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Blurry Vision

Causes, Related Conditions, Questions & Related Topics

Top 5 Causes of Blurry Vision

1. Dry Eye

Dry eye occurs when your tears are unable to keep your eyes properly lubricated. You may experience blurry vision if your eyes are dry and you cannot produce an adequate amount of quality tears. Factors that can lead to dry eye include seasonal allergies, looking at screens on devices without blinking for long periods of time, and spending time in windy, smoky, or dry environments.[1]

2. Refractive Surgery

Refractive surgeries are those that aim to improve the eye’s ability to focus, such as LASIK surgery. These types of surgeries can make your vision blurry for a few days until your eyes have fully healed.[2] Other refractive surgeries that may cause blurry vision include photorefractive keratectomy, corneal inlays, and clear lensectomy.

3. Medicines and Medications

Many over-the-counter medicines and prescription medications can cause blurry vision. If you experience blurry vision when using any medications, talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Your doctor may adjust the dose, change your medication, or suggest alternate treatments that won’t cause blurry vision. Medicines and medications that are known to cause blurry vision include sleeping pills, tranquilizers, pain relievers, antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, cold remedies, allergy products, diet pills, stimulants, and any product containing codeine.[3]

4. Contact Lenses

Contact lenses can irritate the eyes and cause infections that produce symptoms including itching, swelling, burning, redness, and blurry vision. People who wear contact lenses must properly care for their lenses and lens case to reduce the risk of these complications. If you wear contact lenses, reduce your risk for blurry vision by using a new lens solution every day, cleaning and disinfecting lenses as directed, replacing the lens case every 3 months, and preventing your lenses from coming into contact with water.[4]

5. Eye Strain

Your eyes may become tired and strained from prolonged periods of intense use, such as when reading, driving, or staring at digital devices. Eye strain can cause blurry vision, as well as light sensitivity, tearing, dryness, headaches, and/or night blindness. Eye strain may be prevented by blinking regularly, using dimmer lights, and taking breaks every 20 minutes to look at objects at least 20 feet away.[5]

Possible Health Conditions Related to Blurry Vision

1. Diabetes

Having chronically high blood sugar can harm the tissues and blood vessels in the eyes to cause blurry vision. Diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, glaucoma, and cataracts are the 4 most common diabetic eye diseases that can threaten eyesight and lead to blurry vision. If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, work with your doctor to manage your blood sugar and prevent the progression of eye disease.[6]

2. Migraine

Blurry vision is a common symptom of migraine headaches, along with eye pain, tunnel vision, temporary blind spots, and seeing stars, zigzag lines, or flashing lights. Migraines are caused by abnormal brain activity and can be triggered by a range of factors like alcohol, certain odors, exercise, and loud noises. Most migraines can be prevented by identifying and avoiding triggers.[7]

3. Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in an eye that can cause dull and blurry vision. Cataracts can slowly develop over time as a person becomes older, and may also be caused by smoking and diabetes. A cataract can be removed and replaced with an artificial lens that restores vision.[8]

4. Glaucoma

Glaucoma occurs when a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve to cause vision loss and blindness. Blurry vision is a common symptom of angle-closure glaucoma, which occurs when the fluid at the front of the eye is unable to drain and leaves the eye at the angle where the cornea and iris meet. Glaucoma may be treated using medications, laser treatment, and surgery.[9]

5. Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration is an eye disease that causes vision loss in people aged 60 and older. This disease destroys the sharp, central vision that allows you to see objects clearly and perform tasks such as driving and reading. Blurry vision is a common early symptom of age-related macular degeneration, which occurs when abnormal blood vessels under the macula leak blood and fluid to cause damage.[10]

6. Psoriasis

Up to 20% of psoriasis patients will experience eye inflammation characterized by symptoms of redness, eye pain, and blurry vision.[11] Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes a high rate of cell turnover. With psoriasis, skin cells go through life cycles in days as opposed to weeks, which leads to the development of raised patches of red, itchy skin. Psoriasis may be treated using creams, medications, and UV light therapy.[12]

7. Stroke

Blurry vision is a common warning sign of stroke, along with poor focus, double vision, and partial vision loss.[13] A stroke occurs when blood supply is blocked to a part of the brain or when a blood vessel bursts inside the brain. This can lead to permanent brain damage, disability, and death.[14] A stroke can often be prevented by practicing healthy lifestyle behaviors such as eating healthy foods, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and limiting alcohol intake.[15]

8. Multiple Sclerosis

Blurred or double vision, eye pain, vision loss, and red-green color distortion are among the first symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis is a chronic central nervous system disease in which the body attacks itself by mistake. This disease is thought to be caused by autoimmune disorders, viruses, and genetics, and can be treated using medications and physical therapy.[16]

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Blurry Vision

  • Are you experiencing other symptoms aside from blurry vision?
  • When did you first start having blurry vision?
  • Are there specific triggers that cause your blurry vision?
  • Do your eyes ever suffer from dryness?
  • Which medicines and medications are you currently using?
  • Do you wear contact lenses?
  • Do you spend lots of time on a computer or another device?
  • Have you been diagnosed with diabetes?
  • Do you ever suffer migraine headaches?
  • When was your last eye examination?
  • Do you have psoriasis?

Blurry Vision May Also be Known as:

  • Double vision
  • Refractive errors
  • Distorted vision
  • Dull vision
  • Fuzzy vision
  • Hazy vision
  • Bleary vision
  • Cloudy vision
  • Foggy vision



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