What Causes Light Sensitivity

Photophobia is a condition that makes looking at sources of light difficult, so much so that individuals with this condition may avoid walking outside, driving, or looking at computers. Sensitivity to sunlight, fluorescent light, and incandescent light can have a major impact on one’s everyday life, so it’s important for individuals experiencing sunlight sensitivity to get a proper visual diagnosis to regain their visual strength.

Sensitivity to light is caused by both functional and nonfunctional vision problems. Functional vision describes your visual system’s ability to work with your brain to see objects in space and interpret your surroundings, while nonfunctional vision loss is associated with the onset of disease or injuries affecting the brain and visual system.

Functional Vision Problems and Photophobia

Individuals who have trouble with eye teaming, eye focusing, and eye movement may experience moments of light sensitivity. Photophobia is especially common for those who have exotropia, a form of strabismus (eye turns).

Nonfunctional Visual Problems and Photophobia

Common nonfunctional visual problems that cause photophobia include brain injuries, migraine headaches, corneal issues, pathologies, and medication side effects. Light sensitivity resulting from nonfunctional visual problems usually comes on suddenly, without a prior history. Because photophobia may be linked to serious injury, infection, or inflammation, individuals should seek medical attention to ensure they’re in good health.

When to Visit a Developmental Optometrist

Individuals experiencing prolonged light sensitivity should visit a developmental optometrist to get down to the root of their functional vision problem. More likely than not, the patient will have an eye teaming or focusing problem that prevents the brain from properly organizing light. Treatment plans include exercises that reteach the brain to organize light and see without blinding discomfort.

Regain Your Visual Strength at OCVT

Vision therapy redevelops and strengthens the neural connections between your brain and the parts of the body that produce visual images. Our developmental optometrists use specialized instruments and therapeutic activities to help you reclaim your visual strength, allowing you to perform everyday activities at home and work without difficulty.

We help patients with photophobia by determining the cause of their sensitivity to light so we can develop customized treatment plans that address their unique difficulties. Our vision therapists and developmental optometrists evaluate our patients’ eye focusing, eye teaming, and eye movement skills to identify the functional vision problem responsible.

If you’re experiencing prolonged light sensitivity, speak with a certified developmental optometrist at OCVT. After a complimentary consultation, we can better determine if our services are right for you and start to create a customized treatment plant that mitigates your light sensitivity. With the help of a developmental optometrist, you can resume normal activities with more confidence and comfort.

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