Light eyes, light problems - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Light eyes, light problems

Light-eyes can mean light-sensitivity, according to Dr. Melvin Gehrig, ophthalmologist at The Eye Clinic. Blue eyes are a recessive trait often coveted, but the light color can put eyes at risk for photophobia, or sensitivity to light.

"When you have less pigmentation in your eye and in your body you're more light sensitive and it becomes a major problem," explained Dr. Gehrig.

Amelia Harvey suffered from photophobia and really feels the burn at peak times of the day.

"Sometimes in the evening when the sun is starting to go down and it's right at that point where it's directly in front of you. It is difficult to drive when it's like that," said Harvey.

The sun's ultraviolet rays can damage the eyes because brighter-colored eyes can let more light in and cause discomfort or even early-onset cataract. Outdoor lovers can have double to exposure under certain conditions.

"Fishermen…they're getting double the ultraviolet reflection on their eyes. They are getting reflection off the water and directly from sunlight. People that drive a lot on cement highways have the same situation as the fishermen with double reflection," said Dr. Gehrig.

Sun is not the only problem, computer screens and fluorescent lights also can irritate photophobes.

"The different frequencies of the fluorescents can actually cause an irritation to the inside of the eye. This will not cause any damage though," said Dr. Gehrig.

Those who stare without blinking often can suffer severe headaches, dryness and red eye.

"You really want to think about blinking and keeping your eyes nice and moist," said Dr. Gehrig.

He recommends taking a break every two hours and keeping eye drops handy. Also, he also said ultraviolet coating on lenses can help reduce the glare.

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