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Classification according to ICD-10
H53.1 Subjective visual disturbances
ICD-10 online (WHO version 2019)

A photophobia , sensitivity to light or photophobia (light phobia) is a hypersensitivity of the eyes against exposure to light . It can occur due to illness or physiologically in some animals . Affected people and organisms like to go to dark rooms.


Typically, photophobia can be used as a symptom of various in the wake of neurological disease conditions such as migraine or meningitis , as well as ophthalmic diseases, such as aphakia (aphakia), conjunctivitis from any cause, and other inflammation in the eye area such. B. iridocyclitis occur. In addition, photophobia in babies is a diagnostic sign of congenital glaucoma . Even albinos often show pronounced photophobia. There may also be a defect in the enzyme tyrosine aminotransferase (TAT) ( hypertyrosinemia / tyrosinosis type II). Tyrosine aminotransferase is needed to break down the amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine .

Physiologically in animals

Many animals such as cockroaches and millipedes are permanently photophobic and therefore mostly active at twilight or at night . In some animals, photophobia only occurs during certain phases, e.g. B. the wood tick ( Ixodes ricinus ) after sucking blood , so that it then avoids sunlight.


In some host animals, photophobia can be influenced by parasitosis . In the case of the flea shrimp Gammarus pulex, for example, the infestation by the scratch worm Pomphorhynchus laevis makes the flea shrimp less shy of light. This makes it more likely to fall prey to fishing. After the host change , the parasite can develop further, which leads to acanthocephalosis in the fish .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Hartmut Göbel: Classification of migraines. In: Franz BM Ensink, Dieter Soyka (Ed.): Migraine. Current aspects of a well-known ailment . Springer, Berlin / Heidelberg, 1994, ISBN 3-642-93523-0 , pp. 105-118.
  2. Thomas Lempert: Attack dizziness and headache in migraine. In: The sense of balance. 2008, pp. 71-76.
  3. ^ F. Cézilly, A. Grégoire, A. Bertin: Conflict between co-occurring manipulative parasites? An experimental study of the joint influence of two acanthocephalan parasites on the behavior of Gammarus pulex. In: Parasitology. Volume 120, No. 6, June 2000, pp. 625-630.
  4. ^ Theo CM Bakker, Dominique Mazzi, Sarah Zala: Parasite-induced changes in behavior and color make Gammarus pulex more prone to fish predation. In: Ecology. Volume 78, No. 4, 1997, pp. 1098-1104. doi : 10.1890 / 0012-9658 (1997) 078 [1098: PICIBA] 2.0.CO; 2 .