Blurred vision can be due to a number of reasons. For some, blurred vision is a temporary symptom, and for others, it may turn into a chronic condition. Understanding the cause of your blurred vision is important for proper management of the condition and your own convenience.
Blurred vision is the loss of vision sharpness. Objects may appear foggy or unclear. In many cases, blurred vision can be easily corrected with glasses, but sometimes it could be a symptom of another more serious problem.
It’s important to note that cloudy vision and blurred vision are not the same, but are often mistaken for one another. In cloudy vision, objects appear “milky” and obscured – which is not the case for blurred vision. However, both can signal a serious eye problem.
Here we will outline the possible causes, symptoms, and treatment options for blurred vision.
Causes of blurred vision
Here are some common causes of blurred vision.
- Myopia – nearsightedness
- Hyperopia – farsightedness
- Astigmatism: Objects at all distances appear blurry
- Presbyopia: Occurs over the age of 40, small print and test appears blurry close up
- Chronic dry eyes
- Ocular migraines, migraine headaches
- Eye floaters: When the eye’s gel liquefies as a result of aging and floats freely around the eye
- Blurry vision after laser eye surgery: This is typically temporary and resolves within a few days
- Eye drops and medications
- Over-wearing of contact lenses
- Sleeping position: If you slept with your face against the pillow, your eyes could be severely dry when you wake up, resulting in temporary blurry vision
- Dirty contacts
- Contacts worn incorrectly
- High blood sugar
- Cataract development
- Early sign of a stroke
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Cardiovascular disease
- Diabetic retinopathy
As you can see, many of the blurred vision causes can be easily fixed through corrective lenses or lifestyle changes. On the other hand, depending on severity and duration, blurry vision can also indicate a serious problem that requires medical attention.
Symptoms of blurred vision
The main symptom of blurred vision is foggy or fuzzy appearance of objects. You may find you have to squint to get a clear view of the object you are looking at. Other symptoms include sensitivity to light, floaters or spots, eye pain, discharge from eye, loss of peripheral vision, loss of central vision, dry eyes, itchy eyes, increased tear production, poor night vision, red or bloodshot eyes, bleeding from the eye, and poor near vision.
Accompanying symptoms depend on the underlying cause of blurry vision.
Blurred vision treatment and diagnosis
There are a few different tests your eye doctor may perform to uncover the root cause of your blurry vision. These tests include:
Slit-lamp examination: Your doctor will perform an eye examination with a slit-lamp and ask you to stare at objects. Eye drops to dilate the pupils may also be used.
Refraction test: This test measures your prescription for eyeglasses. Your doctor will have you read letters from a board while switching lenses and checking which lens allows you to see the clearest.
Tonometry: This test measures your eye pressure using a device called a tonometer, which is attached to the slit-lamp. Eye drops are used for anesthetic purposes.
Treatment for blurred vision may be as simple as eyeglasses or contact lens prescription. Speaking of the latter, it’s important to keep your contacts clean, to put them in correctly, and avoid leaving in for longer than advised.
The treatment for blurred vision depends on the cause of the condition. For example, if your blurred vision is a result of uncontrolled diabetes, you will need to take better steps in managing your blood sugar, either through medications or natural remedies. Preventing fatigue and tiredness is also important. Make sure you get in adequate sleep and ensure that your eyes do not get dry. Use lubricating eye drops if necessary.
Your doctor will be able to prescribe you more detailed treatment recommendations based on your specific diagnosis.
When to contact your doctor for blurred vision
If blurred vision is accompanied by symptoms such as migraines, eye discharge, etc., you should go in and see your doctor. If you suspect a particular medication you’re taking is causing your blurred vision, speak to your doctor about switching.
Pain or redness should also prompt you to seek medical attention.