Photophobia

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This article is about the human medical symptom. For the biological or botanical behavioral property, see Photophobia (biology).
Photophobia
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 H53.1
ICD-9 368.13
DiseasesDB 24599
MedlinePlus 003041
MeSH D020795

Photophobia (from Greek φῶς — phōs, "light"[1] and φόβος — phobos, "fear"[2]) /ˌfəʊtəʊˈfəʊbiə/ is a symptom of abnormal intolerance to visual perception of light.[3] As a medical symptom, photophobia is not a morbid fear or phobia, but an experience of discomfort or pain to the eyes due to light exposure or by presence of actual physical sensitivity of the eyes,[4] though the term is sometimes additionally applied to abnormal or irrational fear of light such as heliophobia.[5]

Causes[edit]

Patients may develop photophobia as a result of several different medical conditions, related to the eye or the nervous system. In some cases those who are born with it see the full spectrum of light. While in the direct sun light it causes red glare around the visual field which causes pounding headaches. Photophobia can be caused by an increased response to light starting at any step in the visual system, such as:

  • Too much light entering the eye. Too much light can enter the eye if it is damaged, such as with corneal abrasion and retinal damage, or if its pupil(s) is unable to normally constrict (seen with damage to the oculomotor nerve).
  • Due to albinism, the lack of pigment in the colored part of the eyes (irises) makes them somewhat translucent. This means that the irises can't completely block light from entering the eye.
  • Overstimulation of the photoreceptors in the retina
  • Excessive electric impulses to the optic nerve
  • Excessive response in the central nervous system

Common causes of photophobia include migraine headaches, cataracts, Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI), or severe ophthalmologic diseases such as uveitis or corneal abrasion.[6] A more extensive list follows:

Eye-related[edit]

Causes of photophobia relating directly to the eye itself include:

Nervous-system-related[edit]

Neurological causes for photophobia include:

Other causes[edit]

Treatment[edit]

The best treatment for light sensitivity is to address the underlying cause. Once the triggering factor is treated, photophobia disappears in many but not all cases.[29]

Patients with photophobia will avert their eyes from direct light (sunlight and room lights), or may seek the shelter of a dark room or wear sunglasses.

A study by Stringham and Hammond, published in the Journal of Food Science, discusses the improvement in visual performance and decrease in light sensitivity (glare) in subjects taking 10 mg Lutein and 2 mg Zeaxanthin per day.[30]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ φῶς, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  2. ^ φόβος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  3. ^ thefreedictionary.com/photophobia citing:
  4. ^ thefreedictionary.com/photophobia citing:
    • Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008
    • Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009
    • McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002
  5. ^ thefreedictionary.com/photophobia citing:
    • The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007
    • Millodot: Dictionary of Optometry and Visual Science, 7th edition. © 2009
  6. ^ Hazin R, Abuzetun JY, Daoud YJ, Abu-Khalaf MM (July 2009). "Ocular complications of cancer therapy: a primer for the ophthalmologist treating cancer patients". Curr Opin Ophthalmol 20 (4): 308–17. doi:10.1097/ICU.0b013e32832c9007. PMID 19491683. 
  7. ^ "Achromotopsoa". Scottish Sensory Centre. Retrieved December 11, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Day, Susan (January 15, 1997). "P9: Photophobia". In Taylor, David. Paediatric Ophthalmology (2nd ed.). Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 1034–6. ISBN 978-0-86542-831-7. 
  9. ^ a b "Photophobia". Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Retrieved December 11, 2009. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Conjunctivitis". Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. Retrieved December 11, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Corneal ulcer". Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. Retrieved December 11, 2009. 
  12. ^ Fan X, Miles JH, Takahashi N, Yao G (November 2009). "Abnormal transient pupillary light reflex in individuals with autism spectrum disorders". J Autism Dev Disord 39 (11): 1499–508. doi:10.1007/s10803-009-0767-7. PMID 19499319. 
  13. ^ "Light sensitivity — photophobia". Royal National Institute of Blind People. Retrieved December 11, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome". University of Virginia Health System. Retrieved December 11, 2009. 
  15. ^ "Photophobia — Glossary Entry". Genetics Home Reference. United States National Library of Medicine. Retrieved December 11, 2009. 
  16. ^ "Ankylosing spondylitis". United States National Library of Medicine. Retrieved December 11, 2009. 
  17. ^ "Albinism". MedicinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. United States National Library of Medicine. Retrieved December 11, 2009. 
  18. ^ Harris, Robert S.; Kenneth V. Thimann (February 11, 1943). Vitamins & Hormones, Volume 1. Academic Press. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-12-709801-2. 
  19. ^ Wakakura M, Tsubouchi T, Inouye J (March 2004). "Etizolam and benzodiazepine induced blepharospasm". J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatr. 75 (3): 506–7. doi:10.1136/jnnp.2003.019869. PMC 1738986. PMID 14966178. 
  20. ^ Pelissolo A; Bisserbe JC (Mar–Apr 1994). "[Dependence on benzodiazepines. Clinical and biological aspects]". Encephale 20 (2): 147–57. PMID 7914165. 
  21. ^ Mahesh, G; Giridhar, A; Shedbele, A; Kumar, R; Saikumar, SJ (2009). "A case of bilateral presumed chikungunya neuroretinitis". Indian journal of ophthalmology (Indian Journal of Ophthalmology) 57 (2): 148–50. doi:10.4103/0301-4738.45508. PMC 2684432. PMID 19237792. 
  22. ^ Dr. Diana Driscoll, Ehlers-Danlos Eye Dr PDF
  23. ^ Hunt, Dr. Margaret. "Influenza Virus (Orthomyxovirus)". University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Retrieved December 11, 2009. 
  24. ^ Gauthier-Smith, P.C. (December 22, 2004). "Neurological complications of glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis)". Brain (Oxford University Press) 88 (2): 323–334. doi:10.1093/brain/88.2.323. PMID 5828906. 
  25. ^ Durlach, Jean; Hirotoshi Morii, Yoshiki Nishizawa (March 6, 2007). "10: Clinical forms of Magnesium Depletion by Photosensitization and Treatment with Scototherapy". New Perspectives in Magnesium Research. Springer London. pp. 117–126. doi:10.1007/978-1-84628-483-0_10. ISBN 978-1-84628-388-8. 
  26. ^ "Elemental mercury poisoning in a household—Ohio, 1989". MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 39 (25): 424–5. June 1990. PMID 2113168. 
  27. ^ Drummond PD (October 1986). "A quantitative assessment of photophobia in migraine and tension headache". Headache 26 (9): 465–9. doi:10.1111/j.1526-4610.1986.hed2609465.x. PMID 3781834. 
  28. ^ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (28 October 1994). "Human Rabies — Miami, 1994". Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) 43 (42): 773–5. PMID 7935313. 
  29. ^ Bailey, Gretchyn. "Photophobia (Light Sensitivity)". AllAboutVision.com. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  30. ^ Stringham JM, Bovier ER, Wong JC, Hammond BR (2010). "The influence of dietary lutein and zeaxanthin on visual performance". J. Food Sci. 75 (1): R24–9. doi:10.1111/j.1750-3841.2009.01447.x. PMID 20492192. 

External links[edit]