Your guide to eye health, conditions and symptoms
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.
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 health.
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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.
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.
Unlike blurry vision, cloudy vision is when objects appear as if you’re looking through a cloudy piece of glass. It can also result in colour dullness and halos.
Or colour vision deficiency, happens when people find it diffiult to distinguish between certain colours. You’ll know it as colour blindess, but it’s very rare to be totally colour blind.
Computer eye strain
Computers are a big part of our everyday lives, but they can have quite an effect on our eyes. See our tips on how best to manage and reduce computer eye strain.
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.
Double vision, or diplopia, happens when you see two versions of the same image. There are two types: monocular and binocular.
Dry eye syndrome
Occurs when your eyes don’t make enough tears or they evaporate too quickly causing dry, red and irritated eyes.
Inflammation of the tissues inside the eye. This is a rare eye condition, but potentially serious, so it is usually treated as an emergency.
An involuntary muscle spasm in the eyelid, usually in one eye. It can be bothersome, but it’s completely harmless and painless, and will go away on its own.
The appearance of spots or strands floating across your vision, particularly against a bright background.
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.
A common allergic reaction to pollen at certain times of the year, causing irritated and inflamed eyes.
A common symptom of certain eye conditions and allergies, itchy eyes are generally short-lived and easy to treat.
An inflamation of the iris that can result in pain, redness, light sensitivity and blurred vision.
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.
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.
Affecting the macula, which is in the retina, macular oedema refers to a fluid build-up that results in blurry vision.
More commonly known as short sight, people with myopia can see things clearly up close, but things far away are blurred.
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.
Causes temporary distortion or vision loss in one eye, and is sometimes accompanied by a headache. Also known as a retinal or eye migraine.
Caused by an inflammation of the optic nerve, optic neuritis, can disturb the messages going from your eye to your brain and therefore disrupt your vision.
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.
Also known as light sensitivity, photophobia is a symptom of light intolerance that causes uncomfortable and sometimes painful eyes when exposed to bright light.
Posterior vitreous detachment
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.
A natural loss of elasticity of the lens from around the age of 40 that affects your ability to focus on things close-up, like reading.
More commonly known as a droopy eyelid, this can happen at any age and can affect one or both eyes.
A pterygium is a noncancerous growth that develops on the white bit of your eye.
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.
Although they can be painful, styes are usually nothing to worry about, and will usually clear up on their own after a week or two.
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.
Learn about some of the possible causes as well as what you can do to relieve any eyelid swelling you may experience.
This happens when your peripheral vision (or side vision) worsens or is lost. As the name suggests, it can seem like you’re looking through a tunnel.
A rare condition, uveitis causes the middle layer of the eye to become inflamed, which can therefore cause pain, redness, and swelling.
Eye tests at home
Did you know we provide a home visits service for those unable to leave home unaccompanied? Providing the eligibility criteria is met, one of our experienced mobile opticians can provide a free NHS-funded eye test at home.