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Your Sight

Signs of Eye Problems in Adults

Signs of Eye Disease and Vision Problems

You may notice symptoms of an eye disease or vision problem, but even if you haven’t noticed any change, Prevent Blindness recommends regular eye exams..  This is especially true if you have a chronic health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Early detection and treatment can be the key to preventing vision loss.

If you are having trouble seeing clearly or have noticed a change in your vision, call your eye doctor to schedule an appointment.  If you have a large sudden change in vision, sudden pain, or injured your eye(s), seek immediate emergency medical attention.

Abnormal, Non-Emergency

Any changes in the appearance of your eyes or vision should be investigated further. Some examples include:

  • Unusual trouble adjusting to dark rooms
  • Difficulty focusing on near or distant objects
  • Squinting or blinking due to unusual sensitivity to light or glare
  • Change in color of iris
  • Red-rimmed, encrusted or swollen lids
  • Recurrent pain in or around eyes
  • Double vision
  • Dark spot at the center of viewing
  • Lines and edges appear distorted or wavy
  • Excess tearing or “watery eyes”
  • Dry eyes with itching or burning
  • Seeing spots, ghost-like images


The following may be indications of potentially serious problems that might require emergency medical attention:

  • Sudden loss of vision in one eye
  • Sudden hazy or blurred vision
  • Flashes of light or black spots
  • Halos or rainbows around light
  • Curtain-like blotting out of vision
  • Loss of peripheral (side) vision

Signs of Eye Problems in Children