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symptom

Light sensitivity

Symptom

If you have light sensitivity, it can feel like the brightness on the world is turned allll the way up. You might find yourself squinting at work, closing the shades in your apartment, or making your trip to the grocery store as quick as possible—those fluorescent lights are not your friend! This sensitivity to light is known as photophobia, and it’s a hallmark of many conditions that affect the brain. This means that people with Lyme, migraines, and traumatic brain injury can all be affected. It’s also one of those annoying-but-totally-natural aspects of aging. If your light sensitivity is a symptom of a migraine, it should subside as your migraine does. If it’s chronic—aka it never goes away—you can make little changes to control the light in your environment. Don’t be shy about dimming the lights in your office or asking to move work spaces. (If your workplace has an HR department, you might want to talk to them about this.) If you can, try to avoid going outdoors when the sun is brightest. Noon to 3 pm is typically the danger zone, but it depends on the time of year and where you live. Finally, we’re all about wearing wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses. Some people consider a pair of blue light–blocking glasses to be their secret weapon, while others get relief from gray- or red-tinted lenses. Your glasses can make a fashion statement (and yeah, there are stylish ones out there!), or they can be purely functional. Either way, if they reduce your light sensitivity, that’s a win in our book.

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