As one of the most frequent complaints patients make to their eye doctors, blurred vision can be caused by – as well as a symptom of – several conditions, some relatively harmless and some more serious.
Please note, if you are experiencing sudden and severe blurriness in your vision, or have had a sudden loss of vision, seek medical attention immediately, especially if you are having other unusual symptoms.
Side Effects Of Blurred Vision
Blurred vision can also be a side effect of migraine, especially for those with light-sensitivity, or of a new medication. Additionally, it could be from a relatively minor and temporary issue, such as wearing your contacts for too long or dry eyes. Pregnant women can also experience blurry vision or dry eyes. In any event, do seek medical advice for any of these scenarios: while not likely cause for concern, blurred vision could be indicating something else that needs attention.
For most patients, however, the onset of blurred vision is more gradual. You can discuss with your optometrist or ophthalmologist. Because blurred vision can indication any number of eye problems, your eye doctor should perform a thorough eye examination.
One of the most common reasons for increasingly blurred vision is the natural ageing process, especially if you are having problems at near distances. If you are over 40 and finding that you have to hold a book or mobile phone at arm’s length to see it clearly. If you are squinting or having headaches, you may have presbyopia. It is very common and affects many patients middle-aged and older. Your optometrist may then recommend corrective lenses, or change your prescription if you already wear glasses.
Many other causes of blurred vision are what are termed “refractive” errors, referring to how light is processed by the eye. This category includes near-sightedness (myopia), far-sightedness (hyperopia), or astigmatism, etc. All of them can treat with prescription glasses or contact lenses, or through laser surgery.
If your blurred vision has been occurring at night, this could be a symptom of cataracts, a cloudy build-up of protein that can then start to affect daytime vision if left untreated. Another eye disorder is glaucoma, which in its early stages can affect your peripheral vision. In its later stages, can progress to greater loss of vision. A sudden reduction of vision, accompanied by eye pain, can signal acute glaucoma. Your ophthalmologist can test for both in your eye exam.
Diabetics can suffer from retinopathy, blurred vision that happens as a result of swelling or bleeding in the retina. If you are diabetic and experiencing blurred vision then it will become serious. This may lead to blindness if it will not treat on time. So be sure to let your eye doctor know if you have diabetes as well.
Blurred or distorted vision, loss of central vision or fading color vision could be symptoms of macular degeneration. As the name suggests, this condition is a result of the ageing process. Thus usually affects patients who are over the age of 60.
A consultation with a qualified optometrist or ophthalmologist can ensure you get an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. It could range from steroid eye drops to new glasses to laser surgery. Be sure to mention all of your symptoms and any medical information that might be relevant.