Resource Center: Guides, Tips and More | Milan Eye Center (2024)

Resource Center: Guides, Tips and More | Milan Eye Center (1)

Our eyes naturally provide us with a protective tinting, known as the pigmented epithelium. It wraps around our eye, similar to saran wrap around a ping-pong ball. But sometimes our pigmented epithelium isn’t enough to filter out the light.

Light sensitivity, also known as photophobia, tends to be a major reason patients seek eye care consultation.

Are People With Blue Eyes More Sensitive to Light?

The pigmented epithelium (protective tinting) in your eyes can be viewed when looking at the color part of your eye known as the iris. Differences in iris color can be related to experiencing more or less light sensitivity than someone else.

Generally speaking, patients with lighter color irises, such as blue or gray, experience more light sensitivity than someone with brown eyes. The density of pigment in light eyes is less than that of a darker colored iris. When light hits a dark-colored iris, the higher density in pigment blocks the light rays. This is similar to how a pair of sunglasses blocks light. When light hits a lighter colored iris, more light is transmitted through to the back of the eye resulting in more light sensitivity. Additionally, the pigment in the back of the eye (retina) may also be less dense in a patient with lighter colored eyes, thus resulting in even more light sensitivity.

How Harmful is Light Sensitivity?

Depending on the severity, light sensitivity could be relatively harmless or a symptom of an underlying ocular disease. Mild light sensitivity usually doesn’t affect one’s ability to do everyday tasks. Patients with lighter colored eyes usually go about their day just fine, by using sunglasses or protective tints to aid in relief of light sensitivity.

On the other hand, patients with ocular or oculocutaneous albinism have minimal to no pigment in the eye for protection, which can cause photophobia to be debilitating to daily activities such as reading, working on a computer, or viewing distance objects on a sunny day.

What Can I Do To Treat Mild Light Sensitivity?

When light sensitivity occurs, the natural solution is to use tinted lenses. Sunglasses provide a protective layer to block and filter the amount of light entering the eye, thus providing patients with relief from light sensitivity.

In the past year or two, contact lenses have been developed to include transitional tinting, similar to activated tint of glasses when UV light hits the lens. These glasses or contact lenses are called transition lenses.

Although mild forms of light sensitivity may be normal, it can also suggest an underlying ocular disease. So it’s important to seek advice from an eye care professional.

More Causes of Light Sensitivity


The first ocular condition that comes to mind when I hear patients say their eyes are sensitive to light is uveitis. Uveitis may be idiopathic, from trauma, or as a result of an underlying autoimmune disease. It consists of underlying inflammation to the pigment layers in the eye (uvea/iris), and is typically treated with ocular steroid drops.

Corneal Conditions

Light sensitivity may also suggest an underlying corneal disorder. Corneal conditions that may cause light sensitivity include dry eyes, superficial punctate keratitis (spk), herpes simplex keratitis (HSK), herpes zoster keratitis (HZK), corneal abrasion, recurrent corneal erosion (RCE), corneal ulcer, and contact lens acute red eye. Typically these conditions will also produce a foreign body sensation and tearing along with light sensitivity. There are various treatments involved in these conditions. If you feel that you may have light sensitivity related to these conditions you should seek eye care consultation as soon as possible.

Irregular Pupils

The function of the pupil is to constrict and focus light on the retina. When the pupil constricts, it prevents light from entering the eye, thus preventing photophobia. Patients with irregular pupils may have a defective constrictor muscle, thus giving them more light sensitivity.

Post-Eye Exam, Pupil Dilation

Dilating pupils with special eye drops allows your doctor to focus on the retina and look for diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and retinal diseases. Once dilated, patients may experience light sensitivity, which should subside once the dilation times nears its end, typically in about 4-6 hours. Patients with lighter colored eyes tend to remain dilated longer than patients with darker colored eyes.

Post-op Patients

Patients also tend to experience light sensitivity following corneal surgery, cataract surgery, and conjunctival surgery. Light sensitivity early in the surgical period is normal, and typically subsides in 1-2 weeks. Patients are always treated with topical medication to help prevent and resolve light sensitivity during their post-op period.

As you can see, light sensitivity has many possible causes. If you’re experiencing symptoms, we encourage you to seek eye care consultation. At Milan Eye Center we see many patients with light sensitivity or photophobia and have extensive experience in treating patients to ensure it resolves in a timely manner. Please reach out to us if you are suffering from photophobia.

Resource Center: Guides, Tips and More | Milan Eye Center (2024)


What is the 20/20/20 rule for eyes? ›

Take regular breaks using the “20-20-20” rule: every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.

What are the 10 tips for taking care of your eyes? ›

You can take care of your eyesight by following these ten tips:
  1. Wear sunglasses all year-round.
  2. Don't smoke.
  3. Be mindful of what you eat.
  4. Don't strain your eyesight and take breaks.
  5. Take care at work.
  6. Lubricate your eyes.
  7. Don't rub your eyes.
  8. Keep your glasses and lenses in good condition.
Aug 17, 2022

How to fix blurry vision naturally? ›

What can I do at home to treat blurred vision?
  1. Get enough rest.
  2. Avoid allergens, like smoke and dust.
  3. Always wear sunglasses outside in the sun.
  4. Always wear eye protection when working or doing hobbies that may damage your eyes.

What is the 10 10 10 rule for eyes? ›

Practise the 10-10-10 rule

In addition to the 20-20-20 rule, incorporate the 10-10-10 rule into your screen time routine. Every 10 minutes, take a 10-second break to close your eyes or blink rapidly for 10 seconds. This quick exercise can help prevent eye fatigue and maintain optimal eye health throughout the day.

Which vitamin is good for eyesight? ›

Vitamin A is essential for good vision. It is a component of the protein rhodopsin, which allows the eye to see in low-light conditions. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a deficiency in vitamin A can lead to night blindness.

What is the healthiest eye color? ›

Of all eye colors, brown seems to be the only one that could be called “advantageous” from a survival perspective. While more research is needed, darker irises are linked to a number of health benefits, including these: Reduced risk of macular degeneration. Lower melanoma risk.

How to lubricate the eyes? ›

Home Remedies for Dry Eyes: What Works?
  1. Warm Compresses.
  2. Wash Crusty Lashes.
  3. Blink More.
  4. Eat (Naturally) Oily Fish.
  5. Stay Hydrated.
  6. Wear Wraparound Sunglasses.
  7. Use a Humidifier and a Filter.
  8. Dos and Don'ts for Drops.
May 30, 2023

What can I drink for blurry vision? ›

Broccoli, Spinach, and Kale Juice

This combination contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which according to the American Optometric Association, “filters harmful high-energy blue wavelengths of light and help protect and maintain healthy cells in the eyes.”

How to cure eye floaters? ›

Eye floaters don't normally go away, but they don't usually need treatment. If your eye floaters are bothering you, there are two types of possible treatment: surgery to remove the floater and laser treatment.

Which fruit is best for eyes? ›

Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and grapefruit are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including collagen found in the cornea of the eye. Vitamin C also supports the health of blood vessels in the eye.

What improves eyesight the most? ›

Many of the vitamins and antioxidants that improve eyesight naturally are found in common foods, including: Carrots, kale, spinach, and collard greens (vitamin A and lutein) Liver (vitamin A), including cod liver oil. Swiss chard, zucchini, and brussel sprouts (lutein)

How to reverse aging eyes naturally? ›

7 Tips to Minimize the Aging Effects in the Eye Area
  1. Decrease Sun Exposure and Tanning. ...
  2. Quit Smoking. ...
  3. Consider a Humidifier. ...
  4. Take Care with Cosmetics Around the Eye Area. ...
  5. Decrease Stress Levels. ...
  6. Hydrate and Eat Clean. ...
  7. Use an Effective Eye Cream.

What's the 20 20 water trick for eyesight? ›

Set a timer to remind you to look away every 20 minutes at an object that is about 20 feet away for a full 20 seconds. Buy some artificial tears at your local drugstore to use when your eyes feel dry. A humidifier can also help. Blink often to help replenish your eye's own tears.

What does perfect 20 20 vision look like? ›

20/20 vision is normal vision acuity (the clarity or sharpness of vision) measured at a distance of 20 feet. If you have 20/20 vision, you can see clearly at 20 feet what should normally be seen at a distance.

How can I correct my vision to 20 20? ›

How can you improve your vision to 20/20? In 2020 the American Optometric Association declared it was the “Year of the Eye Exam.” The simple answer is that eyeglasses, contact lenses or laser eye surgery can correct your vision to 20/20.

How far down the eye chart is 20 20? ›

The top line on the chart is designated 6/60. The second line up from the bottom (on most charts) is 6/6 and represents 'normal' sight – commonly known as 20/20 vision, particularly in the USA, as 6 metres is equivalent to 20 feet.


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