140 New Jersey 17 #101, Paramus, NJ 07652 41 5th Ave, New York, NY 10003 (646) 419-3105 Book Appointment Advanced Headache Center

Migraine Light Sensitivity

Updated on Jul 9, 2021 by Dr. Amr Hosny (Headache Specialist) of Advanced Headache Center

Light sensitivity — when you react painfully to bright light outdoors or indoors — is a common symptom of migraine headaches. While other medical conditions or injuries can cause it, a headache specialist like Dr. Amr Hosny can diagnose your plight as migraine-related if you’re experiencing debilitating headaches along with light issues. Dr. Hosny works through the Advanced Headache Center, with offices in New York City and northern New Jersey. To address all aspects of your migraine light sensitivity, call the nearest Center for expert care.

What Is Light Sensitivity?

Light sensitivity, also known as photophobia, involves a common symptom of migraines that makes you light-sensitive. When this phenomenon hits you, usually in the aura stage of your migraine, you suffer from extreme discomfort in the presence of light. It’s not a medical condition but a symptom of an eye infection or another side effect from your migraine. Causes of light sensitivity include:

  • Migraine headaches
  • Eye diseases, such as uveitis, dry eye, cataracts, and conjunctivitis
  • Damage to the retina of your eye
  • Swelling inside your eye
  • Neurological conditions, such as pituitary tumors and meningitis
  • A serious brain injury
  • Supranuclear palsy

Doctors suspect a link between the eyes and a nerve going to the brain to trigger light sensitivity. If you have a throbbing headache accompanying light sensitivity, you’re likely suffering from migraine light sensitivity. The neurological illness requires attention because migraines and light sensitivity can affect your quality of life. Dr. Amr Hosny is a pain management specialist at the Advanced Headache Center, with eight offices across New York City and Bergen County, New Jersey.

Do I Have Migraine Light Sensitivity?

A migraine is a recurring, throbbing headache that can last for hours or days. They occur multiple times a month. Photophobia is one of the common symptoms of migraines, but it also accompanies milder tension headaches and cluster headaches. You’re likely suffering from migraine light sensitivity if:

  • You normally don’t have any problems with light.
  • The light level around you suddenly seems too bright, causing discomfort.
  • You experience pain whenever you’re in bright sunlight or indoor
  • You blink rapidly whenever there’s a bright light source.
  • The light discomfort causes a problem with your vision, which in turn can make your migraine attacks more incapacitating.
  • You experience other migraine symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, and throbbing pain in one side of your head.

If your migraines keep you from enjoying life and light sensitivity causes you to avoid going out, visit a headache specialist like Dr. Hosny. At the Advanced Headache Center, headache pain specialists use the latest medical technology and a multimodal approach to confirm the correct diagnosis and deliver the most effective migraine treatment for you.

How Is Light Sensitivity Connected to Migraines?

Like loud sounds and strong smells, light is among the primary migraine triggers. Light sensitivity is common in chronic migraineshemiplegic migraines, and basilar migraines. The melanopsin system that senses light in your retina also causes brightness. The system links to your brain’s trigeminal system, which doctors suspect triggers your pain. The relationship between light and migraines includes:

  • About 80 to 90 percent of people suffering from migraine experience hypersensitivity to light during an attack
  • Up to 60 percent of migraine attacks are triggered by light or glare
  • Unilateral photophobia has been linked to cluster headaches
  • Doctors use light sensitivity as part of a migraine diagnosis

The first step in your treatment is to determine if you have a migraine and if it’s the cause of your light sensitivity. Dr. Hosny uses all the means at his disposal to make an accurate diagnosis since your treatment plan to combat migraine pain, and other symptoms depends on the diagnosis. The treatment for light sensitivity with migraines differs from the treatment for other causes of photophobia.

What’s the Treatment for Migraine Light Sensitivity?

Dr. Hosny can choose from several different treatment approaches. Sometimes, he relies on multiple treatments concurrently in a multimodal approach. For migraine light sensitivity, the main course of action often reveals the migraine causes and triggers for your particular case. He may recommend that you wear tinted glasses outdoors and indoors to relieve the discomfort caused by light sensitivity. But the best treatment for light sensitivity involves treating your migraine with:

During a migraine attack, the throbbing pain makes it impossible to live your life normally. Migraine light sensitivity makes your life even more difficult. Even when you’re not in the midst of an attack, you need migraine treatment for a more permanent solution.

Can I Avoid Future Migraine Attacks?

Dr. Hosny is a board-certified, Harvard-trained interventional spine specialist. He and his team offer individualized migraine treatment. They understand the light sensitivity issue and work with you to mitigate the effects.

Contact the nearest Advanced Headache Center to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hosny. From Midtown Manhattan to Paramus, NJ, there are headache centers for the help you need to overcome the incapacitating effects of migraines. Go to the headache experts for compassionate and complete care.

Dr. Amr Hosny has either authored or reviewed and approved this content. Advanced Headache Center 41 5th Avenue,
New York, NY 10003
(646) 419-3105