January 31, 2022
It’s not uncommon to find that things look blurred from time to time. This is especially true first thing in the morning when you initially wake up and your eyes take time to adjust to being open or to moving from a dark environment into a brightly lit one. However, if you suffer from vision that is persistently blurred, you’ll probably find that you need professional intervention. That’s because there are many different causes of blurred vision, and how to improve your eyesight will depend on the reason for your vision problems. It’s important to note that some causes of blurred vision are classified as emergencies and require immediate treatment to prevent permanent vision loss.
What are the Symptoms of Blurred Vision?
Although blurred vision is a symptom, it is often accompanied by others. These include:
Eye pain (The severity of the pain can vary and be constant or come and go)
Redness of the eyes
Floaters (small spots in front of your eyes)
Sudden Flashes of Light
Itchiness or irritation of the eyes
Common Causes of Blurred Vision
There are many different causes of blurred vision. These can usually be divided into emergency and non-emergency causes.
Non-Emergency Causes of Blurred Vision
These reasons for blurred vision may require a visit to the eye doctor but may not be considered emergent.
Conjunctivitis - A common eye condition also known as pink eye; it occurs when there is an infection. Conjunctivitis can be caused by a virus, bacteria, or allergies, it’s generally contagious and can cause blurred vision alongside other symptoms.
Eye strain - Digital eye strain is an increasingly common problem as we spend more time than ever using digital devices, often for long periods without a break. Increased screen time decreases our blink rate and increases strain on the eye muscles. The eye strain leads to sore muscles around the eye, dryness, irritation, headaches, and migraines alongside blurry vision.
Keratitis - A condition characterized by inflammation of the cornea and usually caused by infection due to poor contact lens hygiene and care, keratitis can cause vision to become blurred.
High Blood Sugar Levels - People who have uncontrolled diabetes can experience a complication known as diabetic retinopathy, which is where persistently high blood sugar levels can damage the retinal tissue in the back of the eye. High blood sugar levels can also cause the lens of the eye to swell, resulting in blurred vision.
Corneal Abrasion - This refers to a scratch or minor surface injury to the cornea which is the covering on the front part of the eye. This damage can cause blurred vision, as well as irritation and soreness.
Macular Degeneration - A common eye condition caused by the natural deterioration of part of the eye called the macula. This triggers blurred central vision and issues with seeing fine detail.
Emergency Causes of Blurred Vision
If you think you may be affected by any of the following, it’s crucial that contact your eye doctor right away! They may see you for an emergency visit or refer you directly to a specialist for treatment.
Acute Glaucoma - This is a rare, but fast-developing form of glaucoma that occurs when the drainage system of the eye becomes blocked, causing your intraocular pressure to rise quickly and damage your optic nerve. Other symptoms include severe headaches/migraine, eye pain, and nausea. Immediate treatment is needed to lower the pressure in your eyes in order to prevent permanent vision loss.
Retinal Detachment - The retina is responsible for receiving light and converting it into signals sent up the optic nerve to the brain to tell us what we can see. However, if the retina pulls away from the back of the eye, it loses its blood and nerve supply and can lead to permanent vision loss. Retinal detachment causes blurred vision, flashing, and black spots in your vision.
Stroke - A stroke occurs when a blood clot temporarily prevents blood flow to a part of the brain. Blurred and lost vision are two symptoms that can occur when you have a stroke that affects part of the brain that controls vision. Vision loss could be permanent, so it’s essential that you speak to your eye doctor immediately.
If you are concerned about blurred vision and you would like more advice and support, please contact our experienced team at East Main Vision Clinic by calling (253) 780-0700 today.
*This article is meant for educational purposes only, if you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency please seek treatment at your local emergency room.