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Related to photophobia: Photo Editor


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 ?
While headache, fever and photophobia were common presenting symptoms, they were not statistically significant predictors of meningitis.
Although photophobia in the absence of ocular inflammation is a common symptom described after TBI, the exact mechanism remains unknown [14-16,26-28].
This suggested to us that the mechanism of photophobia must involve the optic nerve, because in totally blind individuals, the optic nerve does not carry light.
Absence of phono-phobia was reported by 58% of the telcagepant 300-mg patients and 55% of the zolmitriptan patients, and absence of photophobia was noted in 51% of the telcagepant 300-mg patients and 50% of zolmitriptan patients.
General Allergy Symptoms Remedy Comments / Modalities Allium cepa Sneezing, profuse, fluent burning acrid nasal discharge with conjunctivitis, itchy eyes, photophobia, a bland lachrymal discharge, ticklish throat and a dull frontal headache are often seen here.
Patients treated with MgSO4 observed complete elimination of migraine-associated symptoms such as photophobia and phonophobia as well as nausea.
Are blind and are migraine patients who do not have photophobia
As a teenager in the late '70s, he produced a fanzine, Photophobia, and later launched Imprint 93, a series of cheap commissioned multiples that were mailed out unsolicited--and sometimes unannounced as art.
A questionnaire was administered to determine the demographic characteristics (age of headache onset, sex, level of education and income, type of migraine), clinical features of the migraine (frequency, duration, localization, and quality of headache), and coexisting symptoms (nausea, vomiting, photophobia, and phonophobia).
She said she was not "thinking straight" and had difficulty focusing her eyes, and she also complained of photophobia.
As in Steve's case, they usually begin with flu-like illness, headaches and vomiting, followed by confusion, drowsiness, seizures and photophobia - or sensitivity to the light.