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Photophobia
(light sensitivity)
 
IN BRIEF

Sensitivity to light; a classic symptom of dry eye.

 
DISCUSSION

Photophobia goes hand in hand with dry eye conditions, and may fluctuate along with other dry eye symptoms.

Photophobia varies in degree. Some patients will simply need stronger sunglasses for outdoor use as they find themselves less able to tolerate bright sunlight. Often however, bright or fluorescent lights as well as reflections pose serious problems for dry eye patients indoors. It is common for chronic dry eye patients to struggle with excessive discomfort in environments like fluorescent-lit offices, grocery stores, airports, etc.

Getting severe dry eye under better control through improving the tear film may improve photophobia, however, for patients with chronic dry eye disease in a "maintenance mode" there will be a need to find ways to deal with light sensitivity.

Please see our section on living with dry eye for some links to pages with suggestions for eyewear, workplace modifications, etc. that may help in coping with light sensitivity.

 
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