ZocdocAnswersWhy am I so sensitive to light?

Question

Why am I so sensitive to light?

I feel like my eyes are very sensitive to light right now. The sun is just hard to handle and even lights in the ceiling at work seem extra bright. Is this a symptom of something? What is up with my eyes?

Answer

Sensitivity of the eyes to light is called photophobia. There are many potential causes of photophobia. Especially if this is a new problem for you, you will need to see your primary care doctor or your eye doctor to help you figure out what is going on. In the simplest cases, photophobia occurs in people with light colored eyes and is just the result of the eye pigments not being able to absorb all of the light in the environment. However, given the fact that this seems to be a new problem for you, and the fact that even indoor lights are bothersome to you, I doubt that this is all that is going on. Sometimes, photophobia can be a symptom of a medical problem, like a migraine headache. Also it can sometimes be a symptoms of a serious brain infection, like meningitis, especially if you have a severe headache, fever, stiff neck, or other concerning symptoms. If you have any symptoms like this could be a serious emergency and you should seek immediate attention. Additional causes of photophobia include infections in the eye or scratches on the cornea, or the surface of the eye. Your eye doctor or your primary care doctor can help you figure this out, and you should see them immediately.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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