Is photophobia a serious condition

Photosensitive eyes: causes and treatment

Status: 07.12.2020 3:10 p.m.

In the darker months of the year, many people feel more blinded than usual by light sources. The greater sensitivity of the eyes can be harmless, but it can also indicate serious illnesses.

Glare results from the fact that a beam of light does not hit the retina in a concentrated manner, but is disturbed on the way there. When light falls on the eye, it usually activates a point on the retina. If the light is disturbed ("refracted") on its way to the retina, it stimulates several points on the retina. The eye is overexcited and a blurred image is created.

Lens opacification is the most common cause

The most common cause of increased sensitivity to glare is lens opacity, also known as cataracts. In childhood and adolescence, the lens is still clear and transparent, but over the years proteins begin to clump together inside the lens. It becomes cloudy and the opacifying particles in the lens scatter the light rays. This leads to glare and a blurred image on the retina. This can be remedied by an operation in which the clouded natural lens is replaced by an artificial lens.

Fuchs' endothelial dystrophy

A disease of the cornea can also lead to increased sensitivity to glare - Fuchs' endothelial dystrophy. The affected cells lie in the inner layer of the cornea and have the job of pumping water out of the cornea to keep it clear. If they are no longer able to do this, the cornea is no longer clear, swells up and scars. The light refracts on the scars and leads to blurred vision and sensitivity to glare.

Fuchs' endothelial dystrophy can be genetic, but it can also arise without an identifiable cause or be triggered by a cataract operation in which the cells of the cornea are mechanically affected.

Salty eye drops can cause the cornea to swell again. Ultimately, only an operation will help here. The inner layer of the cornea is replaced by a transplant - i.e. the healthy cornea of ​​an organ donor.

Other causes of increased sensitivity to glare

  • Viral infection in the eye (e.g. herpes)
  • Side effects of antibiotics (e.g. tetracyclines, doxycycline)
  • Side effects of other drugs like scopolamine, atropine and digitalis
  • Conjunctivitis
  • migraine
  • Achromatism
  • Soft contact lenses
  • Implanted multifocal lenses
  • Too infrequent blinking
  • Dry eyes
  • Dry heating air
  • Long screen work, for example video conferencing in the home office


This topic in the program:

Visit | December 8th, 2020 | 8:15 pm