Photophobia: excessive sensitivity to light

The symptom of severe burning in the eyes in front of the light with relative discomfort in the eyelids could be called photophobia . There may be another problem at the origin. Here’s how to understand what it is. Photophobia is not a pathology, but it is related to other problems. It is an intolerance to light that causes eye discomfort and pain.

Furthermore, it also causes a continuous twitching of the eyelids to reduce the brightness that affects the eye. Photophobia could be related to an infection, inflammation or a detachment of the retina. The problem may also be other than the eyes, such as migraines.

If the light is really too intense, however, then it means that the problem is external and not of the organ. Here are the possible causes :

  • Drugs: Chemotherapy or benzodiazepines give side effects
  • Albinism: lack of colored pigments, the eye allows light to penetrate more easily
  • Light eyes

Real pathologies such as:

  • Coloboma
  • Cataract
  • Corneal ulcer
  • Viral conjunctivitis
  • Trauma to the eye
  • Keratitis
  • Detachment of the retina
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Some types of brain tumors
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Infectious mononucleosis
  • Influence

In short, photophobia is a symptom that includes many others to be recognized even in a mild form.

Here is a short list of these symptoms:

  • Frequent twitching of the eyelid
  • Slight or severe eye pain, even in poor lighting
  • Need to close your eyes
  • Excessive tearing
  • Burning in the eyes


A trusted ophthalmologist is needed for the diagnosis . At the end of the analysis you can have a certain answer. Photophobia, however, does not have a specific cure, but you must act on the symptoms and causes. While waiting for the doctor’s prescription, there are some precautions to follow.

  • Darken the environments you live in (use curtains or blinds)
  • Use dark glasses or glasses with protective lenses
  • Use of common pain relievers for excessive pain (always by prescription)



  • Photophobia: how to recognize the extreme sensitivity of the eyes to light (

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