About Me

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I have two kids - a girl and a boy - and live in north-central Minnesota, land of snow and ice. Well, for 9 months of the year, that is. I work full-time for a local government, and on my "free time" I enjoy cooking, baking, hanging out with my kiddos, and RELAXING.

Monday, June 1, 2009


A fear of pictures?

Not quite.

Photophobia is actually a condition where your eyes are overly sensitive to light. (I have to admit, until today when I did some research online I thought I just had some off-the-wall genetic eye disease. Turns out other people outside of my family have it too.) In the same way my skin is overly sensitive to the sun (PMLE) my eyes can't handle too much brightness. Seriously. And I'm pretty sure I'm on the extreme end of the spectrum.

I can't handle bright sunny days. I wear sunglass all the time, even when people say it isn't bright out. My dear sweet husband always makes fun of me for wearing sunglass when it's overcast, but just because the sun isn't shining doesn't mean it isn't bright out! It's not night time, is it?? (As I sit here typing this I'm wishing for some sunglasses. The clouds are really white today and they're hurting my eyes. I told you it was bad.) I can't tan in the summer on a lounge chair because it's too bright even with my eyes closed. It physically hurts. If I don't have sunglasses while I'm outside in the summer I'll start to get a headache from squinting.

My aunt has the same problem. My dad did too. We are (were) all light-skinned with light-colored eyes. Darn you German and Swedish ancestors. I tell you, being light-skinned with light-colored eyes is a prescription for all kinds of strange diseases. Maybe this could have been prevented by the excessive eating of carrots as a child. But back to the main point.

So why did I decide to do some medical research today? Well, let me tell you. Last night as I was trying to sleep my husband (annoyingly) kept turning on lights. First the downstairs light when he came home late. Then the light in the upstairs bathroom. Then the light on his nightstand. And each and every time I woke up. And I always wake up when the lights get turned on at night and can hardly ever fall asleep unless it's dark. And ZAP! Suddenly there was a connection between my horrible day-time light sensitivity and my inability to sleep at night in a lightened room.

I very specifically remember one time on a family vacation I tried to take a nap in the truck. It was the middle of the day, we had been driving for hours on end, and I was tired. Unfortunately it was sunny. I told my mom it was too bright out to sleep (I was a little crabby) and she told me it didn't matter because my eyes would be closed. I didn't dare tell her I could still see the light with my eyes closed (my dad would have whopped me one) but I remember having a very difficult time falling asleep. Yes, I know it's weird to still see the light when your eyes are closed. I told you it wasn't normal.

According to the unreliable self-help internet sites, I could take some ginkgo biloba (which I thought was for memory) or some omega-3 fish oil (which I thought was for better skin, hair, and nails). Or I could just wear my sunglasses and be teased mercilessly for the rest of my life. Good thing sunglasses will never go out of style.

1 comment:

  1. I think I have the same problem! Maybe not as bad, but I definitely can't shut out the light when my eyes are closed. I have a really hard time sleeping with any light at all, but I have adjusted that since having Elijah because I need a (very, very subtle) nightlight on so I can see him when he wakes up in the middle of the night. But then I have to be facing away from it too, if there is any source of light in my line of vision, it will drive me nuts. And I totally know what you mean about tanning outside and it hurts your eyes even when they are closed! I need my sunglasses too, I get really upset if I don't have them. I feel you on the light-skinned problems... *sigh*