What Are the Symptoms of Common Vision Problems?
Detached retina : You’ll notice a sudden onset of flashing lights often paired with black floaters in your vision. It won’t hurt, but at first you might see a dark curtain or veil covering a portion of your vision. Cover one eye and then the other and compare the sight in each one.
Color blindness : You have trouble with shades or intensity of colors. Because it’s all about perception, you may not know there’s a problem until the doctor finds it. This genetic condition mainly affects men.
Night blindness : It’s hard to see objects in dim light.
Cataracts : Because they develop slowly, your first symptom may be trouble with the vision test for your driver's license renewal. Or your doctor could spot it during a routine eye exam. Symptoms include:
- Hazy vision that might be worse in bright light
- Weaker vision at night, particularly when driving; trouble seeing movement, details, or objects (especially street signs)
- Blinding or uncomfortable glare from automobile headlights or bright sunlight
- A need for brighter light for reading
- Colors look faded or yellow
- Double or triple vision (images overlap) in one eye only
- A normally dark pupil looks milky white or opaque (advanced cases)
- Painful inflammation and pressure within the eye (very advanced case)
Strabismus: Your eyes don't move together as they should. Both eyes or just one could be crossed inward or outward. A child who has it may rub one or both eyes often. She could also squint, tilt her head, or close one eye to see things better.
- Chronic open-angle glaucoma: No symptoms until it’s caused serious eye damage.
- Acute glaucoma: A sudden onset of severe throbbing eye pain, headaches, blurred vision, rainbow halos around lights, red eyes, nausea, and vomiting. It’s a medical emergency.
- Secondary glaucoma: This type results from an injury, inflammation, a drug, cataracts, or diabetes. Your symptoms will be tied to the cause.
- Congenital glaucoma: This type affects infants. You’ll notice teary or cloudy eyes, unusual sensitivity to light, and enlarged corneas. It can affect one or both eyes.
- Dim or wavy vision, especially when you read. Straight lines often look crooked.
- Gradual, painless loss of precise central vision.
- Blank spots in your central field of vision.
- Have symptoms of retinal detachment such as floaters or flashes of light in your vision. You need immediate treatment to save vision in that eye.
- Feel like a dark curtain covers part of your side vision. Call right away to rule out other serious causes of this problem, like stroke.
- Become unusually sensitive to bright light. You may have inflammation inside your eye (iritis/uveitis).
- Have a foreign object in your eye that won’t come out with water. If you don’t treat it, you could scar your eye or get an infection.
- Have discomfort when you wear contacts or have pain that won't go away even after you take the contact out. You may have a scratch, inflamed cornea (the doctor will call this keratitis), or a corneal ulcer.
- Get an eye injury that affects your vision. You might have internal bleeding or a fracture of the bone around your eye. This is a medical emergency.
A good rule of thumb: Go to the doctor if you have any unusual:
- Vision changes