Gradual changes in vision or chronic eye problems

A gradual change in your vision or long-term (chronic) eye problems may include:

  • Vision changes. These may include:
    • Trouble adjusting your vision when entering a dark room.
    • Trouble focusing on close or faraway objects.
    • Dark spots in the center of your vision field.
    • Lines or edges appear wavy.
  • Eyelid problems, such as a stye or chalazion (a small, hard lump).
  • Discharge or irritation of the eyeball or eyelids, such as an infection of the inner edge of the lower eyelid (dacryocystitis) or pinkeye (conjunctivitis).
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia).
  • Inability to see well at night (night blindness). A decrease in night vision may be caused by nearsightedness, cataracts, macular degeneration, or conditions that affect the retina.

People often tolerate minor eye irritation and problems for a long time, until the irritation or problems become bothersome enough to seek care. People who have skin problems and allergies often have persistent minor problems with the skin of their eyelids and allergic irritation of the eyes.

As people reach their 40s and 50s, it is common to have some vision changes and possibly to need glasses. Some of the changes may also cause other symptoms, like headaches and nausea, that affect a person's ability to function.

Last Updated: December 6, 2009

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