Is it possible that caffeine as a psychoactive chemical could produce an effect of light sensitivity in an individual or worsen an already present condition of light sensitivity?

More specifically what would be the actual effects or physiological mechanism of the caffeine that could produce this result?

There appear to be two papers published on the subject but they are in Russian and outside of my understanding. link.

  • Are you interested in temporary light sensitivity (e.g., more sensitive to light while under the effects of caffeine) or permanent / long-lasting?
    – era
    Jan 28, 2016 at 11:50
  • 2
    More specifically temporary light sensitivity. I'd imagine if caffeine led to permanent light sensitivity would be headline making. Jan 29, 2016 at 5:06

1 Answer 1


From "Значение ретино-эпифизарной системы для психофармакологического эффекта" by Karen Ovanesov, who is co-author of one of those Russian articles on Pubmed to which you refer:

(...) the visual perception is non-stationary in time and changes during the day. The use of stimulants of mental processes, such as caffeine can not only enhance the functional activity of the retina, but also eliminate its daily fluctuations.

(...) At the higher dose (0.4), the drug caused an increase of sensitivity to the retina (13%), and significantly (by 20%) shortened the latency of the motor response to visual stimuli. This shift was more pronounced in the peripheral parts of the retina. A similar pattern is set, and in the study of color vision, and a substance markedly improves the perception of red and green colors, as compared with the blue and white stimuli and control data definitions.

(...) the use of caffeine leads to a smoothing of the daily rhythm of the sensitivity of the retina and improve light perception. This effect is more pronounced when using stimulant in the morning.

There are more russian articles about this in bibliography section.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.