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Photophobia
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 H53.1
ICD-9 368.13
DiseasesDB 24599
MedlinePlus 003041
MeSH D020795

Photophobia is a symptom of excessive sensitivity to light and the aversion to sunlight or well-lit places. In ordinary medical terms photophobia is not a morbid fear, but an experience of discomfort or pain to the eyes due to light exposure.

Contents

Causes

Light sensitivity is usually due to too much light entering the eye, which causes over stimulation of the photoreceptors in the retina and subsequent excessive electric impulses to the optic nerve. This leads to a reflex aversion to light, and discomfort or pain. Too much light can enter the eye if it is damaged, such as with corneal abrasion and retinal damage, or if a pupil(s) is unable to normally constrict (seen with damage to the oculomotor nerve).

Patients may develop photophobia as a result of several different medical conditions, related to the eye or the nervous system.

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Eye-related

Causes of photophobia relating directly to the eye itself include:

Nervous-system-related

Neurological causes for photophobia include:

Other causes

Treatment

Patients with photophobia will avert their eyes from direct light (sunlight and room lights), or may seek the shelter of a dark room or wear sunglasses.

See also

References

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