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Photophobia

All types of light, ranging from interior lighting fixtures to streetlights and to the bright rays of the sun, have the potential to cause eye discomfort or pain. Photophobia refers to this ocular sensitivity to light.

An eye irritation or infection may cause photophobia. Other culprits include albinism, migraines, recent eye surgery or a variety of vision problems. In rare incidences, a congenital disease or certain medications may increase your sensitivity to light. The retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye, is responsible for processing images. Treatment for photophobia involves treating the underlying cause that is disturbing the retina.

With light-sensitivity, the retina sends signals to the brain that are interpreted as discomfort or pain. The level of discomfort is in direct proportion with the strength of the light source, and it doesn’t matter if the light is man-made or natural.

Signs of Photophobia

When exposed to bright light, symptoms of itching, burning, wincing and squinting may all be experienced. Excessive tear production is another sign of photophobia.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you suffer from light-sensitivity, you should schedule a consultation with your eye care professional.

People with lighter-colored eyes generally have more of a tendency towards photophobia, and intense light is likely to bother them. If you have light eyes, the lower quantity of pigment is less efficient at diffusing the light beams.

Photophobia may be temporary, or it can appear as a permanent side-effect of an underlying eye condition. The only way to treat photophobia is therefore to get to the root of the problem with a comprehensive eye exam. It’s important to mention any current medications to your eye doctor, as they may be associated with photophobia.

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We are excited to be open again with limited hours. Our new hours are Tuesdays-Fridays from 9:30 am until 3:30 pm and Saturdays from 9 am until 2 pm. Appointments are 60 minutes long and start on the hour weekdays and on the half-hour on Saturday. Safety is our paramount concern in these uncertain times. Therefore, we ask that you wear a mask, fill out a COVID-19 questionnaire, and allow us to check your temperature before your appointment. If a mask is unavailable or if you forget, a mask will be provided at no charge. Doctor and staff temperatures are taken daily before work thus ensuring your safety. Surfaces are wiped down between patients and at the beginning and end of each day. We have a sanitation protocol that also keeps the frames clean and ready to try on. If you need to reach us the fastest way is to text at 510-769-2020. See you soon and be safe!