Discover What’s Making Your Eyes Sensitive to Light

The eyes, along with the brain are two of the most important and yet sensitive organs in the entire body. Everybody knows that damaging the eyes is easy, often irreversible and can change your life forever. Photophobia, which means eyes sensitive to light, can be indicative of an underlying problem that could compromise your sight. If you are suffering from light sensitive eyes then read on for suggestions of what is wrong and what your next step should be.

Firstly, try to make a diary or a mental note of the times of day that make your eyes sensitive to light. Is it first thing in the morning when you open the curtains, or is it as bad as even opening your eyes to natural but dim light? Is it only artificial light causing the problem, or when lights flicker on the television or from cars? Determining what kind of light and when you are experiencing the pain could hold the key to treatment and recovery.

For instance, someone with photophobia may only have eyes sensitive to light when they’re on the tube train traveling to work. The light on the train is relatively dim, but somehow it seems very bright and as if it’s boring into their eyes. They become very aware of it and worry about why it’s only this light causing the problem. What could be happening here is a very mild panic attack. While it’s not generally recognized as an anxiety symptom, the eyes ‘take in’ a lot more light when the individual is nervous as they’re much more alert and literally trying to see everything that’s going on. Panic, or the ‘flight or fight’ response is a throwback from ancient times when we had to run from predators. Here, your eyes are trying not to miss a trick and as a result are taking in too much light for your optic muscles, tissues and nerves to handle.

Eyes sensitive to light can also be caused by viruses or inflammation, such as those found in sinus infections. If you have a cough, aching jaw, blocked nose, headaches and lethargy then it’s best to visit your GP for a diagnosis of a possible sinus infection and simple antibiotic treatment. While the doctor may be your first port of call, you may also get referred to an ophthalmologist or optician for eye tests. They will look to see if you have any diseases or problems within your actual eye and could identify that you are suffering from migraines; one of the most common problems that makes eyes sensitive to light.

If you are suffering from migraines then you will probably have either one set of symptoms or another. The first is dizziness, nausea, vomiting and imbalance as well as photophobia, whereas the others may suffer from half-sight, partial blindness, flashing lights and tingling sensations. Migraines can also be indicative of an underlying illness, so it’s important to follow diagnosis and treatment for them.

What makes your eyes sensitive to light is dependent upon you, your individual sensitivities and biological make up so if you are suffering from regular or persistent photophobia then visit your doctor or optician as soon as possible.


  1. I too have light sensitive eyes. They tear when I am recalling an event to friends or family (maybe nervous or panic reaction) don't speak in public for fear of my eyes tearing. They tear sometimes, while in the office – working under fluorescent lights. At night if a bright light from another vehicle approaches I go blind and cannot see for a second. During the day the sun's rays shining into my face blinds me for that second. I have been for eye tests and have distance vision spectacles.

  2. None of this suggested anything except the obvious… sinus infection, most already know the symptoms and do go to the pc for that… and for migraines.

  3. I am afraid to criticize. I get the impression that this article was written by someone who is learning and asked someone for info regarding said topic. I would rather get expert info. I don't like wasting my time getting someone's opinion or someone's recording of someone else's opinion. I hate when I go to research a topic just to find articles of people who are not passionate and passionately trying finding the absolute answer. Good enough might be good enough for people who don't really care. But I really don't think the author of this article cares.

    Sincerely, Captain Obvious

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