Do You Have Sensitive Eyes?

Eye Basics | Stuart P. Sondheimer, MD | Skokie, IL Do you experience pain when you look at lights, even indoor lighting that is found in department stores and offices? Have you noticed that you seem to develop headaches when you are in places that have bright lights? You may experience photophobia, sensitivity to light. Although the reason for your photophobia may be benign, an eye exam ensures that you do not have a more serious problem that requires treatment.

What is Photophobia?

Photophobia is a sensitivity to light that causes irritation and discomfort in your eyes. You may find that your eyelids close involuntarily and that you have difficulty opening them. Some people who have photophobia also experience headaches and migraines. We are not concerned with light sensitivity that people experience when they look at the sun. Rather we determine if your eyes are sensitive to light in more commonplace situations, such as an office setting or at home.

What Causes Light Sensitivity?

Some of the more benign reasons that people have a sensitivity to light may surprise you. People with lighter eyes tend to be more sensitive to light, as well as those who wear contacts, have refractive surgery and experience a sunburn. Medical conditions that may cause light sensitivity are:

  • Detached retina
  • Abrasions on the cornea
  • Uveitis
  • Genetic disorders
  • Certain medications

Does Photophobia Require Treatment?

Photophobia is most often a symptom of an eye disorder that requires treatment. Some people are naturally sensitive to light. We recommend wearing high-quality sunglasses when outdoors. You can also order your eyeglasses with photochromic lenses that change automatically when you go outdoors. This alleviates the need to have a pair of regular eyeglasses and a pair of prescription sunglasses. We can also help you find special light-filtering shields that you can wear indoors and outdoors to prevent the effects of photophobia.

Are Your Eyes Sensitive to Light? Contact Dr. Stuart Sondheimer.

Find out more about photophobia, cataracts, macular degeneration and other conditions that we treat. Contact Dr. Stuart Sondheimer to schedule an appointment. Our office is in Skokie, Illinois, and you can contact us directly at (847) 677-2794.

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