​Do you suffer from eye pain, excessive tearing, redness in your eyes, or have problems with your vision?

Knowing your symptoms is important as it can help you and your eye doctor find out if there is a problem. An eye examination can determine what is wrong so that your doctor can recommend the best treatment option for you.

Here are some common eye symptoms and their possible causes.

Is your vision blurry or distorted?

Long-term blurry or distorted vision can be due to a number of causes.

Most commonly, blurry vision, in particular the inability to clearly see objects that are either far away or up close, is a sign of a simple refractive error like short-sightedness (myopia), longsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism or presbyopia (lao hua). These conditions can be readily managed with vision correction aids such as spectacles, contact lenses or refractive surgery such as LASIK.

Progressive clouding of vision, when you see objects through a mist, can be a sign of cataracts. This condition, which commonly affects the elderly, is due to the thickening and clouding of the lens within the eye. It is reversible with surgery.

Poor vision can also be caused by medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus, stroke and hypertension. Certain medications such as chloroquine, or hydroxychloroquine for rheumatoid arthritis or other soft tissue diseases may also cause vision blurring.

A more serious cause of blurry or distorted vision is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which often affects the central vision. In age-related macular degeneration, objects in the centre of the field of view are distorted but the peripheral vision remains clear. This condition is often irreversible and can cause blindness if left untreated, so early diagnosis is important.

If you are suffering from cloudy vision, do see your eye doctor for early diagnosis and treatment.

Are you losing your peripheral vision?

If you are bumping into things or people beside you, or have difficulty seeing overtaking vehicles while driving, you may be losing your peripheral or 'side' vision.

A common cause of loss of peripheral or ‘side’ vision is glaucoma, a condition where the eye pressure is usually too high for the eye. Glaucoma may cause an insidious loss of side vision, resulting in late diagnosis and advanced visual loss. Therefore, screening for glaucoma is advisable, especially for those who have a family history of glaucoma, or who are on steroid medications.

Read on for more common eye problems.

Ref: T12