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COMMON EYE SYMPTOMS


What causes red or itchy eyes or blurred vision? Learn what these symptoms can be due to and then read more about these conditions in the next few pages.

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Having eye problems? Redness, itch, tearing, pain or blurred vision?

This page gives information about the possible causes of various eye symptoms. Noting the kind of symptoms you experience is important to help your eye doctor find out what the problem is. An eye examination can determine what is wrong and how to treat it. Do not diagnose your eye disease after reading this page and self-medicate. It is very important to have your eyes examined by an eye doctor before you apply the treatment.


Itchy or watery or redness of the eyes

Mild itching of the eyes can be due to dry eyes. This is treated with lubricant eye drops in mild cases. There are stronger lubricants and special eye drops available to treat more severe dry eyes.

If you are suffering from prolonged itchiness and watering of the eyes, you could have an allergic eye disease (allergic conjunctivitis). The condition can be uncomfortable, but does not usually result in bad vision loss. Your eye may feel irritated and tired. Allergic eye disease is treated with anti-allergic eye drops.

Redness of the eyes can be due to a variety of causes, such as dry eyes, allergic eye disease and also sore eyes. Each of these conditions give a peculiar type of redness to the eye. Your eye doctor will be able to tell the reason for your red eyes after examining your eyes.


Cloudy vision

Having cloudy vision or having your vision obscured, as if you are seeing objects through a mist, can be a sign of cataract. This condition, which is age-related, is a progressive condition that can lead to blindness if left untreated. Cataracts can be easily removed, so it is important to diagnose the disease as soon as possible. Cloudy vision can also be caused by other medical conditions such as vitamin A deficiency, sexually transmitted disease and eye tumours. If you are suffering from cloudy vision, do see your eye doctor for early diagnosis and treatment.


Blurry or distorted vision

Blurry vision - the inability to clearly see objects that are either far away or up close, is commonly a sign of a simple focusing problem like short-sightedness (myopia), long-sightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism or presbyopia (old sight). These can be readily solved with vision correction aids such as spectacles, contact lenses and LASIK.

A more serious cause of blurry or distorted vision is age-related macular degeneration, which often affects the central vision. Objects in the middle of the field of view are seen as distorted, but the peripheral vision remains clear. This condition is irreversible and can cause blindness if left untreated, so early diagnosis is important.


Seeing wavy lines and spots that float

Floaters are translucent, wavy lines or spots that we see in our field of view. They occur when small clumps of the vitreous (a jelly-like fluid) inside the eye detach from the inner wall of the eye. Seeing floaters can be an indication of vitreous detachment, or a rarer but more serious problem like diabetic retinopathy which causes blood vessels in the retina to weaken and burst. Floaters can also be caused by retinal detachment, a serious condition when the retina of the eye detaches from the rest of the layers of the eye. If you see floaters, see your eye doctor for early diagnosis and treatment.


Headaches

Headaches can be due to many causes from problems within the rest of our body like migraine and high blood pressure. In the eye, headaches may also arise from spectacles that are inaccurately prescribed or an imbalance in the spectacle power between the two eyes. Dry eyes, for example after prolonged computer use, is also a common cause. Other more serious conditions that may cause headaches include angle closure glaucoma and inflammation of the eye (iritis). Any new persistent or recurrent headaches should be investigated.


Are you losing your peripheral vision?

If your central vision is fine, but the areas outside your central field of vision start to lose clarity or detail, you could be losing your peripheral vision. Peripheral vision is responsible for detecting motion at the edges of our field of view and sensing incoming danger. Any impairment of your peripheral vision can be quite dangerous.

One cause of loss of peripheral vision is glaucoma, where the eye pressure is usually abnormal. The loss of peripheral vision is not always noticed but as glaucoma progresses, it can cause extreme pain and blindness. Early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent vision loss.


Other Eye-related Symptoms

There are many other symptoms that can occur due to eye problems. Eye pain can be due to scratches on the cornea or internal pressure, which might signal a dangerous form of glaucoma. If you suffer red eyes with mucus discharge, it could be due to allergies or eye infections such as sore eyes (viral conjunctivitis). If you suffer from any problems with your eyes or vision, see your eye doctor for early diagnosis and treatment.

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