Light sensitivity, or photophobia, is a common eye condition among many people around the world who have existing vision problems. In layman’s terms, light sensitivity is when the level of light or glare is too bright or causes discomfort. For some people, eye sensitivity to light can be extreme and further cause loss of vision.
Light sensitivity or photophobia is a recurring issue and is not very serious. If you do experience the following symptoms visit your doctor as soon as possible.
Symptoms of photophobia:
- Eyes sensitive to light
- Normal light feels extremely bright
- Always seeing bright spots
- Eye pain
- Watery eyes
- Dry eyes
Eye Conditions That Cause Light Sensitivity
Many eye conditions can cause light sensitivity. They include:
- Ocular Albinism – lack of pigment in the eye
- Cataracts – clouding of the lens inside the eye
- Macular Degeneration – affects the macula, the area in the eye responsible for our central, detailed vision
- Conjunctivitis, dry eyes – affects the front surface of the eye
Before we delve into the treatment for light sensitivity, let’s understand the types of glare.
A lot has been said about glare affecting the eyes and vision in our earlier articles. However, it is essential to know that any bright or reflected light has the power to affect our eyesight. If you’re someone who is suffering from low or bad vision, you will need more light than usual to perform basic tasks like browsing on your phone or reading a book. Here’s the catch: too much of the wrong light can aggravate your vision issues. At such times it is good to know the difference between the two types of glare: discomfort glare and disability glare.
Also Read: UV Protected Sunglasses And Their Benefits
1 Discomfort Glare
Discomfort glare refers to the sensation of visual annoyance and distraction because of high-luminance or high-luminance contrasts within the visual field. This does not tamper with your vision in any way.
2 Disability Glare
Disability glare describes the loss of retinal image contrast as a result of intraocular light scatter or stray light. It has become increasingly important with modern implications such as cataracts and refractive surgery or high-intensity lighting. Disability glare doesn’t necessarily cause discomfort but can reduce visual acuity. This can damage your vision in the long run if not treated by your eye doctor at the earliest.
What Are The Right Glasses For Light Sensitivity?
Love going for walks? Light sensitivity can make a casual walk in the park an unpleasant experience for you, followed by severe migraines. If you’re someone who has struggled to find a pair of sunglasses to combat the glare, you’re not alone. You must be already aware that regular sunglasses are not for you — so what is? Well, sunglasses fall into numbered categories based on the amount of visible light transmission (VLT) they allow.
|80 – 100%
||None or Very Light Tint
||Aesthetic, fashion, or comfort purposes or use during nighttime
|43 – 80%
|18 – 43%
||Average to low levels of sunlight
|8 – 18%
||For use in strong sunlight, including intensified light which is reflected off water or snow
|3 – 18%
||Very Dark Tint
||For use in exceptional levels of strong sunlight like high-altitude mountaineering (not suitable for drivers and road users)
It is ideal for a person with light-sensitive eyes to opt for sunglasses that offer UVA and UVB protection. We recommend starting with tinted sunglasses and see how it works for you. Tinted sunglasses with polarized lenses help to reduce the amount of light entering your eyes and prevents glare from interfering. These are a great option for beginners too
Here are a few sunglasses tints you can consider as per your requirements.
Is Light Sensitivity Treatable?
If your light sensitivity is triggered because of an underlying eye condition such as a cataract, surgery can help solve the glare issue. However, not all eye conditions are treatable and in such cases, using a pair of sunglasses either tinted or of category 3 is your best bet.
Our top sunglasses for you:
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