia. A person who has photophobia will struggle to keep their eyes open in a bright environment. Photophobia is quite common, and eye problems can cause severe photophobia. Even in low light, it can cause severe eye pain.

Anyone can become a victim of photophobia and can reach for sunglasses. A certain sensitivity makes it challenging to be in bright environments, which makes a significant contribution to the fear of or desire to avoid light.

In this article, the symptoms of photophobia, as well as potential causes, drugs that might make it worse, treatment options, and more, will be covered. Also, in the end, we will provide information about the best ophthalmologist in Mumbai, which is known for its best treatment for Photophobia.

Causes of Photophobia

Photophobia is mainly caused by a connection between light-detecting cells in your eyes and a nerve in your head. Photophobia can be caused by several conditions. Below is the list of causes of Photophobia.

  • Severe uveitis or iritis (inflammation inside the eye)
  • Having eye burns
  • corneal scratching
  • Corneal ulcer
  • Consumption of drugs like cocaine, cyclopentolate, idoxuridine, phenylephrine, atropine, amphetamines, trifluridine, tropicamide, and vidarabine
  • Excessive contact lens usage or wearing contact lenses that don’t fit properly
  • Eye injury, infection, or disease (such as chalazion, episcleritis, glaucoma)
  • eye examination after dilating the eyes
  • Meningitis
  • chronic headaches
  • After eye surgery

Symptoms of Photophobia

Consider the below-mentioned questions to determine whether you have photophobia, which can be a sign of other conditions. They are as follows:

  • Intolerance toward the bright light
  • Aversion to a source of light
  • You may see a variety of brightly colored spots, even in the dark or with your eyes closed.
  • Normal-appearing light appears to be too bright.
  • Discomfort or pain when viewing the light
  • Either one or both eyes are squinted
  • Having trouble reading
  • The forehead hurts
  • Dry eyes
  • Wet eyes
  • Persistent urge to close eyes

Diagnosis of Photophobia

It can be as easy as having thorough communication with a doctor and responding to their specific questions to diagnose photophobia. In addition to carefully acknowledging how severe your photophobia is, your doctor will probably perform some tests, like the ones listed below:

  • Clinical history: It consists of a series of questions about the patient’s health history, including when the symptoms first appeared, how severe they are now, any recent medications when they first appeared, whether they were wearing contacts, whether they had accidentally exposed themselves to chemicals, whether they had been injured, and anything else that might have caused the symptoms to get better or worse.
  • Physical examination: The doctor runs several physical examinations, including eye movement, vision, and neurological tests.
  • Slit-lamp examination: Your eye is examined under a microscope with light.
  • Ocular tonometry: This test gauges the pressure of the fluid in your eyes.
  • Fluorescein angiography is recommended by the ophthalmologist to look for leaks or other issues with the blood vessels in the eye.
  • The non-invasive, painless optical coherence tomography (OCT) test creates a retinal image to identify conditions
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain can identify any illnesses or conditions that affect the brain.
  • Blood test: It can find any infection or inflammation in the eyes and nervous system.

Treatment of Photophobia

An abnormality may be found using specialized imaging when a neurological issue is suspected. To help with treatment, blood tests might also be required. To diagnose or treat some neurologic causes of photophobia, a lumbar puncture may be necessary. The overall course of treatment may change.

Eye drops or ointments are frequently used in the treatment of eye problems. Multiple types of ophthalmic medications, including steroid drops and antibiotic drops, may be needed for severe conditions. Oral medication may also be necessary for some circumstances.

You do have treatment options if you find yourself dealing with a case of photophobia. If your symptoms of photophobia are mild, try the following:

  • When it’s bright outside, wear sunglasses.
  • Put on a hat with a wide brim to protect your eyes.
  • When you can, stay out of direct sunlight.
  • When inside, keep the shades drawn and the lights dim.
  • Consider taking an over-the-counter painkiller.


Light can be unsettling for someone who has photophobia. From brow aches to fatigue and nausea symptoms, this can be connected to a variety of symptoms. Drugs, especially those that affect pupil size, can occasionally cause this. As a result, lubricating eye drops may be required.

Light sensitivity, also known as photophobia, is treatable. If you are exhibiting any of the symptoms mentioned above, speak with your doctor right away. Also, take an active role in your care for the best results. Nanavati Max Hospital is recorded to have the best ophthalmologist or retina specialist in Mumbai.

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