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Photophobia is the fear of light. This phobia is typically caused by a bad experience with light, like getting temporarily blinded by looking at the sun or other sources of bright light. But another common cause of photophobia is eye disorder that could cause more sensitivity to light leading to eye pain.

People suffering this phobia would be impossible to avoid light since light is essential for navigation. So sufferers would constantly hide out in a dark room, and often be discriminated socially. People having this phobia may have obsessive thoughts about death or dying, while others may believe that certain lights came from alien sources or evil spirits. Photophobics exposing to considerable light would result in panic attack with symptoms of shaking, trembling, rapid breathing, feeling nauseous, crying or fleeing.

A combination of psychotherapy and drugs is helpful in overcoming the fear of light. A study has shown that patients taking supplements containing Lutein and Zeaxanthin can significantly reduce their light sensitivity. Naturally, it is important to first determine the root cause of one’s photophobia before prescribing or taking medicines. Some anti-anxiety medicines may be prescribed by doctors to help the phobic cope with panic attacks s/he experiences at the sight or thought of light. Finally, gradual direct approach exposure therapy may also be used, provided the patient is able to cope with the pain of facing light directly. Computer aided simulations and other techniques like hypnotherapy can also greatly help the photophobe relieve the fear for good.

See also

Phobias of the five senses
Photophobia (fear of sight) · Phonophobia (fear of sounds) · Osmophobia (fear of odors) · Gaumaphobia (fear of taste) · Haphephobia (fear of touch)