8 Common Eye Symptoms And Their Meanings

Perhaps none of us has ever been spared of one or two eye problems in a year. We may have experienced watery or painful eyes that we want so much to get rid of. Or we can’t get out of the room because there’s pressure inside our eyeballs that we just feel like they’re going to pop out.

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There are several eye symptoms that we and our family members encounter, and it is sad that sometimes even with the simplest red eye, we don’t have any idea what it is and what we can do about it. “The moment even minor symptoms flare, most of us begin explaining them away, not because they’re necessarily unimportant, but because we don’t want them to be,” says Alex Lickerman, M.D. He further notes, “But whenever we find ourselves automatically dismissing an unusual symptom, we should stop and ask ourselves: are we sure it’s really nothing?” So we’ve rounded up the eight most popular eye symptoms that people often experience, and what they really mean.


  • Bloodshot Or Red. This may be just a simple irritation or infection, or it can be that a blood vessel may have burst or expanded. On the other hand, it can a sign of cuts, sores in the cornea, scratches, or more seriously, glaucoma. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Visit your eye doctor so that you won’t have to worry about it if it’s nothing – or you can cure it right away if it’s something.
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  • Burning Sensation In And Around The Eyes. When you’re down with a fever, sometimes you feel the heat even up to your eyes. However, if your temperature’s not high, the burning sensation may mean irritation due to smoke or dust. There is also a condition known as blepharitis, characterized by an accumulation of bacteria resulting in the formation of white flakes on the eyelids, which might present with burning sensation initially.


  • Puffy Eyes. This symptom is usually due to sores on the cornea, inflammation of the eyelids, or pinkeye. On rare occasions, puffy eyes may be caused by certain thyroid problems. Observe your condition. If the inflammation doesn’t go away within 24 hours, then it’s time to have your specialist take a look at those eyes.
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  • Unintentional movement of the eyelids manifests when your eyes are too strained from working on the computer or lack of sleep. It can also mean you’ve consumed more than your usual dose of caffeine. If you take some time to rest and catch up on your sleep, these twitches will easily disappear. If, however, these persist after sleeping and are accompanied by the unintentional closing of the eyes on one side or tightening of the face, call or see your doctor immediately. Moreover, along with this, “Anyone who suffers from chronic headaches or worse, migraines, knows that lack of sleep can sometimes be the culprit,” notes clinical psychologist Michael J. Breus, Ph.D. “And anyone whose been victimized by a migraine also knows that losing sleep can be a trigger for these excruciating and often debilitating special types of headaches.”


  • Lump On The Lids Or Lashes. These painless lumps are called chalazia (plural for chalazion). These are formed as a result of past styes that have healed and are no longer contagious or infected. Do not be tempted to pop these lumps, as these will heal in a few days. Apply a warm cloth on the affected eye for 10 to 15 minutes twice or thrice a day. If they don’t disappear, though, that’s the time to ask your doctor about it.
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  • Yellow Eyes. An abnormal yellow color in certain parts of the body is often associated with jaundice, and that is true in the eye. If there’s yellow in the whites of the eyes, alcohol abuse, hepatitis, or even cancer, although rare.


  • Droopy Eyes. When you have naturally droopy eyes, you can opt to have surgery to have these fixed. However, if your eyes suddenly droop when you awake or after a particular event, this may be a sign of stroke, muscular problem, or brain tumor. This calls for immediate medical attention.
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  • A Feeling That Something Is In Your Eye. The first thing you should do is to try to blink to get rid of the foreign object in your eye. You can also apply eye drops so it can drip or fall along with the liquid. If it’s inflamed, a warm cloth will also do the trick. If these three steps won’t solve the problem, perhaps this is indeed a sign of an infection or a scratched cornea.



Once you experience one or several of these eye symptoms, at least you can do some of the tips mentioned rather than get nervous right away, because now you have a background on what these eye symptoms might mean. Once you’ve tried treating the problem without success, then you might as well visit your eye doctor and let the professional handle it himself. “In this day of 15- or 20-minute office visits, many physicians find themselves rushing from exam room to exam room without time to even take a breath,” Wayne Jonas, M.D. shares. Hence, he strongly  emphasized how important it is to “be honest with your health care provider in terms of alcohol and drug use, diet, exercise, and other providers you’ve seen.”

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