5 Common Eye Problems and Their Symptoms

Did you know that over 26.9 million Americans have some form of vision-impairing eye problem? According to the National Institute of Health, this number is likely to double by 2050. Fortunately, most eye problems have distinct early warning signs or symptoms and can, therefore, be prevented or corrected.

Below are the five common eye conditions and their respective symptoms and treatment options.

1. Glaucoma

This condition affects the eye nerve fibers and the optic nerve, resulting in vision impairment or irreversible blindness. Earlier, researchers thought that glaucoma only occurred in tandem with higher aqueous humor pressure levels. But recent findings show that this eye problem can arise even when the pressure is within the normal range.

Risk factors for this eye disease include high eye pressure, old age, thin corneas, eye injury, farsightedness or nearsightedness, race (African, Asian, or Hispanic heritage), and medical conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.


In most cases, this vision problem may not have any noteworthy signs during the initial stages. This means only regular check-ups with an experienced eye specialist can help to detect and address the problem. In some instances, however, the condition is associated with the following symptoms:

  • Severe eye pain and discomfort
  • Blurred vision
  • Floaters and gray shadows
  • Red eyes

Eye doctors use different treatment options such as tablets, eye drops, and surgery to treat glaucoma.

2. Refractive Errors 

Refractive errors describe a group of refractive eye problems such as short-sightedness and long-sightedness. Most refractive issues are inherited, and they are generally worse during adolescence and childhood.


The main signs of refractive errors include:

  • Difficulty viewing objects at night
  • Transparent strings, halos, or dark specks in your vision
  • Eye strains that lead to headaches
  • Dual vision

There are different treatment options for this condition. The doctor can recommend eye drops, glasses, and refractive laser surgery depending on the extent of the problem

3. Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) 

This condition occurs due to injury or damage to the blood vessels in the retina. The prevalence of DR, as the name suggests, is high amongst individuals with diabetes.


Like glaucoma, this condition can progress over a long period without the patient noticing that something is wrong. Here are the symptoms that you need to watch out for:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dark spots, transparent clouds, or strings in your vision
  • Involuntary eye movements

The early phases of DR require vitrectomy and simple medications. Advanced stages may require specialized attention and advanced treatment options like surgery or laser therapy.

4. Dry Eye 

Dry eye, as the name suggests, occurs when there is no adequate lubrication (water, oil, or mucus) in the eyes.


Dry eye is usually easy for individuals to recognize in themselves, as it causes noticeable discomfort. The following are the most common symptoms:

  • Stinging sensation
  • Sore or red eye
  • Excessive tearing

Most eye doctors treat dry eye with medication to reduce inflammation, artificial tears, dietary changes, and surgery.

5. Cataracts 

This eye problem causes the development of cloud-like pigment in the eyes. It can develop in the lens, the pupil, or even cover the whole eye. Cataracts can develop due to the impact of various types of radiation, a genetic disorder, aging, atopic dermatitis, or lack of vitamin C.


Below are the common signs of cataracts:

  • Blurred vision
  • Problem telling colors
  • Eye pain, discomfort

The eye doctor can address this problem using medications, surgery, and lifestyle changes.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to get an eye check-up. If you’ve noticed any of the symptoms highlighted above, you should consult an eye doctor as soon as possible. We are reputable eye specialists with over 30 years experience and can examine and correct your eye problems. Contact us to schedule an appointment now so you can be on your way to clearer vision!