11 common causes for blurry vision and what to do about them

Blurry Vision

Blurred vision is a term used to refer to the lack of sharpness of vision, making objects appear hazy or out of focus. People suffering from blurry vision are not able to see fine detail. Sharp vision is very crucial in everyday life as helps in important tasks such as reading road signs while driving.

Eye exam chart shown through glasses lens

Blurred vision can occur in varied strengths, from mild blurring when looking at objects that are distant to extreme blurry vision when looking at both distant and near objects. Blurry vision can get so bad that it prevents you from carrying out your daily activities.

Causes of Blurry Vision

There are many factors or health conditions that could bring about blurry vision. The main ones are:

1. Refractive Errors: These include far sightedness, near sightedness, and astigmatism. These vision problems cause blurry vision when looking at near or distant objects, reading or using the computer. This is typically corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

2. Cataracts: This is a condition in which the lenses in the eye get clouded. Initially, it may be impossible to detect any blurry vision. However, as the condition worsens, severe blurry vision will occur, significantly affecting your sight. If you have had cataracts removed in the past, reoccurrence of blurry vision may be as a result of posterior capsule opacity (‘secondary cataract’). Treatment plan for visually significant cataract is surgery.

3. Epiretinal membrane: This is a thin, fibrous membrane that forms over the focusing surface in the eye, the retina. Once this film forms, it prevents proper focusing of light by blocking part of the light that enters the eye, leading to blurry vision.  When indicated, epiretianl membrane is removed through retinal surgery.

4. Keratoconus: This is an eye disease that leads to the cornea becoming conically shaped. This irregular shape prevents the cornea from focusing properly, leading to blurred vision. Treatment options include RGP contact lenses and surgery.

5. Macular degeneration and holes: On the retina, the central part is known as the macula. It works to allow the eyes to see color, detail, and objects that lie directly in front of you. Once macular degeneration and macular holes occur, the macula is damaged, leading to blurred central vision.

6. Pterygium: A benign growth may sometimes form on the surface of the eye. This is referred to as pterygium. In some cases, the growth may extend to the cornea’s centre into the line of sight. When it does, it distorts the shape of the cornea. Once this occurs, vision becomes blurry. When required surgery is performed to remove the pterygium.

7. Eye infection, inflammation or injury: Eye infection/injury is a common cause of blurry vision. Eyelid and eyelash infections could also lead to blurred vision. Most eye infections and inflammations are treated medically.

8. Retinal detachment: This is a serious condition that requires emergency attention. A detached retina can lead to various symptoms, ranging from blurry vision and floaters to more serious ones like blindness.  Urgent retinal surgery is performed when retinal detachment is detected.

9. Retinal vein occlusion: This refers to a condition in which the blood vessels feeding the retina become blocked. This may lead to sudden blurred vision or even sudden blindness.

10. Vitreous hemorrhage: This occurs when there is a leakage of blood into the vitreous gel that is in the eyes. Once this happens, light is blocked from entering the eye, leading to blurred vision. This condition may result from trauma or injury.

11. Diabetic retinopathy: For those with diabetes, high levels of blood sugar may lead to damage of the retina. Once the retina is damaged, focusing of light is affected, leading to blurry vision.

Is Blurry Vision Treatable?

If you are experiencing blurry vision, visit an optometrist immediately. Blurry vision could be an indication of a more serious eye condition.

Following a comprehensive eye exam, an optometrist will recommend the best treatment for your blurry vision. The treatment is largely based on the cause of the blurry vision.  If you think you are experiencing blurry vision today visit one of our optometrists at 360 Eyecare to get the proper diagnosis and treatment for your condition.