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Glasses for Light Sensitivity: 4 Easy Solutions to Consider

Ever ended up with a headache, dizziness, or watery, itching, or burning eyes after some time in the sun or at your local mall? You’re not alone. These are all symptoms of light sensitivity — and they can ruin a great day out.

Although many people suffer from this condition, the good news is that there are ways to address it, including getting glasses for light sensitivity.

Whether you have mild or severe sensitivity to light, read on to find out more about what light sensitivity is and what causes it. Then we’ll look at some potential solutions for you that might change your life.

What Is Light Sensitivity?

Also known as photophobia or photosensitivity (“photo” means “light” in Greek), light sensitivity describes a level of intolerance to light. That light can come from natural sources like sunlight, or be artificial light from your phone or computer screen, street lamps, car headlights, or indoor lights.

We’re all light-sensitive to some degree and that sensitivity helps our eyes adjust to changing light conditions.

For most people, too much bright light simply results in mild eye strain, temporary squinting, or those other uncomfortable eye symptoms we mentioned earlier. However, some people experience extreme eye pain, dizziness, or headaches — often to the point of a migraine — when they’re exposed to bright light.

Considering the amount of light in our modern world, both indoors and out, this is an inconvenience, to say the very least. People who suffer from severe light sensitivity often need to keep their curtains closed, avoid going to bright places, and limit their screen time — or risk being completely incapacitated for a while.

Wearing glasses for light sensitivity can make a big difference, no matter what level of symptoms you experience. We’ll explore some options, but first, let’s get a little clearer on the causes of light sensitivity.

What Causes Light Sensitivity?

Glasses for light sensitivity: man wearing a pair of eyeglasses

Physiologically, light sensitivity starts with light receptors in the retina that transmit a signal through specific pathways to the brain. While the research is ongoing, it seems that this system combined with another one called the melanopsin system creates a false sense of greater brightness that can hurt.

Interestingly, the cells that are triggered and the nerve that sends the signal to the brain have nothing to do with vision. Even blind people can suffer from migraines because of bright light.

Blue, amber, and red wavelengths seem to cause the most pain for light-sensitive people. On the other hand, research shows that green light can be soothing.

There are many possible reasons you may develop light sensitivity. One of the most common is migraines — and as many migraine sufferers know, migraines can both cause light sensitivity and be triggered by it.

Some other causes of light sensitivity can include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries, including concussion

  • General health conditions like fibromyalgia and epilepsy

  • Eye health issues like inflammation, dry eyes, or conjunctivitis

  • More serious eye conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or retinitis pigmentosa

  • Some genetic conditions like ocular albinism and aniridia

  • Taking certain medications

  • Staring at a computer screen for too long

  • Driving long distances

  • Having light-colored eyes, especially blue (although not all blue eyes are light-sensitive)

Can You Treat Light Sensitivity?

There are a few easy ways to reduce the effects of light on your eyes when you have some control of your environment. For example, you can choose incandescent rather than LED or fluorescent light bulbs — or even better, go with natural light wherever possible. You can also adjust the brightness settings on your devices to make them dimmer.

It’s worth doing these things anyway, but you’re not always in complete control of your environment.

Luckily there’s another way to reduce the effects of photophobia: Invest in glasses for light sensitivity. Some of these migraine glasses have lenses with a rose-colored tint — giving new meaning to the term “rose-colored glasses” — but many don’t.

Let’s have a look at some of those alternative options for light-sensitive eyes.

4 Types of Glasses for Light Sensitivity

Glasses for light sensitivity: man looking at his blue laptop

Pair Eyewear offers several types of glasses that help to address light sensitivity. Which would work best for you depends on your daily activities.

Important note: If you suffer from extreme light sensitivity with accompanying pain, it’s always best to consult your optometrist before investing in photophobia glasses. They’ll do the necessary tests, check for any underlying conditions, and recommend the best solution for you. They can also refer you to an ophthalmologist if you need more specialized treatment.

1. Sunglasses

If you’re outdoors, a quick and obvious solution is a pair of sunglasses. These light sensitivity glasses limit the light that reaches your eyes, reduce glare, and usually give you UV protection from harmful ultraviolet rays too. For even more glare reduction plus sharper image contrast, try polarized lenses.

Pair Eyewear’s range of sunglasses offers you a choice of frame and lens colors, including reflective lenses. They’re anti-reflective, polarized, and offer both UVA and UVB protection.

Sunglasses don’t work well in low light conditions or as indoor glasses. If you do wear them inside, your eyes may adapt to the darker conditions — which, in turn, may make them even more light-sensitive.

To shop sunglasses at Pair: Start building your Pair by looking at our customizable sunglasses options, starting from $60.

2. Blue Light Glasses

As a type of glasses for light sensitivity, blue light glasses are specifically designed to prevent light in that blue range of harmful wavelengths from reaching your eyes. They’re a good solution if you spend a lot of time at your computer.

As well as potentially causing migraines, blue light disrupts your sleep patterns by interfering with the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. That’s not a bad thing during the day when you want to focus, but at night, your mind and body need to rest. Blue light blocking glasses protect both your eyes and your sleep.

Blue light filters can be applied to prescription or non-prescription glasses. Some are tinted yellow, but Pair’s blue light glasses are not.

To shop blue light glasses at Pair: Select the Blue Light Lens Upgrade for $49 when you’re customizing your choice of Base Frames. Base Frames start from $60.

3. Light-Responsive Lenses

These are a great option if you wear prescription glasses and often move between indoors and outdoors during your day. When your specs have light-responsive lenses, you only need to carry one pair to be covered for all light conditions.

Light-responsive or transition lenses look clear when you’re indoors. When they’re exposed to bright light, the eyeglass lenses darken to create tinted glasses. These protect your eyes much like sunglasses and they also offer UV protection.

Then when you move into lower light conditions, the lenses clear again so you can easily see, no matter how dark it is.

To shop transition glasses at Pair: When you’re building your Pair, choose light-responsive lenses (+$149) on the Lens Upgrade page.

4. Sun Tops

Woman wearing a pair of sunglasses

Sun Tops — an exclusive Pair Eyewear concept — snap onto your regular prescription glasses magnetically, turning them into sunglasses in an instant. These glasses for light sensitivity block a lot of glare and also offer protection from UV rays.

Sun Tops are extremely light, making them easy to carry if you’re often on the move, and they come in a range of frame and lens colors to suit your lifestyle and your personality. They’re made for the specific pair of Base Frames you choose, so they fit seamlessly and look like regular sunglasses.

If you want a couple of options on hand, maybe one Sun Top and one normal Top Frame, consider a Glasses Case or a Top Frame Case to keep them safe. You can add these to your cart any time before checkout.

To shop Sun Tops at Pair: As you’re building your Pair glasses, choose your Top Frames from the Sun Top collection.

Why Choose Pair Eyewear?

The Rose Gold Sparkle Sun Top

Pair offers a range of eyeglasses to suit every type of face, and they’re extremely customizable. Here are some things that set Pair apart from other online retailers:

  • Base Frames are complemented by our gorgeous Top Frame collections. Top Frames attach magnetically to the Base Frame and come in a vast range of options to showcase your personality. Pick from our Classic collections, Limited Editions, and Collabs.

  • We cater for every type of prescription from non-prescription to single-vision to progressive lenses to readers.

  • Pair frames are made from cellulose acetate while our lenses are scratch- and impact-resistant polycarbonate. Both these materials are hard-wearing and made to last.

  • All our glasses come standard with an anti-reflective coating to reduce glare and protect your eyes.

  • If your order total is more than $45, you get standard free shipping anywhere within the USA.

  • If for any reason you’re not satisfied with your Pair when they land on your doorstep, you can take advantage of our 30-day warranty to exchange them or return them for a refund.

Glasses for Light Sensitivity Make Every Day Easier

Light sensitivity is a very real issue, especially if your condition is serious enough to result in migraines. It has several different causes and can disrupt your life if not addressed.

One way to deal with it is to invest in glasses for light sensitivity. At Pair Eyewear, we offer a range of options including sunglasses, blue light glasses, light-responsive lenses, and clip-on Top Frames.

If you’re not sure which will be best for you, consult your eye doctor. There’s no reason to go another day worrying about bright light. You deserve to live life to the fullest!