Eye pain with colour vision change?

For a few days now I’ve been having pain behind one eye accompanied by a slight loss of colour vision. Things look less red and duller in the affected eye. I’ve managed to get a GP appointment for tomorrow. The odd thing about it is that it changed sides. I’ve had eye pain in the right before, which is the side that has some muscle spasm, making my eyebrow and lid look a bit droopy. A few days ago it happened to my left eye briefly, now its in my right.

Does anyone relate to this?

I’ve had what felt like a burning pain behind my eye with blind spots and auras, but I think it was down to an Aural Migraine. Good luck at the docs, let us know how you get on xx

Hi Reikiblossom

I had reduced colour vision in the affected eye (mostly red and green) when I had Optic Neuritis. Maybe do an online colour blindness test?

It’s often retrobulbar (affecting the nerve behind the eye) so your GP is unlikely to be able to see inflammation of the optic nerve when they shine a light in the eye etc.

I found that black text on white background took on a shimmering effect - like when you see things through a heat haze.

Might not be ON if the symptoms have changed between eyes, but it certainly sounds like you’re doing the right thing in seeing your GP xx

I’m glad you are seeing the GP. It might be that you get referred to your local Opthalmology emergency out-patient clinic - that’s what happens around here if people present with funny stuff going on with their vision. For sure, it needs checked out properly. With your history I would be wanting to make sure that the possibility of ON was being thoroughly explored, and you need the experts for that.

Good luck.


Thanks for your comments. With a family history of migraine and a current diagnosis of FND, I’m hoping that they don’t just chalk it up to one of those. I wonder if it could be ON too but am unsure whether to mention that or not.

Both mine are affected I assume it’s ON waiting for my vep results in 2 weeks when I see neurologist I have floaters for over a year now used steroid drops for 6 month didn’t help so stopped using them right lights white rooms or background make it worse and they get sore and water a lot.

Under a ophthalmologist for a year they don’t tell me what’s wrong but my neuro did waiting for LP results for diagnoses any ever had ON this long and if so how did it clear up.


Pandagal, I did an online colour blindness test (one eye at a time) and though the affected eye was a bit harder than the other, I passed. This morning, my right eye is a little blurred, taking its time to focus. I’m off to the GP this afternoon.

Alysea - best wishes for your appointment. Let us know how you get on. Ask your neurologist about that ON question.

Hi Alysea,

My ON took about 3 months to sort itself out - the main symptoms were:

  • Eye Pain on moving eye far left, far right, up and down
  • Colour Vision issues - red colour blindness, greyed or bleached out colours
  • Distorted vision (shimmering, wiggling and warped images)

I have had floaters in both my eyes for a few years - I am 28. They are not necessarily a symptom of ON and I was told that they never go away - your brain just sort of gets used to them and sees around them. Perhaps it was a coincidence that the floaters started at the same time as your ON? The occurrence of them (in my case) is just normal as you get older. Mine look like thousands of little round cells and I can see them most when I look up at a clear sky or at a white background xx

Reikiblossom: I would certainly mention ON. Even if you didn’t fail the colourblindness test, if you struggled more with one eye than the other, it’s still worth mentioning something. I think, given the fact you are being re-investigated for a neurological condition, it’s perfectly reasonable to be aware of what symptoms/conditions you should be looking out for.

Or if you don’t want to suggest it outright, perhaps lead them in that direction gently. Mention the colour changes (especially red) and the eye pain. At least then it’s noted. Unfortunately, they rarely offer treatment for ON (from what I have heard and experienced) so havng it noted may be all you need.

Let us know how you get on with the GP today

PG xx

Floaters I’m used to but I’m struggling to see small things and small print and I pass eye tests so it’s annoying.

I didn’t mention ON outright but did say that it was less red. She looked in my eyes with a light, got me to do a sight reading test (I usually have 20/20 but was struggling with the next to last line) and recommended I see an optician a.s.a.p. I have an appointment booked for this Tuesday.

She thought it was probably migraine but made sure that I’m seeing a neuro and asked if I had a date yet. When I said no, she advised that I phone the hospital and enquire. So it wasn’t said but I wonder if she was thinking of ON.

This morning I have little pain - more like a minor discomfort. What I don’t understand is how the greyness seems to go between my eyes. When I woke up, my left was greyer, now (mid-morning) my right is greyer. I’ve tried looking at the room from different angles, but it doesn’t make a difference.

Is there a junction between the two eye nerves? If so, maybe I have a problem there.

This is so weird! I woke up with greyer vision on the left, have just had some mild pain behind my right eye and now the greyness has swapped to the right! What on earth is going on?!

I went to see the optician today. She was really good, listened to all I had to say, made a note of the FND websites and tested my eyes thoroughly.

My eyes seem healthy although I have developed some longsightedness in both. I have had perfect eyesight my whole life, up until now. Because the colour change and dimness changes sides and the prescription is minor, the optician chose not to recommend glasses as it is a fluctuating condition and it would be a waste of money to get glasses at the moment. She will be writing to my GP with a referral and there is a question mark against optic neuritis as I have some of the symptoms.

I chased my neuro referral and they’re running behind. The NHS target is 6 weeks but the wait is 13 weeks, so I may have to wait until mid-October unless my GP can hurry it along.

Small progress, but progress nonetheless!

I hope you dont mind me asking, I first started noticing a blurry left eye back in Feb/march before I started with any other noticeable symptoms as in strange sensations etc. This has been in varying as in some days it was hard to focus and other days there was a dark shadow over my vision or it was like my eye had steamed up, weirdy, when I got in the bath it got worse!

It has recenty seemed to get a lot better as in I havent noticed the dark shadow so much. BUT I did wake up in the night early hours of Monday with a sharp pain behind it, I suffer migraines but the pain is different to what I experienced in the night, it is more a pressure pain and my eye feels like its hard and being forced out from behind when I have migraine, this was quite a sharp pain that sort of peaked but didnt quite go away and I had to take paracetamol to take the edge off, my eye felt OK just vision more blurry than normal. It wore off in the afternoon but I wondered if any of this is related or just something entirely different?

Hi Brushie, it does sound similar. At first I kept wondering if my dining room was smoky when I turned the light on at night. Had I left something cooking?! Nope. Heat and/or exercise make my eyes worse and the intermittent sharp pain sounds familiar. Add it to your concise symptom list for when you next see your GP. If it gets any worse though, get seen as soon as possible. Are you under a neurologist?