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Related to Sensitivity to light: Sensitivity to sunlight


abnormal visual intolerance to light. adj., adj photopho´bic.


Light-induced pain, especially of the eyes; for example, in uveitis, the light-induced movement of the iris may be painful.
Synonym(s): photodynia, photophobia
[phot- + G. algos, pain]


/pho·to·pho·bia/ (-fo´be-ah) abnormal visual intolerance to light.photopho´bic


1. An abnormal sensitivity to or intolerance of light, especially by the eyes, as may be caused by eye inflammation, lack of pigmentation in the iris, or various diseases.
2. An abnormal or irrational fear of light.


Etymology: Gk, phos + phobos, fear
1 abnormal sensitivity to light, especially of the eyes. The condition is prevalent in albinism and various diseases of the conjunctiva and cornea and may be a symptom of such disorders as measles, psittacosis, encephalitis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Reiter's syndrome.
2 (in psychiatry) a morbid fear of light with an irrational need to avoid light places. The anxiety disorder is seen more often in women than in men and is usually caused by a repressed intrapsychic conflict symbolically related to light. photophobic, adj.


 Painful oversensitivity to light


Morbid dread and avoidance of light. Although often an expression of undue anxiety about the eyes, photosensitivity and photalgia, past or present, should be considered.
[photo- + G. phobos, fear]


Undue intolerance to light. This is a feature of certain eye disorders, especially corneal abrasions or ulcers, IRIDOCYCLITIS and congenital glaucoma. It also occurs in MIGRAINE and MENINGITIS.


Extreme sensitivity to light. Photophobia is a major symptom of acute uveitis.
Mentioned in: Color Blindness, Uveitis


Abnormal fear or intolerance of light. It can be physiological, although it often accompanies inflammations of the anterior segment of the eye, especially anterior uveitis. It is also noted in patients with cone degeneration. Management is usually aimed at treating the primary cause (e.g. keratitis, uveitis), but in other cases (e.g. albinism, drug-induced mydriasis, recent aphakes, fear of light) tinted lenses will give relief. See albinism; corneal abrasion; recurrent corneal erosion; iritis; keratitis; monochromat; uveitis.


abnormal visual intolerance to light. Expressed in animals by closing of the eyelids when exposed to light. Difficult to differentiate from blepharospasm due to conjunctivitis.

Patient discussion about photophobia

Q. I had cataract surgery with iol implant, and ever since I have awful light sensitivity. Any ideas? I can't go into a "super store" without my sunglasses. My eyes ache at the end of the day. My doctor says "I don't know!"

A. May sound a bit silly question, but have you tried to consult your ophthalmologist (eye doctor, e.g. the one that performed the operation) about it? Cataract surgery, although considered very successful, isn't problem-free. Primary physician may not have the necessary specialization to deal with these subjects.

Q. Hey ! i am sensitive to light , every time i go out with a short sleeve i get this red rush all over.. what can i do ?

A. You should see a dermatologist or even your personal physician when this happens. Sensitivity to light is common in various medical conditions you should get checked up for.

More discussions about photophobia
References in periodicals archive ?
The study indicated that the brains sensory mechanisms were important components in migraines which may explain why sufferers experience heightened sensitivity to jaw and back pain, nausea and vomiting along with sensitivity to light and sound.
Editorial Staff of the National Women's Health Resource Center 2002/02/01 2005/04/22 It's not pain you're likely to forget if you've ever experienced it: the excruciating throb, often accompanied by nausea or sensitivity to light and sound, presented by a migraine.
Alternatively, they also meet diagnostic criteria for migrainous headache even if their headache pain is neither unilateral nor pulsating, so long as their head pain is associated with nausea or vomiting or sensitivity to light and sound, Dr.
They also meet criteria even if their pain is neither unilateral nor pulsating, so long as it is associated with nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light and sound, explained Dr.
Symptoms to look out for included fever, nausea, stiff neck, back and joint pain, severe headache, sensitivity to light and sometimes a rash of tiny purple bruises which do not fade when pressed.
are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, hallucinations, or sensitivity to light and sound.
Symptoms to look out for include fever, nausea and vomiting, stiff neck, back and joint pain, severe headache, sensitivity to light and sometimes a rash of purple bruises, which do not fade when pressed.
The symptoms of the syndrome, which is caused primarily by the effects of direct and indirect computer-related light, include eyestrain, blurred vision, double vision, contact lens discomfort and sensitivity to light.
Some prescription and herbal medications may increase the eye's sensitivity to light and should not be used with bright-light therapy.
She had a wee bit of a temperature but she had none of the stiffness or sensitivity to light.
While we might hope at first for a cure for their sensitivity to light, Sacks slowly reveals nature's perverse logic in a description of twilight on the island, where the colorblind "disorder" turns into an advantage.
Herbert Hamak steadfastly maintains that his colorful objects invading the spac are paintings, paintings that despite their unusual depth are concerned with color--with its true value, intensity, radiation, and sensitivity to light.