California Deafblind Services

02 - Light Sensitivity

04/03/2009 10:32

Students with vision problems frequently have increased sensivity to light. This sensitivity may be due to recent surgery, medications, past surgery, or other conditions of the eye. Some of these students may try to avoid outdoor activities, bright lights in the home or classroom, or certain types of lights (e.g., fluorescent, incandescent, halogen). These students may prefer shaded areas outdoors or may keep their heads down. Teachers or parents may think the student is "being difficult" or stubborn when they actually are experiencing discomfort from the light.

Points to Remember

1. If you observe a change in the student's behavior (e.g., keeping his head down, covering his eyes, crying, tantruming, poking his eyes, hitting, pressing eye area, preferring shadowed areas), it would be helpful to have a vision exam to see if there have been changes in the student's vision.

2. The student can wear tinted glasses, sunglasses, a visor, or a hat. The individual may be more comfortable if his eyes are shaded from the different types of light.

3. The student's glasses may also cause light sensitivity, therefore he may choose to remove the glasses for rest periods during the day. A loose cord can be attached to the glasses to prevent the student from losing the glasses as they are taken on and off the eyes. These cords can be bought at the drug stores or where the glasses are purchased.

Fact sheets from California Deaf-Blind Services are to be used by both families and professionals serving individuals who are deaf-blind. The information applies to students 0-22 years of age. The purpose of the fact sheet is to give general information on a specific topic. More specific information for an individual student can be provided through individualized technical assistance available from CDBS. The fact sheet is a starting point for further information.