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Common eye symptoms can be associated with a number of different eye conditions and diseases so it can be quite challenging to understand what our symptoms might be trying to tell us about our eyes.

For example, Swagel Wootton’s Dr. Loan Ramsey explains that halos around lights can be a sign of astigmatism but it can also be a symptom of conditions like cataracts or glaucoma. And sometimes those symptoms can seem contradictory. For example, excessive tearing and watery eyes can be a symptom of dry eye disease.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please make an appointment with Swagel Wootton for a complete medical eye exam. Our team of eye care specialists can pinpoint the cause of your symptoms and offer customized care and treatment plans to address your symptoms.

It’s important to remember that things like sudden vision changes and eye pain are not normal and they can be signs of serious vision problems. If this happens, make an appointment with an eye care provider right away.

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Blurred Vision

Blurred vision is the most common symptom patients talk to their eye care providers about. Blurry vision simply means your vision is not sharp or clear and you may find yourself squinting or rubbing your eyes trying to bring things into focus. Things like aging or simply being tired can cause blurred vision, but long term, worsening, or sudden blurred vision can be a sign of other health concerns.

Common causes of blurry vision:

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Eye Pain

Eye pain can affect one or both eyes and can be described as sharp, aching, or throbbing. Eye pain is more serious, typically more intense and lasting longer than irritation or strain. Eye pain can be caused by things like injury, inflammation, infections, or can be a symptom or underlying health conditions.

Eye pain can be associated with the following conditions:

  • Injury to the eye
  • Infection
  • Allergies
  • Eye Inflammation or Dry Eye
  • Glaucoma or Increased Eye Pressure

Dark Spots in Vision

Dark spots in your field of vision can refer to a large, singular dark or blind spot or what appears to be specks floating in the eye. Dark spots in vision could point to the following conditions:

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Light Sensitivity

Sensitivity to light, also known as photophobia, simply means that your eyes are sensitive to light, especially bright light. With light sensitivity, light can trigger discomfort or be painful.

Light sensitivity is associated with many eye conditions including:

It’s important to report any new or worsening instances of light sensitivity to your eye doctor, even if it doesn’t actually hurt.

Halos Around Lights

Seeing bright circles or rings around a light source, like a headlight, are commonly referred to as “halos” and most often noticed at nighttime or in low light settings. Halos are a result of diffraction and can be caused by glasses or contact lenses, but it can also be a side effect of eye disease.

Halos around lights or Halo Vision can be associated with the following conditions:

If halos have appeared suddenly, are very bothersome, or accompanied by pain, blurred vision, or other symptoms, they could be a sign of a serious eye disorder and you should see an eye care provider as soon as possible.

When to See an Eye Care Provider

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should speak with an eye care provider. 

Even if you are not experiencing any of these symptoms, annual eye exams are recommended for patients of all ages and the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends all adults get a baseline eye disease screening at age 40.

It’s important to know that many people do not know they have an eye condition or disease because many times there are no warning signs or noticeable symptoms. Early detection and treatment is possible and is the best way to maintain healthy vision.

The information on this page has been reviewed by Swagel Wootton’s medical team, led by Dr. Loan Ramsey, MD, and is for general knowledge and reference only and does not include all symptoms or all related eye conditions or diseases.

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