There are a number of reasons why a person might have eyes sensitive to light and watery, even if it’s just in one eye. Computer fatigue is a very common reason, as are allergies, certain medications, illnesses, and neurological conditions. Light sensitivity is also one of the most common complaints of people who get migraines. It is one of the most common symptoms and can be debilitating.
If you are dealing with light sensitivity and watery eyes, chances are it is either something in your environment or something you are doing that is causing it (such as sitting at a computer for too long). These tips provide strategies for coping with this troublesome issue and finding some ways to keep light sensitivity from keeping you stuck indoors all the time.
Use Precision-Tinted Glasses to Minimize Glare
If your eyes are sensitive to light and watery, you need to protect them and get a little relief. Light sensitivity glasses are made specifically for protecting the eyes from the light that causes reactions. These are not typical sunglasses — they are made to minimize the effects of light on the eyes. While sunglasses may help to some extent by offering some shade from the light, precision tinted lenses more specifically address the condition of light sensitivity. They are also available as contacts for those who don’t want to wear glasses.
Use the 20 – 20 – 20 Rule
Extensive computer use can cause your eyes to be very dry and strained, leaving you with eyes sensitive to light and watery. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends the 20 – 20 – 20 rule to help combat eye strain and fatigue. Every 20 minutes that you are on your computer, stop and for 20 seconds look at something 20 feet away. This gives your eyes a break and helps to reduce eye strain. If you can, get up and move around a bit. Go for a walk, stand up and just move, or do something else. This helps keep you alert in addition to saving your eyes.
Include More Dark Green Vegetables in Your Diet
Research shows that the carotenoids zeaxanthin and lutein, found in dark green vegetables like collards, kale, and spinach, can help minimize symptoms of light sensitivity. Incorporating these foods into your regular diet can even help prevent various eye diseases, including the age-related conditions, cataracts and macular degeneration. It can even help improve vision naturally.
Avoid Known Allergens
Allergies can do a lot more than make you sneeze and feel miserable. An allergy can also cause your eyes to be light sensitive and watery. Pollen is one of the most common culprits so if you are prone to seasonal allergies you want to watch the grass, plants, and trees. Depending on where you live, you could be fighting them a good portion of the year. Your best bet is to avoid the outdoors when the pollen in your area is high. Weather.com has an Allergy Tracker available under their Health menu. You can set alerts for your city or zip code to be delivered to your email address. That will help you stay ahead of high pollen days.
Choose Your Lighting Wisely
When you are indoors, you often have some control over your environment. Avoid fluorescent lights if you can, opting instead for track lighting, spot lamps, or desk lamps that have warm pink, white, or peach bulbs. These remove some of the glare and make light much more tolerable for people who are sensitive to it.
Eyes Sensitive to Light and Watery? Time to Take Action!
Light sensitivity can make many of your favorite activities more difficult. When you have eyes sensitive to light and watery, you may experience discomfort, blurred vision, and even headaches. By taking some steps to curb the problem and control the color, type, amount, and brightness of the light you are exposed to, you can make living with your condition more tolerable. These are some pretty easy fixes for both home and office. Take charge of your light sensitivity – don’t let it take charge of you.
How do you handle your light sensitivity? Do you know what causes it?
Boyd, K. (2020, March 3). Computers, Digital Devices and Eye Strain. American Academy of Ophthalmology. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/computer-usage
Stringham, J. M., Bovier, E. R., Wong, J. C., & Hammond, Jr, B. R. (2010). The Influence of Dietary Lutein and Zeaxanthin on Visual Performance. Journal of Food Science, 75(1), R24–R29. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1750-3841.2009.01447.x