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Light Sensitivity

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 12 Feb 2018 | comments*Discuss
Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Light sensitivity or Photophobia is a condition that affects a great number of people in the United Kingdom – some without their actually knowing it.

Those who suffer from the condition will find that they have an aversion to bright light such as sunlight or strobe lighting (the likes of which can be found in many offices) and will often find themselves squinting or shielding their eyes from the light in order to reduce what is in actual fact pain caused by the light.

In a lot of the cases of light sensitivity this irritation caused by light can be accompanied by headaches which many sufferers equate to feeling like a migraine headache.

What Causes Light Sensitivity?

There are many theories as to what can bring about Light Sensitivity but for the most part it can be a result of an underlying condition that is being treated. Such conditions as those which affect the nervous system – such as Fibromyalgia and M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) can lead to the condition becoming prevalent and indeed some of the prescription medications which are used to treat Fibromyalgia and M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) also have side effects which include Light Sensitivity.

Treating Light Sensitivity

Your doctor will tell you that the best way to treat the problem of Light Sensitivity is to treat the condition that has caused it and this is of course fine if the problem that has brought it about has a cure. Unfortunately such conditions as Fibromyalgia and M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) do not have cures and can only have some of their overlapping conditions treated using prescription medications.

Again as we have already noted some of the medications used in the treatment of these overlapping conditions are the cause of Light Sensitivity so the sufferer may well find themselves going around in circles trying to find ways in which to deal with the condition.

There are practical steps a sufferer can take such as wearing tinted glasses; this of course will reduce the glare but not cut out the light and sometimes the sufferer may find themselves still suffering from the problem but not as frequently.

Eye Tests & Eye Treatments

As with any condition that involves the eyes you should first consult your doctor to ensure that the problem is not caused by any underlying conditions. If it is not and you are not being treated for Fibromyalgia or M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) then your doctor may well suggest a visit to your optician. This is something that you should do once a year just to make sure there are no problems with your vision.

Some sufferers of Photophobia find that they have problems with their eyes which are not in any way related to any other condition and that dealing with the eye problems can sometimes cure the Photophobia.

Other Helpful Advice

It is important that if you spend a lot of time reading or using a computer screen that you take the necessary precautions to help prevent damage to your eyes.

If you are reading try not to read by a dim light – a table lamp or spot light is sufficient to provide enough light to read without over stimulating the eyes or indeed causing you to strain in poor light. It is also wise to avoid watching the television in the dark. In a room where there are lights on a television may not seem particularly bright but if you watch television in the dark you may your eyes becoming sore and watery.

As for computer monitors it is important to maintain a distance that is enough to see the screen but not enough to hurt your eyes. If you work with computers in an office environment your health and safety officer can provide you with guidelines as to how far to sit from your computer and what posture to adopt. Likewise your employer may be responsible for providing screen filters and eye tests with a view to providing you with VDU glasses.

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Thank you for sharing this article.I have been dealing with fibromyalgia since the 1990.Very informative.
DebRayMiller - 12-Feb-18 @ 11:08 AM
Can light sensitivity cause any other kind of pain for fib and ME sufferers? looking at a bright monitor causes me to feel cold and achy all over as if im coming down with the flu!
dazzammm - 9-Aug-13 @ 12:20 PM
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