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Magnesium Deficiency & Light Sensitivity

author image Kate Beck
Kate Beck started writing for online publications in 2005. She worked as a certified ophthalmic technician for 10 years before returning to school to earn a Masters of Fine Arts degree in writing. Beck is currently putting the finishing touches on a novel.
Magnesium Deficiency & Light Sensitivity
A migraine may result in light sensitivity and other symptoms. Photo Credit Headache image by Friday from Fotolia.com

Light sensitivity, also known as photophobia, is a condition that causes eye discomfort during exposure to bright lights or glare. This condition may occur as a result of an eye condition, such as an eye infection. Magnesium deficiency is not known to cause light sensitivity, but if you have photophobia, talk with your doctor about a possible connection to migraines.

Deficiency Symptoms

Magnesium deficiencies do not commonly occur since many foods, including both meats and plant-based foods, contain magnesium. If you do have a deficiency, you may experience tremors, muscle spasms, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and changes in your personality. Low magnesium levels do not have any known effects on the eyes. However, since magnesium deficiency may cause muscle spasms, you could notice eyelid twitching or difficulty with eye movement. Your doctor can perform blood tests to determine how much magnesium you have in your blood, and this will allow her to diagnose your condition.

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If you have low levels of magnesium in your system, you may have a greater risk for having migraine headaches. Migraine symptoms include pain, dizziness, fatigue and aura. An aura will often affect your side vision, appearing as flashing lights or patterns. In addition to these symptoms, a migraine may also result in sensitivity to noise and light. Many migraine sufferers stay in dark, quiet rooms until the migraine passes.


On average, the typical adult needs between 310 and 420 mg of magnesium each day. This will help prevent migraines and other side effects of a low magnesium level or a deficiency. Magnesium-rich foods include brown rice with 60 mg per serving and almonds, providing 78 mg in approximately 23 almonds. Other foods with magnesium include oat bran, shredded wheat, peanuts, lima beans and milk.


If you experience a sudden onset of light sensitivity, contact your doctor. This could indicate an underlying condition such as intraocular inflammation. Accompanying symptoms may include eye redness, tearing and eye irritation. Inform your doctor of all symptoms, including symptoms that do not appear to have a relationship to your eyes. This will help your doctor determine the cause of your photophobia.

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