Photophobia causes: Conditions associated with photophobia

Photophobia causes

Below I reproduce the table of Conditions associated with photophobia adopted from the article Shedding Light on PhotophobiaIt was published in the Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology in 2012 and is (to the best of my knowledge) the most recent review of the research related to photophobia. You may read a summary of the article in the post: What is photophobia: definition, symptoms, causes and treatment.

Conditions associated with photophobia


Anterior Segment:

  • Ocular inflammation: (iritis, uveitis)
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Corneal diseases (corneal neuropathy, interstitial keratitis)
  • Blepharitis
  • Bilateral acute iris transillumination defects of the iris
  • Dry eyes

Dry eyes: the MOST Common cause of photophobia (including Grave’s orbitopathy)


Corneal neuropathy

Interstitial keratitis (Cogan’s syndrome)

Posterior Segment:

  • Vitritis
  • Uveitis
  • Photoreceptor dysfunction/retinal dystrophy
  • Albinism, achromatopsia, cone dystrophy, retinitis pigmentosa
  • Alström Syndrome
  • Sjogren-Larsson Syndrome
  • Retinal dystrophy

Optic Nerve

  • Optic neuritis
  • Papilledema


  • Pituitary tumor (including apoplexy)
  • Hypophysitis

Occipital lobe

  • Hyperexcitability


  • Migraine
  • Blepharospasm:
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Meningeal irritation (meningitis, subarachnoid hemorrhage)

Thalamic Pathology (tumor, stroke, hemorrhage)


  • Agoraphobia
  • Anxiety disorder (panic disorder)
  • Depression
  • Hang-over headache



  • Neurasthenia (chronic fatigue)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Measles
  • Rabies
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

IFAP syndrome (ichthyosis follicularis with alopecia and photophobia) PPK (psoriasiform lesions and palmoplantar keratoderma)
Trisomy 18
Zinc deficiency with exocrine insufficiency

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