The eyes are more than windows to the soul, as they say; the eyes are also an indicator of health. Like all organs, the eyes respond to internal and external factors. Responses can look similar even when they are to different factors. For example, a speck of dust may feel like a foreign body in the eye and may cause watering. So can dry eye syndrome. Because symptoms could have more than one potential trigger, it is important not to ignore them. Here, we discuss symptoms that your eye doctor should see.
Redness and Inflammation
A good cry can leave you with red, puffy eyes. So could allergies. In cases such as these, the cause of redness and inflammation is known. A cool compress or the right allergy medication may quickly resolve the problem. However, if the eyes stay red and inflamed for more than a few days, or they coincide with other symptoms like watering or crusting, check in with your eye doctor. Persistent eye irritation could be a sign of uveitis, pink eye, glaucoma, dry eye syndrome, or even an autoimmune condition.
Halos or Floaters
If you stare at a bright light like the sun, you expect little spots in your vision for a few minutes. If spots, floaters (moving spots or strings), or halos (glare around lights) appear suddenly, worsen suddenly, or recur frequently, see your eye doctor. The sudden appearance of spots or halos could indicate a retinal tear or retinal detachment. This is a medical emergency that requires immediate care. Other potential causes for recurrent halos or floaters include:
- Macular degeneration
- Diabetic retinopathy
The eyes rely on a healthy tear film for comfort and optimal function. Extra tears are usually produced when the eyes are irritated by a foreign object, like that speck of dust. People with allergies may experience excess watering triggered by an allergen. When excessive watering persists, though, we want to know why. Potential causes include digital eye strain, pink eye, and dry eye syndrome.