Light Sensitivity and Scleritis
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Light sensitivity can be caused by lots of different things. Having an eye condition or migraines and getting older are some of the more common reasons. Some people are just naturally more sensitive to light than others without there being a cause. Our information concentrates on light sensitivity caused by eye conditions, but the ideas may also help for people without any eye conditions. If you start to become more light sensitive, have your eyes checked by an optometrist (optician). They can check whether there is an underlying eye condition which may be causing this. If your light sensitivity comes on very suddenly, it’s important to have this checked straight away in case it is a sign of a more serious underlying condition, such as meningitis.

Treatment for light sensitivity
Treatment for light sensitivity depends on the cause. Usually if the light sensitivity is a symptom of an underlying eye problem such as cataract, then treatment for your cataract can solve the glare problem. Treating eye conditions, like uveitis, often means that your eye becomes less light sensitive. Unfortunately not all light sensitivity caused by eye problems can be treated, for example, the light sensitivity caused by macular degeneration. If this is the case then you may have to use other ways to help you cope with bright light.

Other ways to treat light sensitivity
The most obvious way to cope with glare is to limit the amount of light that’s entering your eye. Shading your eyes with your hand or wearing a hat with a wide brim can help cut down on glare with little expense.

Tinted lenses help to minimise the light entering your eyes and so cut down on the amount of glare you experience. Sunglasses should have an UV filter so they also protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays of the sun. The best lens will have protection against both UVA and UVB light. Some people prefer to have light activated sunglasses, which get darker in brighter conditions, though this is a personal choice. Polarized lenses can cut down on reflected glare from flat surfaces, for example light reflected off water or snow or off the bonnet of a car.

There are sunglasses, sometimes called solar or UV shields or wrap-around shades, which are larger than normal. They have built in sides which stop the light entering that way and they are also made to stop the light entering from above your eyes. They can also be worn over your normal spectacles and come in a variety of tints. These can be very helpful but the fit of them is important. Everyone has a different shaped head and it’s useful to try on several pairs of wrap-around sunglasses to find the ones which fit closest and stop the most light from coming in around the edge of the frame.

A low vision specialist can give you advice on coping with glare. They can talk to you about the best way to use lighting to avoid glare. This is especially important since it can be difficult to balance the amount of light someone with a sight problem needs for tasks such as reading and the fact that they may have a problem with glare.

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