Often looking up at the sun rays irritates the eyes, or even the fluorescent lights or any bright light. Does it hint any eye problems or it is a natural way our eyes react?
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As explained medically, when the eyes experience a sense of discomfort or intolerance when exposed to sunlight or any bright light it is called photophobia.
There can be various underlying medical causes behind photophobia as in related to eye, nervous system or genetic. Major reasons are listed below:
- When too much light enters the eye. This can happen due to the inability of the pupil to constrict or also called corneal abrasion (scratch in the cornea).
- Albinism, it is the absence of pigment which gives color to the eye. The lighter color eyed people are more prone to sensitivity than dark-colored ones because the latter has more pigment to protect against the harsh light.
- Cataracts, it is clouding of the lens in the eye which leads to a decrease in vision.
- Conditions like conjunctivitis which affect the front surface of the eye.
- Dry eye syndrome, when the tear ducts don’t make enough tears to keep the eyes moist leading to excessive dryness.
- Encephalitis occurs when your brain is inflamed from a viral infection or other cause.
- Meningitis is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation of the protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
- Subarachnoid Hemorrhage, a subarachnoid hemorrhage occurs when you have bleeding between your brain and the surrounding layers of tissue.
The best way is to get to know the underlying causes for photophobia, whether it is due to the eye related or nervous or other reasons. Wearing sunglasses, tinted glasses and hats can bring some relief. Some of the treatments are:
- medications and rest for migraines
- antibiotics for conjunctivitis
- artificial tears for mild dry eye syndrome
- antibiotic eye drops for corneal abrasions
- anti-inflammatory medications, bed rest, and fluids for mild cases of encephalitis.
- antibiotics for bacterial meningitis.
- surgery to remove excess blood and relieve pressure on your brain for subarachnoid hemorrhage
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