Sensitivity to light, or photophobia, is a symptom which could point to a variety of causes.

People who experience photophobia may be sensitive to the sun, fluorescent lights and incandescent lights. When exposed to strong lights they may feel the need to squint or shut their eyes. In extreme cases of photophobia any source of light will cause discomfort.

Light sensitivity and dry eye

While photophobia can be caused by many different eye conditions it can be a result of dry eye due to inflammation or damage on the surface of the eye. Dry eye can cause the surface of your eye to become inflamed or damaged, as a result of the lack of moisture and the irritation of your eyelid rubbing against your eye. Once the surface of your eye is inflamed or damaged, it may become ultra sensitive and this sensitivity may display itself as a sensitivity to light.

In cases of extreme or sudden onset of symptoms, contact your eye doctor

As stated, a sensitivity to light can point to many different causes. While dry eye may cause slight light sensitivity, it should not result in extreme pain or discomfort. If you are experiencing extreme sensitivity to light or the symptoms come on very suddenly, contact your eye doctor immediately.


More symptoms of Dry Eye Disease