Five Common Eye Symptoms to Never Ignore

Posted July 27, 2020


Eyes are the window to your soul… and to your health. They respond to  external and internal irritants: a bit of dust, a lack of tears, or a genetic condition can all look very similar. It is easy to ignore the condition of our eyes, even when they are trying to let us know what they need.

There are two ways to stay on top of your eye health: visit an eye-care specialist yearly, even if you have 20/20 vision, and become aware of what is normal for your eyes versus what indicates a more serious issue. Keep an eye out for the following symptoms and contact your doctor if they don’t clear up quickly.


Allergies or a good, long cry can leave you with puffy, red eyes. Though uncomfortable, your eyes will quickly return to normal. When these symptoms stick around and you don’t have allergies, check with your doctor. Inflammation could be an indication of an autoimmune disease, where the body attacks healthy tissue. Other causes for concern include:

  • Dry Eye Syndrome (untreated, this can put your vision at risk and lead to serious complications)
  • Glaucoma (pressure buildup causes damage to your optic nerve)
  • Pink Eye
  • Uveitis (inflammation of tissue in the eye wall)

Eye Pain

If you wear contacts and experience eye pain, try wearing glasses for a few days. It is possible that your contacts are irritating your eyes. If the pain persists, call your doctor. Sudden, unexplained pain is always a cause for concern. Don’t rub, rinse, or try to treat your eye pain yourself. In some cases, this could exacerbate your eye condition. Eye pain or discomfort can be a sign of several disorders:

  • Glaucoma (pressure often points to this, though it can also be in your sinuses)
  • Uveitis
  • Dry Eye Syndrome (this is usually accompanied by a scratchy or stinging sensation)


Staring at any bright light can leave little spots in your vision when you close your eyes. These tend to go away on their own. If you notice a sudden appearance of spots (scotomas), little “halos” around lights, or strings (floaters) across your vision, see a doctor immediately. These can be perfectly normal, but could potentially be caused by a bleed in the eye. Leaking blood vessels in your eyes are very dangerous. Other possibilities can include:

  • Retinal tear 
  • Macular Degeneration (partial vision loss occurs in various blind spots)
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Retinal Detachment (these tend to look more like sharp flashes in the eyes, as well as floaters)

Watery/Excessive Tearing

Tears are the body’s natural, healthy way to cleanse and protect your eyes. Whether there’s some foreign object in your eye or you encounter an allergen, watery eyes are all a part of regular life. If you experience more tearing than normal, however, talk to your doctor. The most common cause can be dry eye syndrome. Though normally a condition where your eyes cannot produce enough tears, sometimes they go into overdrive and over-produce. Other causes:

  • Simple eye strain
  • Pink eye

Vision Loss/Blurriness

Anytime you experience a form of vision loss or blurry vision, check with your doctor. Though possibly a result of eye strain or an infection, such as pink eye, it is very important to make an appointment as soon as possible. Almost every eye condition comes with a form of vision loss. If you experience any haziness or peripheral vision loss, make a note of it. Though many of the above symptoms can be ignored for a few weeks to see if they go away on their own, vision loss can come and go. So it is better to see your doctor if you experience this symptom, rather than waiting to see if it works itself out.

As these symptoms can be an indication of multiple conditions and disorders, it is essential to talk with your doctor as soon as possible. The earlier the diagnosis, the earlier you can begin treatment. Become familiar with your genetic background and what to expect in the future. You have only one pair of eyes, so learn to see what your eyes are telling you.

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