Also known as: light sensitivity, light intolerance

What is photophobia?

To a certain degree, everybody can be sensitive to light from time to time, particularly bright sunlight. But when a person’s light sensitivity is debilitating and tied to other problems, then photophobia may be present.

What might cause photophobia?

Photophobia can be present with the following medical conditions:
  • Migraine
  • Corneal abrasion
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Scleritis
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage

How can it be treated?

If you regularly deal with photophobia, staying out of direct sunlight or keeping the lights dimmed inside may be your best bet for managing the condition. You can also get relief from wearing sunglasses, using eye drops or trying other over-the-counter medications.

When should you seek medical attention?

If photophobia is severe, doesn’t resolve quickly or is accompanied by migraines, blurred vision, eye pain, fever, confusion or other alarming symptoms, seek medical treatment immediately.

Reviewed by: Luxme Hariharan, MD

This page was last updated on: February 13, 2020 11:20 AM