Does Your Dry Eye Syndrome Come with Light Sensitivity?

Does Your Dry Eye Syndrome Come with Light Sensitivity?

Does Your Dry Eye Syndrome Come with Light Sensitivity?

Light sensitivity (photosensitivity or photophobia) can be part of many different health and eye issues, but it can certainly be part of dry eye syndrome as well. If you’ve had dry eye for a while and have just begun experiencing light sensitivity, you should see your eye specialist as soon as possible. It most likely is another symptom of your dry eye issues, but better safe than sorry.

In truth, most doctors don’t know why some people have more light sensitivity. Many are involved in ongoing research, but no one has found an “organic” reason for it, which makes it that much more difficult to treat.

Light sensitivity can be a side effect of some pharmaceuticals. So if you’ve recently started taking new medications, talk to the pharmacist about any side effects of those drugs. It is also common in those with dry eye as well as those suffering from migraines. In fact, one medical resource says that chronic migraine must include light sensitivity as a symptom. Overall, light sensitivity due to dry eye can often be due to a cornea (the covering on the front of the eye) that is not perfectly intact. Small abrasions and dry areas on the cornea can scatter light, leading to light sensitivity.

Possible Treatments

If you are going to be outside in the middle of the day, then sunglasses with a darker tint are recommended, but using them indoors can make the matter worse, increasing your level of light sensitivity, and the pain that comes with it. Make sure that all sunglasses you wear are 100% UV protected. Polarized sunglasses are also an added bonus, as they block out even more glare. There are some glasses and contacts using very specific tints that help with light sensitivity when associated with certain conditions other than dry eye. These conditions include migraines, certain types of clinical depression, and other less common diagnoses. If you think tinted lenses might be useful, see your eye care professional because those tints can only be found in prescription lenses.

Various other treatments for dry eye may ease the symptoms of light sensitivity, but there’s no guarantee. If, however, you reduce all the other symptoms of dry eye by using warm compresses, adding Omega-3’s to your diet, using natural tears, and eye gels and ointments, you stand a much better chance of alleviating the problems with light sensitivity as well.

Make sure the air around you is moist — add a humidifier or HEPA air filter to the rooms where you spend most of your time, turn down the fans, heaters, and air conditioners too. The more moisture you keep around your eyes, the less impact you’ll have from dry eye issues!

One Love,

Dr. Travis Zigler, Eye Love

Dr. Travis Zigler


Other Dry Eye articles by Dr. Zigler: 4 Tips to Stop Waking Up With Dry, Painful Eyes; Which Antidepressants Cause Dry Eye; Fish Oil for Fighting Dry Eye Inflammation; and What Not To Eat If You Have Dry Eye

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