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Question:
I am suffering from extreme photophobia since my recent cataract surgery and YAG laser procedure. I have been to two specialists and they have ruled out a lot of things. They thought blepharospasm might be the cause so I tried Botox which didn’t help. My eyes will open except any light causes them to close. Any other reasons why I might be experiencing this extreme light sensitivity?

Answer:
Thankfully the most important word you wrote is "recent." The reason being that I have seen this occur rarely in cataract patients and, in my experience, it resolves over time. I have had patients coming in with sunglasses and a hat with the brim over the eyes, sometimes for months after surgery with no discernible cause. Eventually these resolve, sometimes only requiring sunglasses on sunny days like many people. The main treatable causes for photophobia after cataract surgery are persistent iritis which can be treated with anti-inflammatory drops, significant dry eyes and other surface conditions of the eyes and eyelids such as blepharitis. These conditions should be looked for and treated if present. Sometimes, I believe people have a strong reaction to the change in brightness after cataract surgery and develop some anxiety about this that may cause a persistent disturbance. If all treatable eye conditions have been ruled out then I would just use tinted glasses—sometimes an amber tint works best—and give it at least several months for this to go away.

Answered by: Gary Hirshfield, MDDr. Gary Hirshfield

Categories: Eye Conditions

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Answered: Mar 20, 2013

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