Difficulty seeing at night or while driving
“Night driving is the best benchmark of when your vision is starting to drop off,” says Dr Michelle Andreoli. That’s because everyone has a harder time seeing something in the dark or in the far distance – so if your eyes are already struggling, it’ll become even more noticeable in these situations. The solution could be as simple as a new glasses prescription, or it could be a sign of something more problematic, like a cataract that’s beginning to form. An ophthalmologist will be able to assess your night vision and determine the best plan of action.
Red or pink eyes
“Red or pink in the eye can be very complicated and very dangerous,” warns Dr Andreoli. It’s associated with a variety of conditions, including conjunctivitis (an inflammation of the conjunctiva, a thin layer of transparent tissue that covers the whites of your eyes and inner eyelids), allergies, or even an uncommon type of glaucoma. (Most often glaucoma, a condition often caused by a build-up of pressure inside the eye, has no symptoms at all.) It’s fine to see your general practitioner first, but if you still have red or pink eyes after 24 to 48 hours, it’s worth giving an ophthalmologist a call. “Something may be more complex than a primary care doctor is able to detect,” says Dr Andreoli.
Sensitivity to light
This usually accompanies some kind of inflammation in the eye, according to Dr Andreoli. The problem could be with your cornea, the thin transparent layer that covers your iris and pupil, or it might go deeper into the eye. Whatever it is, it should be addressed quickly, as some conditions that can cause sensitivity to light may lead to scarring, which in some cases can be permanent. However, light sensitivity can also be caused by conditions completely unrelated to the eye, like allergies, a viral illness, or migraine headache.