Unless your vision has changed, you may not give your eyes much thought when it comes to health. But it’s good for you to be familiar with what good eye health feels like, so if your eyes don’t feel quite right, you know what to look out for, what you can do and when to seek help.
If you’ve noticed a change in your eyesight, you can find a whole range of eye conditions and vision problems below, alongside helpful information about their symptoms and treatment.
Your eyes can also indicate signs of more problematic issues to do with your general health like diabetes and high blood pressure. Symptoms of these conditions are not always obvious, so regular eye tests are an essential part of maintaining your eye health and vision.
Blurry vision / cloudy vision
Sudden onset blurred
Floaters / black dots in vision
Something's in my eye / gritty eyes
Blood shot eye / red eye
Swollen / puffy eye lid
Sore / red eye
Flashing lights with or without floaters
Like short- or long-sightedness, astigmatism is a very common and treatable cause of blurred vision.
Red and swollen eyelids – particularly around the edges – that can be caused by an infection or a skin condition. It’s not serious but it can lead to further problems.
Blurry vision can be a symptom of an existing eye condition, or a sign that you need a new pair of glasses.
Cloudy patches in the lens of the eye, causing blurry, misty vision. Usually more common in people over 65.
Sometimes confused with a stye, a chalazion is often a painless swelling or lump that develops in your eyelid. It’s not serious, and will usually disappear on its own.
Cloudy vision is when objects appear ‘milky’ as if you’re looking through a cloudy piece of glass in one or both eyes.
Or colour vision deficiency, happens when people find it difficult to distinguish between certain colours. You’ll know it as colour blindness, but it’s very rare to be totally colour blind.
Inflammation of the membrane that covers the eye and inside of the eyelids, making the eye look red with a burning or itchy feeling.
A painful sore on the cornea (the clear layer at the front of your eye). It might feel like you have something in your eye and looks like a grey or white spot.
A condition caused by diabetes that affects the small blood vessels in the eye, damaging the retina, which is vital for sight.
Pupil dilation is normal and happens when light levels drop. However, fixed dilated pupils can be a sign of something more serious.
Double vision is a condition where a person sees two images instead of one. Find out more here about want can cause double vision and some of the ways to treat it.
Occurs when your eyes don’t make enough tears or they evaporate too quickly causing dry, red and irritated eyes.
Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that can have an impact on vision by causing problems with reading, writing and spelling, making text appear blurry or jumbled.
Inflammation of the tissues inside the eye. This is a rare eye condition, but potentially serious, so it is usually treated as an emergency.
From infections to glaucoma, eye pain can occur for a number of reasons. Read to find out more
Eye strain, or asthenopia, occurs when the eyes get tired from intense use. Our guide will help you minimise symptoms of eye strain.
Most cases of eye twitching go away without treatment after 1-2 weeks. If your case of eye twitching doesn't go away you can try to eliminate causes such as eye strain, bacteria in the eye, medical side effects and use of alcohol.
Feel like there's something in your eye, even if there's not? We look at some common causes for gritty and sore eyes.
Seeing black dots in your vision, also known as floaters, are common and usually nothing to worry about. Find out more about their causes and symptoms here.
A group of diseases affecting the optic nerve often associated with a build up of pressure in the eye. There are two types: chronic and acute.
Find out about the causes and symptoms of hay fever and its effects on your eye health here.
An inflamation of the iris that can result in pain, redness, light sensitivity and blurred vision.
A common symptom of certain eye conditions and allergies, itchy eyes are generally short-lived and easy to treat.
This condition causes the usually round cornea to weaken at the centre, changing it to a cone-like shape. This can affect the way the eye focuses and can lead to blurred or distorted vision.
Also known as amblyopia, this condition is very common in children, and usually means that one eye is weaker than the other.
If you’re long-sighted (also known as hyperopia), you’ll find that you can see objects far away clearly, but those close by will be out of focus. It’s quite common and very easy to treat.
Affecting the macula, which is in the retina, macular oedema refers to a fluid build-up that results in blurry vision.
Affects your central vision and your ability to focus on things like driving, faces and reading. There are two types: dry and wet.
A hole that forms in the centre of the retina – where we process detailed and central vision. It may lead to reduced vision, but in many cases can be treated with an operation.
Myopia or short-sighted means you can see clearly up close, but things far away are blurred.
Night blindness (nyctalopia) is a symptom of various eye conditions that make it difficult to see at night or in low light environments.
Nystagmus, or ‘dancing eyes’, is the involuntary movement of the eyes. It usually looks like the eyes are constantly moving, either side to side, up and down, in a circle or a combination of all three.
Ocular herpes, also known as eye herpes, is an eye condition caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) or the varicella zoster virus (VZV).
Raised eye pressure caused by issues draining the fluid inside the eye. Although symptomless, people with ocular hypertension are more at risk of developing glaucoma, a more serious eye condition.
Ocular migraines are temporary visual disturbances, which usually occur in one eye. They’re quite common and symptoms will normally disappear on their own.
Also known as light sensitivity, photophobia is a symptom of light intolerance that causes uncomfortable and sometimes painful eyes when exposed to bright light.
A common age-related condition where yellow bumps develop on the white of your eye. It’s usually harmless and typically follows from long-term exposure to UV light from the sun.
An age-related condition that causes an increase of floaters in your vision. It’s usually nothing to worry about, but can be linked to retinal detachment.
Presbyopia is a common age-related eye condition that typically begins when you reach the age of 40-45. Find out more about the common symptoms here.
A pterygium is a noncancerous growth that develops on the white bit of your eye.
Ptosis, also known as droopy eyelid, is a condition where the eyelid starts to fall down below the normal level.
As the name suggests, puffy eyes look like your eyes are puffed up or swollen. This can be caused by a number of things, including lifestyle factors, but it’s usually nothing to worry about.
It may look alarming, but it’s usually a sign of a minor condition like conjunctivitis. But it may be a more serious issue if you feel any pain.
Occurs when the retina, which lines the back of the eye, pulls away from the blood vessels that keep it healthy.
Retinitis Pigmentosa, also known as RP, is a genetic condition that affects peripheral and night vision.
Also known as a corneal abrasion, a scratched eye is a pretty common complaint but it can range in severity.
Also known as photokeratitis, this is a temporary but painful eye condition where the cornea becomes sunburned due to overexposure of UV light.
A squint, or strabismus, is prevelant in young children but can occur at any age. It is noticeable in the way the eyes do not align correctly.
Also known as a hordeolum, a stye is a small, often painful lump developing on the inside or outside the eyelid.
Although this condition sounds and looks a bit worrying, it’s a painless and usually harmless condition where one of the blood vessels on the surface of the eye bursts.
Just as the sun can harm your skin, it can also affect your eyes and potentially impact your vision. Make sure to protect your eyes from UV damage on sunnier days.
Learn about some of the possible causes as well as what you can do to relieve any eyelid swelling you may experience.
Tunnel Vision occurs due to a loss in peripheral vision and can be caused by a range of other eye health problems including glaucoma. There is no common or easy treatment for tunnel vision but sometimes a prism lens can be added to your prescription which will help the problem.
A rare condition, uveitis causes the middle layer of the eye to become inflamed, which can therefore cause pain, redness, and swelling.
Occurs if too many tears are produced or if they can’t drain properly causing sore, uncomfortable eyes with blurred vision.
Glaucoma is generally a symptomless condition and, left undetected and untreated, can lead to loss of vision. We work closely with the charity Glaucoma UK to help raise awareness of glaucoma and to help avoid preventable sight loss caused by the disease.
Our collaborations have included specialist glaucoma training for Specsavers colleagues so our teams can help people with glaucoma manage their condition – specifically helping people use eye drops.
For most people, it's advisable to have an eye test every two years, but it's best to attend earlier if any eye problems occur or if advised by your optometrist.
Yes. A comprehensive sight test includes checking the health of the inner and outer parts of the eye.
Even if you're happy with your vision it's worth having a regular check-up. Eyes can be affected by a number of conditions which may be picked up early through a sight test, giving it less chance of affecting your vision.
You should have an eye examination every two years or more regularly if advised by your optometrist.
It depends on the patient, but a young, healthy person with no apparent problems should take around 20 minutes.
Someone older, perhaps with high blood pressure, diabetes, glaucoma or other ailments can take much longer.
Your optician will determine what clinical tests are needed to provide the correct information for new spectacles or contact lenses; if necessary, they might refer the patient for a medical opinion.
Sight tests, also known as eye examinations, are more than just tests of your vision.
A comprehensive sight test includes a thorough examination of the front and back of the eye for any health problems, too.
You might have certain tests - such as 'auto-refraction' (to provide the optician with a rough estimate of any spectacle prescription) and 'tonometry' (a measurement of the pressure inside the eye) before entering the consulting room.
The optician will ask you questions about any problems you're having with your eyes or might have had in the past, and about any family history of eye problems (some eye problems can be hereditary).
The vision test (known as the 'refraction') includes the use of a letter chart, with different lenses being placed in front of the eye while the optician uses further techniques to fine-tune the prescription.
The prescription is the power of lens for the right and left eye which will correct the patient's vision. During the eye health check the optician checks the condition of the eye's various structures using an opthalmoscope and a number of other instruments such as a slit-lamp and a visual field analyser.