Light Sensitivity
Free Symptom Checker
with Physician-supervised AI

Reviewed By:

Ami Shah Vira, MD

Ami Shah Vira, MD (Ophthalmology)

Dr. Shah Vira grew up in Arizona. She moved to Chicago to complete a combined engineering and medical program at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and Chicago Medical School. She completed a highly competitive two year dual fellowship in Neuro-ophthalmology and Oculoplastic at the highly regarded Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Shah Vira specializes in surgical correction of the eyelids and eyebrows, eyelid malposition and tumors, excessive tearing, and conditions involving the orbit.

Masashi Mimura, MD

Masashi Mimura, MD (Ophthalmology)

Dr. Mimura Graduated from the Osaka Medical College and obtained his ophthalmologist certification in 2007. He opened an outpatient clinic for oculoplastic and reconstructive surgery at Osaka Kaijo Hospital. Subsequently, he was appointed as the assistant professor at the Department of Ophthalmology, Osaka Medical College, in 2014. He then served an international fellowship at the Department of Ophthalmology/Oculoplastic and Reconstructive Surgery, California State University, San Diego. Since then, he has been appointed as Lecturer in the Departments of Ophthalmology at Osaka Medical College and Toho University Medical Center Sakura Hospital. Dr. Mimura is currently the Director of Oculofacial Clinic Osaka, where he specializes in Oculofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

From our team of 50+ doctors

Content updated on Apr 4, 2024

Following the Medical Content Editorial Policy

Worried about your symptoms?

Choose one to start our AI Symptom Checker.

It will help us optimize further questions for you.

Shiba

By starting the symptom checker, you agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use

Find another symptom

How Ubie Can Help You

With an easy 3-min questionnaire , Ubie's AI-powered system will generate a free report on possible causes.

Questions are customized to your situation and symptoms, including the following personal information:

  • Biological Sex - helps us provide relevant suggestions for male vs. female conditions.

  • Age - adjusts our guidance based on any age-related health factors.

  • History - considers past illnesses, surgeries, family history, and lifestyle choices.

Your symptoms

Input your symptoms

Our AI

Our AI checks your symptoms

Your report

You get your personalized report

Your personal report will tell you

✔︎  When to see a doctor

✔︎  What causes your symptoms

✔︎  Treatment information etc.

People with similar symptoms also use Ubie's symptom checker to find possible causes

  • Very sensitive to light

Ubie Logo (White)

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

About the Symptom

Photophobia is increased sensitivity and aversion to light. It causes eye discomfort in bright light. Light sensitivity is most commonly a symptom of an underlying disorder. Most commonly this can be due to migraines or dry eyes.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Eyes are sensitive to bright light

Possible Causes

Generally, Light sensitivity can be related to:

  • Retinitis pigmentosa

    An inherited degenerative disease affecting the retina, the nerve layer lining the back of the eye. It causes loss of night and side vision.

  • Sarcoidosis (Including Erythema Nodosum-Like Eruption)

    A disease where small lumps (called granulomas) form in the skin, lungs, eyes, and other organs. Since various organs are affected, there is a wide range of possible symptoms. The exact causes are not well understood.

  • Migraine

    A type of headache that typically presents as throbbing, pulsating pain on one side of the head, sometimes with associated nausea or sensitivity to light and sound. Sometimes, sensory disturbances, such as vision changes (seeing flashing lights or zigzag lines), can occur before the headache. The pain may worsen on exposure to bright lights or loud noise. Triggers for migraine include stress, poor sleep, caffeine, and hormonal changes in women.

  • Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada Disease
  • Uveitis

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Related serious diseases

Sometimes, Light sensitivity may be related to these serious diseases:

  • Meningitis

    Meningitis is an inflammation of the fluid and membrane (meninges) surrounding the brain and spinal cord usually caused by bacterial or viral infections, brain injuries, cancer, and certain drugs. It is a medical emergency that can lead to permanent brain and nerve damage.

  • Aseptic Meningitis
  • Cerebral Infarction

Doctor's Diagnostic Questions

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom:

  • Do your eyes hurt when looking at bright lights?

Ubie Logo (White)

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

Find Similar Symptoms

Symptoms from similar body parts

References

  • Burstein R, Noseda R, Fulton AB. Neurobiology of Photophobia. J Neuroophthalmol. 2019 Mar;39(1):94-102. doi: 10.1097/WNO.0000000000000766. PMID: 30762717; PMCID: PMC6383812.

    https://journals.lww.com/jneuro-ophthalmology/Fulltext/2019/03000/Neurobiology_of_Photophobia.16.aspx

  • Albilali A, Dilli E. Photophobia: When Light Hurts, a Review. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2018 Jul 30;18(9):62. doi: 10.1007/s11910-018-0864-0. PMID: 30058044.

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11910-018-0864-0

  • Noseda R, Copenhagen D, Burstein R. Current understanding of photophobia, visual networks and headaches. Cephalalgia. 2019 Nov;39(13):1623-1634. doi: 10.1177/0333102418784750. Epub 2018 Jun 25. PMID: 29940781; PMCID: PMC6461529.

    https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0333102418784750

  • Diel RJ, Mehra D, Kardon R, Buse DC, Moulton E, Galor A. Photophobia: shared pathophysiology underlying dry eye disease, migraine and traumatic brain injury leading to central neuroplasticity of the trigeminothalamic pathway. Br J Ophthalmol. 2021 Jun;105(6):751-760. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2020-316417. Epub 2020 Jul 23. PMID: 32703784; PMCID: PMC8022288.

    https://bjo.bmj.com/content/105/6/751

  • Rossi HL, Recober A. Photophobia in primary headaches. Headache. 2015 Apr;55(4):600-4. doi: 10.1111/head.12532. Epub 2015 Mar 19. PMID: 25790126; PMCID: PMC4459705.

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/head.12532

Reviewed By:

Ami Shah Vira, MD

Ami Shah Vira, MD (Ophthalmology)

Dr. Shah Vira grew up in Arizona. She moved to Chicago to complete a combined engineering and medical program at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and Chicago Medical School. She completed a highly competitive two year dual fellowship in Neuro-ophthalmology and Oculoplastic at the highly regarded Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Shah Vira specializes in surgical correction of the eyelids and eyebrows, eyelid malposition and tumors, excessive tearing, and conditions involving the orbit.

Masashi Mimura, MD

Masashi Mimura, MD (Ophthalmology)

Dr. Mimura Graduated from the Osaka Medical College and obtained his ophthalmologist certification in 2007. He opened an outpatient clinic for oculoplastic and reconstructive surgery at Osaka Kaijo Hospital. Subsequently, he was appointed as the assistant professor at the Department of Ophthalmology, Osaka Medical College, in 2014. He then served an international fellowship at the Department of Ophthalmology/Oculoplastic and Reconstructive Surgery, California State University, San Diego. Since then, he has been appointed as Lecturer in the Departments of Ophthalmology at Osaka Medical College and Toho University Medical Center Sakura Hospital. Dr. Mimura is currently the Director of Oculofacial Clinic Osaka, where he specializes in Oculofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

From our team of 50+ doctors

User Testimonials

Ubie Logo (White)

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

Ubie is supervised by 50+ medical experts worldwide

Our symptom checker AI is continuously refined with input from experienced physicians, empowering them to make more accurate diagnoses.

Maxwell J. Nanes, DO

Maxwell J. Nanes, DO

Emergency Medicine

Waukesha Memorial Hospital, Waukesha Wisconsin, USA

Caroline M. Doan, DO

Caroline M. Doan, DO

Internal Medicine

Signify Health

Benjamin Kummer, MD

Benjamin Kummer, MD

Neurology

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Charles Carlson, DO, MS

Charles Carlson, DO, MS

Psychiatry

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Dale Mueller, MD

Dale Mueller, MD

Cardiothoracic Surgery, Vascular Surgery

Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery Associates

Ravi P. Chokshi, MD

Ravi P. Chokshi, MD

Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN), Critical Care

Penn State Health

View our medical experts