Light Sensitivity is a Common Symptom of TBI and Concussion
After headache, light sensitivity is the second-most common symptom after a concussion or traumatic brain injury. This light sensitivity, known in medicine as photophobia or photosensitivity, can be to all types of lighting or just to fluorescent lighting and can linger long after the initial injury has occurred. It is thought to be a result of the brain’s inability to adjust to various levels of brightness after an injury.
Light sensitivity can be an immediate symptom of TBI and can also linger as part of post-concussion syndrome (PCS). PCS refers to concussion- or TBI-related symptoms that last for weeks, months or even a year or more. Experts believe that more than 50% of all people with PCS have a visual disorder. Light sensitivity is the most common vision-related complaint of people with TBI.
Relief for TBI Light Sensitivity and Photophobia
There are no medications to directly treat TBI and concussion-related light sensitivity. TheraSpecs® precision-tinted eyewear, which filters the most problematic wavelengths of light for people who are sensitive to light due to TBI, is the most effective treatment. They can also help alleviate concussion and TBI-related headaches and migraines that are triggered or worsened by light.
Many people reach for sunglasses to cope with light sensitivity, but wearing sunglasses indoors actually makes a person more sensitive to light in the same way that everything looks brighter when you leave a movie theater on a sunny day. Indoor TheraSpecs photophobia glasses have a lighter tint than sunglasses and filter the wavelengths of light that people are most sensitive – including in fluorescent lighting – without increasing photophobia. Outdoor TheraSpecs are dark enough to handle sunlight and also filter the most painful wavelengths of light.