Top 5 Vision Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

Posted by: Missouri Eye Institute in Blog on March 4, 2024

Your eyes are the windows to the world, offering you a nonstop stream of visual information that shapes your experiences and interactions. But what happens when those windows become blocked, distorted, blurry or painful?

Some changes in vision are minor and temporary—and to some degree normal. But other symptoms can indicate underlying issues that need the prompt attention of an ophthalmologist or doctor. In recognition of Save Your Vision Month in March, here are 5 key symptoms you should never ignore:

1. Sudden onset of blurred vision

Blurred vision is a broad term, encompassing various visual disturbances such as haziness, double vision or the inability to focus your eyes. While these symptoms are occasionally caused by fairly innocuous conditions like fatigue or dry eyes, sudden or persistent blurring shouldn’t be dismissed.

Abrupt visual disturbances could indicate numerous conditions that aren’t so mundane: cataracts (clouding of the lens), diabetic retinopathy (damage to blood vessels in the retina), even stroke and other serious health crises. Seek immediate eye care when symptoms strike unexpectedly. It could make a significant difference in treatment success and avoiding potential vision loss.

2. Eye pain

No amount of eye pain is normal. Whether it’s a sharp jab, a dull ache or a burning sensation, eye pain deserves prompt attention. The cause could be anything from a foreign object, scratched cornea or allergic reaction to more serious conditions like glaucoma (increased pressure damaging the optic nerve) or corneal ulcers (infection on the surface of the eye). Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial in preventing permanent damage and vision loss.

3. Sudden increase in floaters and flashes

Floaters are those translucent specks or threads that drift across your vision, and they are usually harmless. However, a sudden surge in the number and frequency of floaters, accompanied by flashes of light, requires immediate attention. These symptoms could be early signs of retinal detachment, where the light-sensitive layer at the back of your eye separates from its underlying tissue. This is a medical emergency requiring urgent intervention to prevent irreversible vision loss.

4. Persistent redness and discharge

Occasional eye redness shouldn’t raise undue alarm, but persistent redness, especially accompanied by discharge, crusting or itching, warrants a visit to your eye doctor. This could indicate blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid edges), conjunctivitis (pink eye) or even more serious infections like keratitis (inflammation of the cornea). Early diagnosis and treatment can alleviate discomfort and prevent complications that could eventually impair your vision.

5. Loss of peripheral vision

Your peripheral vision allows you to see what’s around you without looking directly at it. A noticeable narrowing of your peripheral field, known as tunnel vision, shouldn’t be ignored. This could be a symptom of glaucoma, retinal detachment or even brain tumors in rare cases. Seeking professional help allows for early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, potentially saving your vision and overall health.

If you experience any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your eye care professional immediately. By prioritizing your eye health and addressing concerns promptly, you can ensure a lifetime of clear and vibrant vision.

Prevention tips:

By taking these steps, you can safeguard your vision and continue to experience the world in all its clarity and beauty. Remember, your eyes are irreplaceable, and early intervention is critical in preserving your sharpest, healthiest vision.

Missouri Eye Institute has helped thousands of patients attain freedom from glasses and contact lenses. Contact us at (800) 383-3831 to schedule a vision correction consultation, or visit to learn more about our services.


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