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Bad sight in darkness + can't stand bright light

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  • Bad sight in darkness + can't stand bright light

    I have evaporative dry eyes and i feel my eyesight has been detoriating the last 2 years. I can for example don't stand any bright sunlight on most days, it hurts my eyes a bit so i have to wear sunglasses. When it's dark i can't see very well anymore, especially driving at night has become a big problem.

    I asked an eyedoctor about it a year ago but i didn't really get an answer to my question.
    Is dry eyes + bad sight at night and sensitivity to bright sunlight a common problem in people with dry eyes? Is there a reason for it and can it be treated?
    I'm going to visit a new ophthalmologist next week so i'd like to know how this problem is "called".

  • #2
    It's one of those things that happens quite a bit but not enough for it to be called common. Photophobia is one of the least talked-about dry eye symptoms I think. I wonder if you're also having some reduced contrast sensitivity? (These are problems LASIK etc patients often have from corneal irregularity... I don't know if a really dry surface can do the same thing or not but if you really wanted to pursue it you could ask for low light contrast sensitivity testing.)

    I wish I had an answer. Do you have to have "dark" lenses at night? I wonder if some really high quality high contrast sunglass lenses would occlude enough light without reducing your vision so much. Or perhaps light-adjusting lenses. They don't darken in a car but still it might be just enough to help you get by. If you're not already wearing the foam-lined type, I find those foam gaskets very helpful in eliminating peripheral light.

    Others here may know more about special lens tints that could possibly be helpful as well.
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone


    • #3
      I'll look into photophobia.
      I don't know exactly what you mean by reduced contrast sensitivity, but what i'm experiencing at night is distorted vision, like i'm looking at an old analog TV where the channels are not perfectly tuned. A bit of grain, sandy effect. Do you mean that by reduced contrast sensitivity?

      At night i don't have to wear dark lenses. I live in Thailand and we have some very bright days here, only then my eyes hurt. I don't have problems with artificial light, sunlight seems to be the only problem.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Windmill View Post
        I don't know exactly what you mean by reduced contrast sensitivity, but what i'm experiencing at night is distorted vision, like i'm looking at an old analog TV where the channels are not perfectly tuned. A bit of grain, sandy effect. Do you mean that by reduced contrast sensitivity?
        I think of poor contrast sensitivity as "edge blur"... everything seems to run into everything else slightly, hard to distinguish sharp edges. It's particularly obvious at night or looking at dark colors. May or may not be relevant to you, just something that came to mind.
        Rebecca Petris
        The Dry Eye Zone


        • #5
          You don't say how old you are. I am almost 50 and have an early cataract in one eye that my eye doctor tells me is the cause of my poor night vision. This explains the one eye, but not the other where I have the same problem. I have the same issues as you, with photophobia (during the day and at night when home) and difficulty with night vision. I find it the worst when driving in the dark while it is raining. It feels like everyone has their bright lights on and are intentionally trying to blind me and drive me crazy! I found some night vision glasses online that do help some with the night driving. My husband loves to have every light on at night and I can't stand to have but one very low wattage light on. Let us know if your doc gives you any answers other than those posed here!
          Every day with DES is like a box of chocolates...You never know what you're going to get.


          • #6
            I have become VERY light sensitive since developing dry eye. My eye doctor (Dr. Latkany, author of "The Dry Eye Remedy" and a contributor to this site) says it's very common with dry eye. I also started noticing about two years ago that I wake up much earlier in the morning than I used to, due to the morning light. I thought that meant that I was so light sensitive that even through my eyelids, I now respond too strongly to light.

            At my most recent visit to Dr. L, I mentioned this and he put my head into the contraption that they use to look into your eyes. He told me to close my eyes as if I were sleeping. And voila! He said I have Lagophthalmos. That means my eyelids don't close fully when I sleep. So it's not that the light was going through my eyelids - my eyes are actually a tiny bit open...enough to let light in. You can't see it yourself, of course, and you can't ask your sleeping partner to stare at your eyes and see if they're open it doesn't work. You have to have an eye doc look at them.

            Anyway, since then, I sleep with a thin sleep-mask on which blocks out the light and it helps tremendously - I sleep later now. One thing, though, since I am so light sensitive (photophobic), I have to take the mask off very slowly. Otherwise, I'm going from total darkness to total light and that really hurts my eyes (sort of like a vampire!). So I take off the mask and leave my eyes closed for awhile and then slowly open them. ...actually before I open them, I put artificial tears in, otherwise I CAN'T open them.

            Some people have more obvious Lagophthalmos. Mine is not obvious - in fact I'd been seeing Dr. L for a long time before he noticed it because I happened to mention the morning light thing.

            So, keep in mind that if you have it, it causes much more tear evaporation at night (you're basically sleeping with your eyes open and not lubricating the exposed area with tears), so your eyes are even drier the next day and even more light-sensitive. You might want to try one of Rebecca's sleep masks that are designed to keep moisture surrounding the air around your eyes while you sleep. This won't cure your light sensitivity but it might ease up the issue a bit.

            I also have to wear sunglasses all the time outside. I use the Wiley-X glasses that have a gasket around them to block out dust and light. I love them.


            • #7
              Hi Driving at night is getting worse

              I have very sensitive eyes and cannot stand bright lights. When driving I'm thankful for the night time rear view mirror. I have not tried the goggles yet and don't quite understand them.I will try them in time. I use restasis twice a day...It helped. I felt the first tear in 7 years. I use theratears now but I'm going to Riteaid to get some Dwell, Oasis Tears plus, and some Optive. I wake up in the morning with my eyes feeling like dried up rasians. sorry for the spelling.......I have Sjegrens.


              • #8
                You won't find Dwelle in Rite-Aid. Buy it here.