(redirected from Light sensitivity)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.


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 Camileo SX900 takes video quality to the next level by offering a 9x optical zoom and a light sensitivity of 3 Lux, enabling it to capture videos even in the reduced light of a well illuminated room without need to use a lamp, the company said.
All Doggles boast rugged polycarbonate (shatterproof) anti-fog lenses with 100 per cent UV protection, and are great for dogs with eye disorders such as pannus and light sensitivity.
The Nokia 808 PureView smartphone is powered with Nokia Belle and is the first smartphone to feature Nokia s PureView technology, a pixel oversampling technique which lessens an image taken at full resolution into a lower resolution picture, thus achieving higher definition and light sensitivity, and enables lossless zoom.
At the same time, we were able to objectively measure improvements in light sensitivity, side vision and other visual functions.
Warner decided to take advantage of thymine's light sensitivity by attaching that molecule to a water-soluble polymer.
Featuring superior light sensitivity, the 325Z also offers excellent color reproduction to meet the most demanding multispecialty requirements.
Cohu's Helios HD Cameras Offer Best in Class Features, Including 30x Optical Zoom, Low Light Sensitivity, EIS, "Defog" Image Enhancement and IP67 Outdoor Protection
It also includes Matrix Advanced Blur Reduction, Retina Low Light sensitivity, a 16:9 wide-angle lens, GEO-TAG GPS positioning and pre-set or manual programming, among other features.
Instead of a diffuse region of light sensitivity, we detected punctate islands of light sensitivity separated by regions of no light sensitivity," said Chichilnisky.
The CC3610UH Camera offers Sony EXview HAD technology for enhanced light sensitivity.
The discovery of clock lends support to a proposal linking circadian rhythms and light sensitivity.
You should also see a doctor if you develop a rash, a fever, a stiff neck, aching muscles, painful joints, swollen lymph nodes, flu-like symptoms and light sensitivity to the eyes or skin (photosensitivity).