Eye Symptoms Needing Immediate Attention

What is the cause of eye symptoms?

There are many possible causes of eye symptoms:

  • Illnesses such as diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Problems in the brain such as strokes or tumors
  • Medicines to treat other health problems
  • Nerve or muscle diseases
  • Eye disorders such as cataracts, glaucoma, or a detached retina

Some symptoms may mean a serious problem. Having your eyes checked by an eye care provider may help prevent further problems.

When should I see my eye care provider or get help?

Go to an urgent care center or see your eye care provider right away if you have any of these eye symptoms:

  • Complete or partial loss of vision
  • Sudden pain in or around your eye
  • Painful sensitivity to light
  • Halos around light
  • A pupil that has developed an irregular shape
  • Redness or very watery eyes with severe itching and burning
  • Thick greenish or white discharge from your eye
  • Blurry vision that lasts more than a few minutes
  • Eye injuries such as scratches, burns, or chemicals in your eye
  • Something stuck in your eye, such as a piece of glass
  • Flashes of light or floating spots or lines in your vision
  • Double vision
  • Swelling of your eyelids that is painful or prevents opening or closing your eyes

If you injure your eye, getting immediate medical care may prevent loss of sight. Although first aid is helpful, only an eye care provider can check for damage to your eye.

Reviewed for medical accuracy by faculty at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins. Web site: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/wilmer/
Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2012-12-31
Last reviewed: 2014-10-28
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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