Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Sensitivity to light is the inability to tolerate light, medically known as photophobia. In someone who is light sensitive, any type of light source (sunlight, fluorescent light, incandescent light) can cause discomfort. Photophobia typically causes a need to squint or close the eyes, and headache, nausea, or other symptoms may be associated with photophobia. Symptoms may be worse with bright light. People with light-colored eyes are more likely to have sensitivity to bright light than those with darker-pigmented eyes. Light sensitivity is caused by a number of conditions that affect the eye (such as iritis, uveitis, and keratitis), as well as conditions that affect the entire body. Migraine headache is a common cause of photophobia, with a majority of migraine sufferers reporting sensitivity to light.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
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