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Triggered by Light?


Never really thought of it as a trigger - just more of a symptom. Actually when recognized it being a "thing" was after I was diagnosed with Addison's. Light sensitivity has been a big part of that for along time.

Now when I go to memories I can touch around trauma - light - painful bright light - was part of twice daily exams in the hospital. When your eyes are covered and in the dark most of the time they take longer to react to light too.
Funny in that one part of those memories that has always been there is the bed light on the wall at the head of my hospital bed - I hated the downward light and never used it - just the indirect upward light unless it couldn't be avoided. An the first thing I remember about being able to get out of bed? Slit lamp.......painful bright single light in a dark room. That goes back to my arrival at the hospital too - I remember nothing but the slit lamp exam of that whole thing either.

Then when my "eye pain" problems started...stress and anxiety (had found out recently my 30 year job was ending in 6 months) A change in work hours that had me driving home with the sun near the horizon shining in my right eye......holy crap.....it ties stuff together.......Its something you push through to get ready go to work for years but you never think of it as a trigger.

Even now - making breakfast - range hood light on low, under cupboard lights, almost never the kitchen lights - I even close the blinds to control light. Basement where I spend a lot of time - lamps - indirect light - nothing bright......

Funny but after reading a few posts by others, I begin to wonder if my problems with getting out of the house could in part be "bright lights"?

Something I never considered a trigger but yeah - maybe something that I just had to force my way through for so long it's something I can do because I "have too" But just got used to "burying" my natural response.
I manage light and noise stressors pretty heavily as part of my everyday ptsd-hygiene. I personally don’t have any light sensitivity or triggers associated with light, but I definitely find that they contribute to my stress cup, and can send me over the edge if my stress cup is full.

For light, I have a pair of sunnies on pretty much from dawn to dusk. And I move them on and off depending on how bright the environment is around me, including indoors. I wear them even if it’s potentially not socially appropriate (like in the supermarket, where it makes me look like I’m flogging stuff!). It’s a big enough issue for me that it warrants that level of management.

We have fluorescent lighting in the office, and I’ve had a chat with my colleagues who share the office, and we’ve reduced the number of lights that get turned on during the day so that it’s softer. We also have our team meetings outdoors so I can manage the light and sound better and stay focused on what’s being discussed. Zoom meetings are awesome, because I can do those in the calm environment of my choosing!

My bedroom has alfoil on the windows (yeah, it looks like a drug den, but again, I don’t care much what other people think about my health care strategies m) and blackout curtains over the top, with a small number of fairy lights around the walls so I don’t ever have to use the overhead light when I’m in there. Keeps it as a safe and relaxing space for me.

My sunnies make it hard to see the computer screen but apart from that, managing bright light is business as usual for me. If I’m driving at night and I’m stressed, I’ll actually use side streets to avoid the persistent glare of headlights.

I’m close to being almost as fanatical about the way I manage sound. But sound is more complex, because it’s not just loud sounds, it’s also layered sound, and background noise, that murky the sound issue.

Which is to say, even without light being a ‘trigger’, yeah, it’s a bit of a problem for me too! But at least I have a whole heap of management strategies I can use to help me stay in control of how much it effects me!!!
Which is to say, even without light being a ‘trigger’, yeah, it’s a bit of a problem for me too!
Yeah - it's the same for me - is it a trigger or a stressor or just that light sensitivity is part of PTSD and part of Addison's.

At the very very least it has ties to my trauma in many ways. A lot of time spent in front of the slit lamp was very painful and uncomfortable with zero gain, and zero help. And of course they used dilating drops and freezing on top of poking and prodding. Added layer of "coming out of the eye doctors "blinded by light sensitivity if you will. On top of tripping a whole mess of other triggers and stressors with every visit.

That was a theme for what went on for years. I had a cornea transplant done later and by that point a membrane had grown across the iris. I still had Light Color and Motion vision and when they removed the membrane it was crazy sensitive for weeks after.
Just got some this spring. I like them a lot. If you are in and out of the sun they work really well, but are not as dark as real sunglasses.

Longer exposure means using real sunglasses. I have a really nice pair of sunglasses because I played golf and fairly full coverage and light reduction are helpful.

I spent some time thinking that because of my damaged eye's inability to control light it was being overexposed - not realizing the headaches were generated by PTSD, not from a physical source. I still catch myself closing that eye in bright sunlight which, because its now prosthetic is really silly. Guess its just a habit.

The best benifit of the Reactions lenses is - I don't forget my glasses in the car all the time when I need sunglasses.......