Home > Eye Conditions > Photophobia

Photophobia is usually associated with eye discomfort in bright light. It is a fairly common symptom, and for many people, photophobia is not due to any underlying disease.

Usually photophobia is a symptom of another underlying problem, such as a corneal abrasion, uveitis, or a central nervous system disorder such as meningitis. Common causes include excessive wearing of contact lenses or badly fitting contact lenses, eye diseases such as glaucoma, infections or injuries and corneal abrasions or ulcers.

In addition to frequent squinting and aversion to bright lights, one other noticeable symptom is frequent migraine headaches.

The most common treatment is to avoid exposure to direct or bright lights by wearing sunglasses with proper UV protection. In other instances, medications may be the cause.

Drugs such as amphetamines, atropine, phenylephrine, and tropicamide often trigger photophobia. Discontinue the medication and normal tolerance of light should be returned. But be sure to discuss possible side effects with your prescribing physician before discontinuing any medications.