Allergens or Other Irritants
Allergens and other irritants such as dirt, debris, and fumes from chemical products can cause eye redness and irritation. Allergies can cause swelling, puffiness and haziness as well. Be sure to contact your eye doctor if you are experiencing chronic or frequent allergic eye reactions.
Bloodshot eyes can be caused by dry eye, allergies, fatigue, contact lens use and dryness, injury and exposure to irritants. Conditions that cause bloodshot eyes include dry eye, conjunctivitis, uveitis and glaucoma. Uveitis and glaucoma are both serious conditions that need immediate medical attention. Be sure to inform your doctor of any chronic redness.
Long-term blurry vision is usually caused by refractive error or eye disease. Injury, eye dilation, or foreign bodies in the eye can cause temporary blurry vision. Treatment of this issue all depends on the cause.
Blurry Distant Objects
Blurry distant objects are most commonly caused by myopia. Myopia is a common refractive error in which the eye is too long, causing improper light focus. This condition can be corrected through eyeglasses, contact lenses and LASIK surgery.
Blurry Nearby Objects
Blurry nearby objects can be caused by both hyperopia and presbyopia. Hyperopia is a common refractive error in which the eye is too short, causing improper light refraction. This condition can be corrected through glasses, contact lenses and LASIK. Presbyopia is an age-related refractive error in which the normally flexible lens becomes more rigid. This means that the lens is no longer able to accommodate near vision. Presbyopia can be corrected by laser, reading glasses.
Blurry Vision at All Distances
Astigmatism, eye injury or eye diseases like cataracts can cause blurry vision at all distances. Astigmatism is a refractive error that causes an irregularly shaped cornea, and can be fixed with glasses, contact lenses and LASIK. Cataracts cause blurry vision and can be corrected through cataract surgery.
A burning feeling in the eyes is generally a symptom of another condition. The cause could be dry eye syndrome, incorrect use of contact lenses, environmental irritants, blepharitis, or ocular rosacea. Treatment of this problem depends on the cause, but lubricating eye drops may offer temporary relief.
Clouded, Hazy or Dim Vision
Clouded, hazy or dim vision is most commonly attributed to cataracts. Other culprits include dry eye, macular degeneration, conjunctivitis, foreign object in the eye, retinal detachment, and diabetic eye disease. If you notice any sudden dimness or haziness in your vision, contact your ophthalmologist immediately.
Crusted Eyelashes After Sleeping
“Sleep in the eyes” or eye discharge is normal. It is caused by clogged glands, dry eye along with any other debris, building up in the corner of your eye and your eyelashes. This is your eye’s way of cleaning itself. Excessive eye discharge can be a sign of inflammation and/or infection.
Dark Floating Spots in Vision
Floaters in the eye are caused by clumps forming in the vitreous gel (the gel-like substance that fills the eye). These are typically caused by age related opacities in the vitreous and can be a sign of retinal tear or detachment which causes vision loss. Urgent medical evaluation is recommended.
Discharge From Eye
Eye discharge is normal to a certain extent, but excessive discharge is not. If you notice discharge beyond what is deemed normal, be sure to contact your eye doctor, as it can be a sign of inflammation or infection.
Cataracts, macular degeneration and corneal scarring can cause vision distortion. Be sure to report and sudden visual distortion to your ophthalmologist! Visual distortion is almost always a sign of a more serious problem.
Cataracts, refractive error, stroke, neuromuscular imbalances, glaucoma, macular degeneration and infections like shingles or herpes can all cause double vision. Double vision can also be caused by corneal dystrophies like keratoconus. Corneal scarring may also cause double vision in some cases. Sometimes, double vision is caused by neurological problems. Be sure to report double vision to your ophthalmologist as soon as possible.
Dry or Itchy Eye
Typically, dry eye syndrome is the cause of dryness, visual fluctuation, blurry, irritation, scratchy eyes, foreign body sensation and red eyes.. Chronic dry eye syndrome may be to blame for persistent dry, irritated eyes. Other causes of these symptoms are most likely due to allergies or environmental irritants.
Excessive tearing can be due to dry eye syndrome (your eyes will tear up, in vain, to compensate for dryness), debris in the eye or infection. Tear duct dysfunction can also cause excessive tearing, such as when the tear ducts do not drain fast enough. Be sure to inform your ophthalmologist of any excessive tearing that lasts more than a few moments.
Eye Discomfort and Redness
Eye redness and discomfort can occur as a result of many different conditions. Infection and injury can both cause eye redness. Conditions like dry eye syndrome, blepharitis, conjunctivitis and ocular rosacea can all cause eye redness and discomfort. Visit your eye doctor to determine the exact cause of your redness and discomfort.
Eyestrain is typically caused by refractive error. Unmanaged refractive error can put a strain on your eyes when trying to view blurry objects. Eye strain can cause other symptoms like headache and eye discomfort. A proper prescription for glasses or contacts can usually take care of this issue.
Feeling of Something in the Eye
This is referred to as “foreign body sensation”. The feeling of something being in your eye, namely when there is nothing there, can be caused by dry eye syndrome, corneal abrasion, allergic conjunctivitis, styes, and other types of eye injury. You should always visit your eye doctor if this problem persists after the use of eye drops.
Flashes of Light
Vitreous gel (the gel-like substance inside of your eye) can pull from the eye wall, causing flashes of light to appear in vision. This is not always something to be concerned about, but can also be a sign of retinal detachment. Be sure to report this to your ophthalmologist immediately, especially is accompanied by a sudden increase in floaters and dark peripheral vision.
Floaters in Vision
Floaters appear in the eyes as specks, which may vary in size. These specks may appear to be on the surface of the eye, but they are actually inside the vitreous gel that fills your eye. Floaters occur as pieces of vitreous clump together. These are common and usually harmless, but can be a sign of retinal detachment, especially when accompanied by flashes and dark peripheral vision.
Glare with Bright Lights
Glare when around bright lights, such as headlights when driving at night, can be a side effect of refractive surgery or cataract surgery. They can also occur as a result of refractive error and cataract formation. If glare is a persistent problem for you, consider informing your eye doctor to see what the issue is.
A gritty sensation in your eye can feel like there is a piece of sand in your eye. This can be a symptom of dry eye syndrome, blepharitis and other eye conditions and infections. If you feel a gritty sensation in your eyes that is not relieved using lubricating eye drops, be sure to contact your eye doctor.
Halos Around Lights
Halos around lights, much like glare, most often occur around bright lights during the night. You may encounter halos around light when looking at streetlights or headlights while driving. It can also be a symptom of refractive error and cataract development. Be sure to contact your doctor if you are experiencing these symptoms.
Headaches are often caused by eyestrain. People with refractive errors often encounter this issue as their eyes repeatedly try to focus on a blurry object. This can also be a symptom of light sensitivity, or photophobia. Be sure to inform your doctor of this issue at your routine eye examinations.
Eyes are sensitive and can be irritated by a number of things. This includes household chemical fumes, allergens like ragweed and dander, dry air, debris such as dirt entering the eye, windy conditions, and much more. Chronic irritation can be a sign of a more serious problem, however. If your eyes are irritated frequently or persistently, it may be a sign of dry eye, inflammation or infection. Contact your eye doctor if lubricating eye drops do not help.
Itchiness is a common symptom of many different types of eye problems. Itchiness can occur frequently in people who wear eye makeup or contact lenses. Chronic itchiness can be a sign of infection or conditions like dry eye syndrome, blepharitis and conjunctivitis. Contact your eye doctor if your experience itchiness beyond what is deemed normal.
Light sensitivity can be harmless, but is often a sign of a bigger problem. These bigger problems include glaucoma, cataracts, dry eye syndrome and more. If you are experiencing extreme or persistent light sensitivity, be sure to contact your eye doctor right away.
Lump on Eyelid
A lump on the eyelid can be a stye, chalazion or tumor. A chalazion is a benign, painless bump on the eyelid caused by a clogged pore on the eyelid. If the bump is painful or infected, it is most likely a stye. Minor styes can sometimes be resolved at home in a few cases with treatment. Others may need to be cared for by a professional. Contact your eye doctor if you are experiencing this issue.
Night Vision Problems
Low night vision is normal in people with cataracts, macular degeneration, refractive error and vision loss. If you experience sudden issues with your night vision, contact a medical professional immediately.
Numbness or Weakness on One Side of the Body
Numbness or weakness on one side of the body is never a good sign. Stroke is the most typical reason for this issue. If you experience this symptom, call emergency services immediately.
Other Sensory Disturbances
Anytime you experience sensory problems, this is a sign of a bigger issue. Contact emergency services if you experience numbness, confusion, trouble hearing or seeing or other similar symptoms.
Redness Without Actual Discomfort
Redness without discomfort can be caused by allergies, dry eye, pink eye (conjunctivitis), and subconjunctival hemorrhage (broken blood vessel in the eye). Redness without discomfort can still be a sign of infection, so it is always important to seek medical care.
Glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts and diabetic eye disease can cause reduced vision. Sudden reduced vision can be a sign of retinal detachment. Be sure to inform your eye doctor immediately of any changes in vision.
Shadow or Dark Curtain Vision
If you experience this symptom, you are most certainly experiencing a retinal detachment. This is a medical emergency and you should see an ophthalmologist immediately. Retinal detachment can result in permanent vision loss, and the quicker it is treated the better the outcome is.
Spot on Eyelid, Colored
Spots on the eyelid are typically due to sun damage. Sometimes, these spots can be due to skin cancer. You should always consult an ophthalmologist if you notice new spots on your eyelids or anywhere near your eye.
Starbursts Around Lights
Starbursts around lights can make it very difficult to drive at night, especially when accompanied by glare and halos. If you experience these symptoms, avoid driving at night until they are resolved. This issue can be a sign of cataracts and other conditions.
Stinging or Burning Sensation
Stinging or burning feelings in the eye can be caused by dry eye syndrome. Chemical injury can also result in a burning or stinging sensation. If you have gotten harmful chemicals into your eye, the first thing you should do if irrigate the eye with room temperature water (even before calling emergency services.) Conditions like meibomian gland dysfunction and blepharitis can also cause burning and stinging sensations.
Swelling Around Eye
Swelling around the eye, also called periorbital puffiness, is most often caused by the presence of excess fluid in the connective tissues around the eye. This can be caused by injury and trauma. Allergies and other eye conditions like thyroid eye disease can also cause this to happen.
Vision Loss, General/Partial/Total/Temporary
Vision loss can be incurred a number of ways. Damage to the inner structures of the eye through trauma can cause partial or total permanent blindness, as can conditions like glaucoma, macular degeneration and rare disorders like retinitis pigmentosa. Temporary vision loss can be caused by injury as well, such as getting household cleaners into the eye or being scratched in the eye. If you are experiencing any kind of sudden vision loss, contact emergency services immediately.