Common Causes of Vision Problems

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Presbyopia is when you have difficulty focusing on objects that are close. It often becomes noticeable in your early to mid-40s.


Cataracts are a cloudiness over the eye lens, causing poor nighttime vision, halos around lights and sensitivity to glare. Daytime vision is eventually affected and cataracts are common in the elderly.


Glaucoma is an increased pressure in the eye, causing poor night vision, blind spots, and loss of vision to either side. It's one of the major causes of blindness. Glaucoma can happen gradually or suddenly -- if sudden, it's a medical emergency.

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes and can lead to bleeding into the retina. It's another common cause of blindness.

Macular degeneration

Macular degeneration is the loss of central vision, blurred vision (especially while reading), distorted vision (such as seeing wavy lines), and colors appearing faded. This is the most common cause of blindness in people over 60.


Floaters are tiny particles drifting across the eye. Although often brief and harmless, they can be a sign of retinal detachment.

Optic neuritis

Optic neuritis is an inflammation of the optic nerve from infection or multiple sclerosis. It may cause pain when you move your eye or touch it through the eyelid.

Temporal arteritis

Temporal arteritis is an inflammation of an artery in the brain that supplies blood to the optic nerve.


Migraines produce spots of light, halos, or zigzag patterns. These are common symptoms prior to the start of a migraine attack.

Retinal detachment

The symptoms of retinal detachment include floaters, flashes of light across your visual field or a sensation of a shade or curtain hanging on one side of your visual field.