Eye Symptoms Unrelated to Glaucoma

Yvonne Ou, MD

University of California, San Francisco, UCSF Medical Center

  • Expert Advice
Published on:
A senior man holding his eyeglasses in one hand and rubbing his eye with the other.

As we get older, we may start to notice difficulty with reading and computer work, floaters in the vision, and eye irritation and dry eye. While none of these are symptoms of open-angle glaucoma, they are worth discussing with an eye care professional.

  • Difficulty with reading and computer work is due to presbyopia, which occurs when the eye’s lens hardens, and aging muscle fibers around the lens make it more difficult for the eye to focus on up-close objects. This is why many people need reading or computer glasses starting in their 40s.

  • Floaters are often caused by changes in the vitreous body, the clear jelly-like substance that fills the eye from the lens to the back of the eye. These vitreous changes are usually not vision threatening, but if they cause a tear in the retina, this is an emergency. Symptoms of a retinal tear include flashes of light, floaters, and decreased vision.

  • Eye irritation and dry eye are common problems unrelated to open-angle glaucoma. As we get older, our tear film is not as healthy and we begin to experience symptoms of dry eye, which include irritation, tiredness, and fluctuating vision.

  • Finally, a common eye condition that is age-related is cataract, which is clouding of the lens of the eye. Cataract typically causes cloudy vision uncorrectable with glasses and difficulty with driving at night, or in the fog or rain due to glare.

About the author

Yvonne Ou, MD

Yvonne Ou, MD

University of California, San Francisco, UCSF Medical Center

Yvonne Ou, MD, is a board certified ophthalmologist who specializes in glaucoma, including medical, laser and surgical therapies; cataract evaluation and treatment including combined cataract and glaucoma surgery; glaucoma filtering and implant surgery; and newer procedures.

Help find a cure

Donate to help end Glaucoma Disease

I would like to donate

Stay in touch

Receive Glaucoma research updates and inspiring stories