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    Photophobia - What You Need To Know

    According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, a phobia is "an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation."

    photophobia glasses

    In the case of photophobia however, the condition is actually deceivingly not a phobia but rather, a sensitivity.

    What is photophobia then? In short, it's a sensitivity to bright light.

    For anybody who knows anything about eyes, sight, and optics in general, they know that our ability to see is based on a pretty spectacular system of having light bounce off objects, which in turn captures images which are sent to the retina (as an upside-down image) and then the brain comes into play, as it processes the images, turns it around and sends the information out into what we "see." Pretty miraculous - especially considering that this whole procedure takes milliseconds.

    However, for this whole procedure to work, light is a major and necessary component - with too much or too little playing a role in enhancing or distorting what we see and how well we see it. The most annoying condition to affect our eyesight is "glare," whether discomfort glare or disability glare. The former occurs when we are faced with light that is simply too strong for us, leading us to feel the need to cover our eyes or move to another position. This can occur in bright sunlight to someone not wearing sunglasses; or to someone who steps from a dark room into a very bright room. Staring at a white wall in direct sunlight can have the same effect. In the case of this condition, our eyes generally recover pretty quickly and adjust to the visual needs at hand.

    Disability glare, on the other hand, is a condition that actually impairs our ability to see clearly and thereby impairs our ability to perform optimally owing to a lack of clear sight. In many cases, this is the result of eye disease, infection or post-operative circumstances. Age can also play a factor in this, with middle aged to elderly people being far more sensitive to light.

    In some cases, the early onset of light sensitivity can be caught during a regular, yet thorough, eye examination. If you suddenly feel that your eyes are more sensitive than usual, then this should be checked out immediately as it may hint as a more serious eye problem, or even a more serious health problem, such as meningitis. In some cases, certain medications have the side effect of causing sensitivity to light - so if you start taking a new medication, always read the inner leaflet carefully and know about the side effects that may occur. If you do find that you are suffering from light sensitivity following the intake of certain medication, see both your family doctor and eye doctor immediately and inform them that you feel it may be because of the medication.

    In some cases, people find themselves with photophobia without any underlying eye condition. For example, if one is a regular headache or migraine sufferer, then lie may be a common foe - even serving to trigger the onset of a headache. Some people with learning difficulties may find that they are sensitive to things like light bouncing off a page of text. Others may find that they are perfectly okay with light during the day but their sensitivities creep in at night - especially while driving.

    Of course, if your photophobia glasses is a result of an underlying eye condition, then the first step of treatment is to deal with the original problem. In going straight to the source, you avoid treating the symptom and attempt to actually fix the problem. In other cases, however, your best bet is a pair of prescription eyeglasses fitted with either tinted or anti-glare lenses. It is always best to go for an eye examination with a specialist as there may be a specific color tint that will work better for your specific eye condition. And remember, don't forget your annual eye examination either way, even if you don't think that your eyeglasses prescription is going to change - it's your most sure-fire way to stay on top of your optical health and be able to treat eye disease and infection before it becomes too serious.