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  • Writer's pictureMaria Cholakova

10 Early Signs of Eye Problems You Shouldn't Ignore

Updated: Jan 20

Eyes allow us to see the world around us, read, drive, and perform regular daily activities. However, they are also very delicate, and that makes them prone to developing eye problems. Certain eye conditions can affect not only our vision but also our quality of life.

Being aware of the early signs of eye problems and seeking medical attention promptly is key. Paying a visit to an eye doctor when any of these symptoms occur could potentially save your vision. Let’s dive deeper into the topic.

Table of Content:

10 Warning Signs of Eye Problems

Blurred Vision or Double Vision

Blurred or double vision is one of the most common signs of eye problems in adults.

There are many conditions, including cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy that could cause double and blurry vision.

If you experience this, it is imperative to see an eye doctor as soon as possible. They can determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Eye Pain or Discomfort

Eye pain or discomfort is often one of the early signs of eye problems.

The most common ones include dry eye syndrome, eye strain, allergies, sinus infections, eye infections, or pink eye. However, they can also indicate more serious conditions such as uveitis, corneal abrasion, glaucoma, nerve damage, tumors, and more.

Intense pain in the eye is usually a significant cause of concern.

If you experience persistent and strong eye pain or discomfort, you should see an eye doctor immediately to examine you, diagnose you and provide proper treatment.

Eye pain discomfort

Flashing Lights or Floaters

Flashing lights or floaters are small specks or strings appearing and floating in your field of vision.

Both are typically triggered by natural aging or inflammation in the eye. Nevertheless, in some cases, they may also be a sign of a retinal tear or detachment.

Floaters can occur at any age but are most common in people over 50.

They may also occur in nearsighted patients, as well as those who have had cataract surgery or certain types of eye injury.

If you experience sudden or persistent light flashes or floaters, seek immediate medical attention.

Sensitivity to Light

Sensitivity to light, also known as photophobia, is a common symptom of eye problems, including corneal abrasions, iritis, and migraines.

Occasionally, it may be a sign of astigmatism, eye strain, or a side effect of certain medications. In case you experience light sensitivity, see an eye doctor for an eye exam and consultation.

If you have recently had an eye doctor appointment and your pupils were dilated during the eye exam, sensitivity to light is completely normal. It should subside naturally in a few hours or days.

Excessive Tearing or Watering

While occasional tearing is normal, excessive involuntary tearing or watering of the eyes for prolonged periods of time is typically an indicator of a blocked tear duct or an eye infection.

Alternatively, it might be a symptom of allergies or dry eye syndrome (when the eye surface is too dry, the body sometimes reacts by producing excessive tears).

If the tearing persists for more than a few days or is accompanied by other symptoms such as eye pain or redness, please seek medical attention from an ophthalmologist.

Eye Squinting

Squinting is a natural response to bright light. Yet, if you find yourself squinting more often than usual, consider it a sign of a refractive error such as nearsightedness or farsightedness.

In rare cases, squinting may also be a sign of a more serious condition. For example, pink eye (conjunctivitis), foreign body in the eye, corneal erosion, ulcer or eye inflammation (uveitis).

If you notice persistent squinting, do not ignore the first signs of eye problems and go see an eye doctor.

Difficulty Seeing in Low Light

Difficulty seeing in low light is one of the most common signs of eye problems in adults. It usually happens due to cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration.

If you experience difficulty seeing in low light, it is wise to consult an eye doctor as soon as possible. Thus, you will be able to determine the underlying cause and receive proper treatment timely.

Difficulty seeing in low light may also be a symptom of a refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism), but that eye condition is not always a cause for concern!

Sudden Changes in Vision

Any sudden vision changes should be taken seriously.

If you experience blurry vision, or double vision, along with sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes, seek the help of a medical professional immediately.

The symptoms could be a sign of serious health conditions such as strokes or retinal detachment.

Eye Twitching

Sudden eye twitching is extremely common and usually harmless. So there is typically not much to worry about. Eye twitching usually passes in a few minutes or hours.

Then again, if you experience severe, persistent twitching, consult an eye doctor, because it could be a sign of an underlying condition such as blepharospasm or hemifacial spasm.

These are more serious eye conditions that cause involuntary muscle contractions around the eye, leading to discomfort and impaired vision.

Focusing Difficulties

If you find it difficult to focus on objects or experience difficulty adjusting from light to dark environments, this may be a sign of eye problems such as astigmatism, eye strain, presbyopia, or refractive errors.

These conditions may potentially cause blurry vision. Thus making it difficult to perform daily tasks such as reading or driving.

See an eye doctor to get the proper treatment or vision correction.

Are You at Risk? Here is What to Do Next!

The signs of eye problems in adults can vary widely and can be caused by a variety of conditions. Be aware of these early signs and seek medical attention promptly if any of these symptoms occur.

Early diagnosis and treatment prevent more serious eye problems and could potentially preserve your vision and improve your quality of life.

Read more about eye health in the Ophthalmology24 blog for patients.

All medical facts are checked by Atanas Bogoev M.D.

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