Signs & Symptoms of Eye Problems

Written by sharon l. cohen
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Signs & Symptoms of Eye Problems
(www.tjc.edu/vision/certification.htm)

People normally take their eyesight for granted. It is only when our eyes start to water, become red or very sore that the eye becomes a focus of interest. Sometimes, people wait too long to see their vision specialist and it is more difficult to treat the problem. As soon as you notice signs and symptoms of eye problems make an appointment to have your eyes checked.

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Redness

When you are tired, your eyes may look bloodshot or red. This normally is not cause for concern. But red eyes can be a symptom of other problems than lack of sleep. One of the major reasons for this colouration is "pink eye." This is a very contagious infection of the outer layer that coats the eye. It can be caused by contact with someone else with the condition, allergies, or bacteria or viruses. Yet another cause of red eyes in recent years has been computer strain.

Sore Eyes

Your eyes often become sore at the same time they turn red. The infection or inflammation of the eye may also cause a variety of uncomfortable, sore or painful feelings, such as a burning sensation and eye pain in the sunlight or bright indoor lighting. Sometimes there is also a sticky discharge from the eyes, which is most noticeable in the morning when you wake up. It may be difficult to open your eyes.

Double Vision

Seeing double can be caused by many different eye problems, such as cornea irregularities, dry eye syndrome and cataracts. It can also be a sign that there is a health problem in another part of the body, such as a stroke, brain tumour, diabetes or high blood pressure. This is not a problem that should be ignored, since it can truly be a warning sign that something more serious.

Itchiness

Sometimes your eyes may itch because of allergies or exhaustion. This is not serious, although it should be treated. However, itchy eyes can also be a sign of an infection, an allergic reaction, diabetes or a reaction to medication. Naturally, the first thing you want to do is rub your eyes. But if your problem is an infection, you'll have the germs on your fingers and may spread it to other people. If the itchy eyes are from allergies, rubbing them only will increase the histamines and itchiness.

Watery Eyes

It is important to keep the eyes moist. But sometimes the eyes begin to water excessively. This can be a sign of something as simple as exhaustion or contact lens irritation. It can also be a warning that there is a more serious problem, such as a blocked tear duct, dry eye syndrome or lupus.

Doctor's Visit

If any of these problems occurs infrequently and for short period of time, just let your vision specialist know at your annual eye exam. However, if these problems last more than a few days and/or are painful, make an appointment as soon as possible. If you believe that you have an infection, because your eye is turning pink, you have a discharge and your eyes are itchy, you likley will need antibiotics for an eye infection. As with other eye conditions, this can become worse if you wait too long to get it diagnosed and treated.

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