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Sensitivity to Light


One symptom that can be experienced by some people living with ME/CFS, Long COVID or Post Viral Fatigue is sensitivity to light. Sensitivity to light is also known as Photosensitivity or Photophobia. Light sources that can cause sensitivity include outdoor light from the sun, indoor electric lighting and light from screens such as phones, laptops and the TV. Some people are more sensitive to different light sources than others.

Sunglasses, light filter glasses and brimmed hats can help manage light sensitivity. For screens, you could try turning down the brightness, using “eye comfort shield” filters or dark mode (found in settings on phones)

The RNIB have a webpage and fact sheet with further information on how to manage this symptom. The factsheet describes some different eye problems, but if your sensitivity to light started alongside your other ME/CFS, Long COVID or Post Viral Fatigue symptoms, it is likely that this is the cause. However, we recommend visiting your local optometrist for an eye test to rule out other causes.

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