World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000527756
Reproduction Date:

Title: Photophobia  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Keratoconus, Migraine, Achromatopsia, List of phobias, Reis–Bucklers corneal dystrophy
Collection: Neurological Disorders, Phobias, Visual Disturbances and Blindness
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Classification and external resources
Specialty Neurology
ICD-10 H53.1
ICD-9-CM 368.13
DiseasesDB 24599
MedlinePlus 003041
MeSH D020795

Photophobia is a symptom of abnormal intolerance to visual perception of light.[1] As a medical symptom, photophobia is not a morbid fear or phobia, but an experience of discomfort or pain to the eyes due to light exposure or by presence of actual physical sensitivity of the eyes,[2] though the term is sometimes additionally applied to abnormal or irrational fear of light such as heliophobia.[3] The term photophobia comes from the Greek φῶς (phōs), meaning "light", and φόβος (phobos), meaning "fear".[4][5]


  • Causes 1
    • Eye-related 1.1
    • Nervous-system-related 1.2
    • Other causes 1.3
  • Treatment 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Patients may develop photophobia as a result of several different medical conditions, related to the eye or the nervous system. Photophobia can be caused by an increased response to light starting at any step in the visual system, such as:

  • Too much light entering the eye. Too much light can enter the eye if it is damaged, such as with corneal abrasion and retinal damage, or if its pupil(s) is unable to normally constrict (seen with damage to the oculomotor nerve).
  • Due to albinism, the lack of pigment in the colored part of the eyes (irises) makes them somewhat translucent. This means that the irises can't completely block light from entering the eye.
  • Overstimulation of the photoreceptors in the retina
  • Excessive electric impulses to the optic nerve
  • Excessive response in the central nervous system

Common causes of photophobia include migraine headaches, cataracts, Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI), or severe ophthalmologic diseases such as uveitis or corneal abrasion.[6] A more extensive list follows:


Causes of photophobia relating directly to the eye itself include:


Neurological causes for photophobia include:

Other causes


The best treatment for light sensitivity is to address the underlying cause. Once the triggering factor is treated, photophobia disappears in many but not all cases.[30]

Patients with photophobia will avert their eyes from direct light (sunlight and room lights), or may seek the shelter of a dark room or wear sunglasses.

A study by Stringham and Hammond, published in the Journal of Food Science, discusses the improvement in visual performance and decrease in light sensitivity (glare) in subjects taking 10 mg Lutein and 2 mg Zeaxanthin per day.[31]

See also


  1. ^ citing:
  2. ^ citing:
    • Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008
    • Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. 2009
    • McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. 2002
  3. ^ citing:
    • The American Heritage Medical Dictionary Copyright 2007
    • Millodot: Dictionary of Optometry and Visual Science, 7th edition. 2009
  4. ^ φῶς, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  5. ^ φόβος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  6. ^ Hazin R, Abuzetun JY, Daoud YJ, Abu-Khalaf MM (July 2009). "Ocular complications of cancer therapy: a primer for the ophthalmologist treating cancer patients". Curr Opin Ophthalmol 20 (4): 308–17.  
  7. ^ "Achromotopsoa". Scottish Sensory Centre. Retrieved December 11, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Day, Susan (January 15, 1997). "P9: Photophobia". In Taylor, David. Paediatric Ophthalmology (2nd ed.).  
  9. ^ a b "Photophobia".  
  10. ^ "Conjunctivitis".  
  11. ^ "Corneal ulcer".  
  12. ^ Fan X, Miles JH, Takahashi N, Yao G (November 2009). "Abnormal transient pupillary light reflex in individuals with autism spectrum disorders". J Autism Dev Disord 39 (11): 1499–508.  
  13. ^ "Light sensitivity — photophobia".  
  14. ^ "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome".  
  15. ^ "Photophobia — Glossary Entry". Genetics Home Reference.  
  16. ^ "Ankylosing spondylitis".  
  17. ^ "Albinism". MedicinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.  
  18. ^ Harris, Robert S.; Kenneth V. Thimann (February 11, 1943). Vitamins & Hormones, Volume 1.  
  19. ^ Wakakura M, Tsubouchi T, Inouye J (March 2004). "Etizolam and benzodiazepine induced blepharospasm". J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatr. 75 (3): 506–7.  
  20. ^ Pelissolo A; Bisserbe JC (Mar–Apr 1994). "[Dependence on benzodiazepines. Clinical and biological aspects]". Encephale 20 (2): 147–57.  
  21. ^ Mahesh, G; Giridhar, A; Shedbele, A; Kumar, R; Saikumar, SJ (2009). "A case of bilateral presumed chikungunya neuroretinitis". Indian journal of ophthalmology (Indian Journal of Ophthalmology) 57 (2): 148–50.  
  22. ^ Dr. Diana Driscoll, Ehlers-Danlos Eye Dr PDF
  23. ^ A.D.A.M, [1]
  24. ^ Gauthier-Smith, P.C. (December 22, 2004). "Neurological complications of glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis)".  
  25. ^ Hunt, Dr. Margaret. "Influenza Virus (Orthomyxovirus)".  
  26. ^ Durlach, Jean; Hirotoshi Morii; Yoshiki Nishizawa (March 6, 2007). "10: Clinical forms of Magnesium Depletion by Photosensitization and Treatment with  
  27. ^ "Elemental mercury poisoning in a household—Ohio, 1989". MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 39 (25): 424–5. June 1990.  
  28. ^ Drummond PD (October 1986). "A quantitative assessment of photophobia in migraine and tension headache". Headache 26 (9): 465–9.  
  29. ^ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (28 October 1994). "Human Rabies — Miami, 1994".  
  30. ^ Bailey, Gretchyn. "Photophobia (Light Sensitivity)". Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  31. ^ Stringham JM, Bovier ER, Wong JC, Hammond BR (2010). "The influence of dietary lutein and zeaxanthin on visual performance". J. Food Sci. 75 (1): R24–9.  

External links

  • page on photophobia
  • page on photophobia
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.