We’ve all suffered from an eye disease at some point in our lives. It can get irritating, frustrating, and make going through the day difficult. Some of us are more susceptible to them and have a never ending supply of eye drops in our homes. The rest of us have the occasional rendezvous with the optometrist.
Most eye disorders are difficult to differentiate from one another. So, we’ve listed out the 5 most common symptoms of that are associated with them.
Swollen or dilated blood vessels in the white portion of the eye (sclera) make eyes look red or bloodshot. This could be caused due to dryness, sun exposure, dust, allergies, infection, injury, or other particles in the eye. Most eye infections come with itching, inflammation, discharge, pain, or vision problems. A few disorders that cause a red eye are
- Blepharitis: This condition causes swelling along the edge of the eyelid.
- Conjunctivitis: Also known as “pink eye,” this condition is caused by the swelling or infection of the clear tissue that lines the eyelids and covers the surface of the eye.
- Corneal ulcers: This condition causes sores on the cornea, often as a result of a bacterial or viral infection.
- Uveitis: Inflammation of the iris, ciliary body, and choroid of the eye causes this condition. Causes of uveitis include autoimmune disorder, infection, or exposure to toxins. In extreme cases, only the iris is flamed, and that condition is called iritis.
- Acute glaucoma: This condition is caused by a sudden increase in eye pressure. It is extremely painful and causes visual problems. It’s important to seek medical help if you have any of these symptoms accompanying a red eye.
- Corneal scratches: This condition comes as a result of injuries caused by sand, dust, or overuse of contact lenses.
Cold and the flu might also cause a red eye. You should consult a doctor immediately if you have additional symptoms like a headache, blurred vision, nausea, and vomiting.1
Excessive tears can cause watery eyes, but infections cause thick and yellow discharge.3 Few eye disorders associated with eye discharges include
- Conjunctivitis: This condition causes the tea ducts to get infected and blocked.
- Allergies: This condition causes watery eyes, especially when caused by pollen, dust, or smoke.
- Blepharitis: This condition results in the inflammation of the eyelids. It affects both eyes and might be caused due to blocked oil glands at the edge of the eyelids.
- Styes: This condition is characterized by blocked meibomian gland (a sebacious gland at the rim of the eyelids). This results in redness, swollen eyelids, tenderness, yellow pus, eyelid crusting, and discomfort.
Other causes of eye discharge could be nerve damage or stroke. If you’ve got unusual discharge, especially yellow pus, or a fever along with the discharge, you should definitely consult a professional.4
3. Itching And Burning
Other than tears, any substance that’s drained from the eyes causes itching. It is usually accompanied with slight burning and is caused by infections, allergies, and chemical irritants. Common eye conditions associated with itching include
- Conjunctivitis: In this condition inflammation causes irritation in the eyes, leading to itching and burning.
- Dry Eyes: This condition develops when the eye fails to maintain a healthy coating of tears due to sun exposure, smoking, dry environment, surgeries, heat, chemical burns, or an autoimmune disease.
Often, a cool compress and antihistamines relieve itching and burning. However, if you’ve thick green or yellow pus, eye pain, sensitivity to light, decreased vision, or eyelid swelling do consult a professional.5
Any burning, throbbing, aching, or stabbing sensation in or around the eye could accompany an eye disorder. You might also feel like you have something in your eye.
Often this pain is caused by eye strain or a problem with the eye muscles, which could go away on its own. Common causes of eye pain include infections, inflammations, headache, and flu. However certain disorders might also have a role to play in this
- Sinus problems: In this condition, the blocked sinuses cause pressure and pain behind the eyes.
- Acute glaucoma: This condition causes fluid to build up in your eye, causing pressure on the optic nerve and hence pain. Nausea, vomiting, headache, and worsening vision accompany acute glaucoma.
Uveitis might also be a cause of pain in the eyes. As a rule however, if you’ve got pressure, swelling, extreme pain, or decreased vision you should see a doctor.6
Blurred vision is accompanied with halos or blind spots. And, at times you might just have hazy vision. This symptom could occur due to a stroke, brain tumor, infection, glaucoma, and ageing-related disorders like cataract and presbyopia. However, more common disorders that cause blurred vision include
- Retinal tear: Floaters or tiny particles drifting in the eye making things look blurry could indicate retinal detachment.
- Optic neuritis: This condition is characterized by inflammation of the optic nerve due to an infection or multiple sclerosis. Pain in the eye or eyelid might accompany his condition.
- Temporal arteritis: This condition includes an inflammation of an artery in the brain which supplies blood to the optic nerve.
- Diabetic retinopathy: This condition is caused by damage to blood vessels of the retina. It results in blurred vision, floaters, shadows, and trouble seeing at night.
Migraines and headaches could also cause vision problems. As a general rule, you should immediately seek medical help if you’ve got any kind of vision trouble.7
If you’ve got puffy eyes, then they might be signs of fluid retention, allergies, or eye strain.8 9 Even if you’ve matched the symptoms to the specific eye condition, you need a doctor’s consultation to diagnose the problem accurately. So, when in (even the slightest) doubt, set up an appointment.
|↑1||Eye redness. US National Library Of Medicine.|
|↑2||Eye discharge. Healthdirect Australia.|
|↑3||Eye Discharge. Harvard Health Publishing.|
|↑4||Eyes – blocked tear duct.
|↑5||Eye burning – itching and discharge.
|↑6||Eye pain. US National Library Of Medicine.|
|↑8||Optic Nerve Swelling (Papilledema). Harvard Health Publishing.|
|↑9||Ask the doctor: Baggy eyes. Harvard Health Publishing.|