Eye Symptoms

Vision is perhaps the most relied upon of our five senses as we live our daily lives. For this reason, maintaining eye health is essential. Vision is one of the most delicate systems of the human body, so any unusual sensations or symptoms should be brought to the attention of an eye care professional as soon as possible to ensure proper treatment and continued function. The following are a few of the common eye symptoms which may require a visit to and an examination by your eye care professional.

Sleep in the Eyes

Also referred to as eye discharge or eye matter, a little sleep in the eyes upon waking is a healthy function of the eye, caused by your body’s mechanism for clearing the eyes of bacteria or debris such as allergens or cosmetics. However, a noticeable change in your eye’s normal discharge (frequency, consistency, or amount), can be indicative of an eye infection which requires prompt treatment. Conjunctivitis (viral, bacterial, or allergic) is the condition most commonly associated with abnormal eye discharge.


Photophobia is characterized by a sensitivity or intolerance to bright light and is also referred to as light sensitivity. In mild cases, a person might need to squint in bright light, but in more serious cases, bright light causes severe pain in the eyes. Corneal abrasion, dry eyes, conjunctivitis, scleritis, meningitis, encephalitis, and subarachnoid hemorrhage are all possible causes of photophobia. Some causes of photophobia are not considered serious medical problems, but this symptom can occasionally accompanies conditions which are medical emergencies. Any instance of light sensitivity should be brought to the attention of an eye care professional.


Small spots, strands, squiggly lines, or ring-like objects which appear in the field of vision are called floaters and are usually a benign annoyance that can be particularly noticeable in bright environments. They can, however, also appear in conjunction with more serious underlying conditions such as retinal detachment, eye tumors, vitreous hemorrhage, or a retinal tear. Anyone experiencing persistent floaters should seek treatment with an eye care professional.

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