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June 16, 2021
3 min read

Photophobia Symptoms, Causes, and Helpful Monitor Solutions

For a variety of reasons, many people suffer from photophobia, or light sensitivity.

Photophobia is a name for hyper-sensitivity to light, and those who suffer from it will experience discomfort when they are exposed to sunlight, fluorescent light, and LED lights. Photophobic individuals will need to squint or close their eyes when exposed to these light sources. Photophobic individuals often wear dimming glasses, and may experience frequent headaches.

Light-sensitive people sometimes are bothered only by bright light. In extreme cases, almost any light can be irritating.

What Causes Photophobia?

Photophobia a name for a group of symptoms that are caused by a variety of conditions, including traumatic brain injury, infection, or inflammation.  Light sensitivity also can be a symptom of underlying diseases that don't directly affect the eyes, such as virus-caused illnesses or migraine headaches.

People with a lighter eye color also may experience more light sensitivity in environments such as bright sunlight, because darker-colored eyes contain more pigment to protect against harsh lighting.

Some other common causes of photophobia include corneal abrasion, uveitis or a central nervous system disorder such as meningitis. Light sensitivity also is associated with a detached retina, contact lens irritations, sunburn and refractive surgery.

Computer and Workplace Solutions for Photophobia

E-Ink Technology

The best display technology for those suffering from photophobia who want to use a computer is “E-Ink” technology. This technology creates words and images with liquid so that there is minimal light that will flicker and irritate the eyes of photophobic persons.

How Does E-Ink Work?

In displays that use E-Ink technology, tiny microcapsules are suspended in a liquid that is encased within a film layer.  The microcapsules, which are roughly the width of a human hair, contain positively charged white particles and negatively charged black particles.

If you’ve seen an Amazon Kindle device you may have noticed that while it may not be “bright,” it is still quite clear and readable. The Amazon Kindle uses E-Ink technology for the comfort of its users' eyes - so that they would be able to read for a long time with little eye strain.

Dasung E-Ink “Paperlike” Monitors

The "gold standard" in E-Ink Monitors are the Dasung "Paperlike" Monitors. (pictured, right). These monitors are very 'low-strain', and the lack of flickering and blue light are a dream come true for sufferers of  photophobia.

New 25.5" Monitor Shipping in August 2021

Up until now, there's only been a 13.5-inch available but recently Dasung announced that a 25.5-inch monitor will ship in August.

Asus Eye Care Monitors

Another popular alternative to 'regular' monitors are the Asus Eye Care Monitors.  Unlike the Dasung monitors, these still use the more traditional components (lighting) to illuminate the screen. But, this line from Asus have several enhancements to reduce eye strain:

  • 'Flicker Free' Technology
  • Blue scale settings
  • Anti-glare screen
  • Color Augmentation Mode

Get in Touch with an Ergonomics and Assistive Technology Specialist

Light-sensitive users need support and to learn how to benefit from the variety of technology available.  The skilled training that our specialists provide greatly enhance the effectiveness of these aids, and we can make sure you are aware of the world of other assistive technology devices and software that are available to you.

When you contact Northwest Ergonomics and Assistive Technology, our specialists will consult with you to understand your specific needs and provide solutions that really work. It is important to our caring consultants that you really get the maximum benefit of these wonderful advancements in technology.  For that reason, we specialize in training and follow-up to make sure that everything is working as effectively as possible for you. We help people of all ages who have experienced an injury or other disability.

To contact us, use the form on our contact page, or call 206-707-8830





Read Full Bio
Doug Lear
15 years as an Assistive Technology Specialist- Providing services to those with disabilities for those with and those why want to operate a computer more efficiently and effectively by voice, vision, or movements.