ZocdocAnswersWhy are my eyes so sensitive to sunlight?

Question

Why are my eyes so sensitive to sunlight?

When I was in my teens and young adult years, I could go outside in bright sunlight without having to wear sunglasses. Now that I am almost 45, however, I have noticed that I have an increased sensitivity to sunlight. I find it almost impossible to open my eyes on a clear, bright day without wearing sunglasses. Sometimes, my sensitivity is so great that my eyes still hurt when I am wearing sunglasses outside. I am an active adult, so this is having a significant impact on my lifestyle and limiting my ability to spend time watching my kids play their sports. Why are my eyes so sensitive to sunlight now, and what can I do about this problem?

Answer

Eye sensitivity to sunlight is a common problem experienced by many individuals. It is especially common in those with light colored eyes, as the lack of dark pigment allows more light to enter the eye and striking the retina. It sounds like this eye sensitivity is a fairly new problem for you. For this reason, I think it is important to get your eyes evaluated by an eye doctor. Any new or changing eye symptom needs to be checked out right away. Although it is possible that some of the change is due to common age, there are a number of eye conditions that can cause light sensitivity that will need to be ruled out. For example, on inflammation inside the inner structures of the eye, such as uveitis, can cause increased light sensitivity. This and similar conditions can be diagnosed by your doctor when they look inside your eye with a microscope, which is part of the regular eye exam. Similarly, there are numerous prescription medications that might cause increased light sensitivity, and your doctor will want to review your list of medications to see if one of them might be the culprit. Call and make an appointment today, and good luck!

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

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