Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to photophobia: Photo Editor


abnormal visual intolerance to light. adj., adj photopho´bic.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


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]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


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.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


 Painful oversensitivity to light
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


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]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


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.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005


Extreme sensitivity to light. Photophobia is a major symptom of acute uveitis.
Mentioned in: Color Blindness, Uveitis
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


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.
Millodot: Dictionary of Optometry and Visual Science, 7th edition. © 2009 Butterworth-Heinemann

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
This content is provided by iMedix and is subject to iMedix Terms. The Questions and Answers are not endorsed or recommended and are made available by patients, not doctors.
References in periodicals archive ?
The patients showed a gradual but marked improvement in symptoms like itching, discharge, photophobia and watering, especially over 12 weeks.
With regard to migrainous features in CH, nausea occurred in 38.7% of the patients; although vomiting was less common (19.4%), phonophobia occurred in 41.9% of patients, and photophobia was reported by 34.4%.
While the patient experienced a decrease in his diplopia and photophobia during the diagnostic fitting, unfortunately the lens was not dispensed as the patient had deceased before the lens arrived.
Only two patients out of the 27 in bandage lens group complained of photophobia, which indicated that the side effect of photophobia was at a low incidence for instant vision with bandage lenses.
Keywords: Chemosis; corneal ulcer; keratoconjunctivitis; photophobia; tarsorrhaphy
Normally, symptoms appear after 13 days of infection and include fever, muscle aches, dizziness, neck pain and stiffness, back pain, headache, sore eyes and photophobia (sensitivity to light).
Symptoms may include: bloodshot eyes, cough, fever, rash photophobia, muscle pain, conjunctivitis, runny nose, sore throat, tiny white spots inside the mouth (Koplik's spots).
He was having agonizing pain in both eyes along with severe photophobia and loss of vision.
Her family believe a serious failure was made in diagnosing her condition after she told the doctor of a number of symptoms including photophobia - a severe intolerance of light.
She also has photophobia - a severe intolerance to bright light and glare - as well as nystagmus, an involuntary and uncontrollable movement of the eyes.
ryone will have this) A severe headache Stiff neck Sensitivity to light (photophobia) Convulsion or seizures These symptoms can appear in any order, and not everyone will get all of them.