Blurry vision can impact all aspects of your daily life, so it’s essential to understand the common causes and how they’re addressed. Whether blurry vision is caused by myopia, medication, dry eye syndrome, or another condition, there are treatment options available—from prescription eyeglasses to laser eye surgery.
Some of the causes of blurry vision include:
- Other refractive errors
- Dry eye syndrome
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Diabetic retinopathy
You and your optometrist can work together to determine the cause of your blurry vision and create a treatment plan based on your eye health. The condition causing your visual challenges will play a major role in determining the right treatment for your needs.
Presbyopia is an age-related condition that can affect your ability to focus on nearby objects and cause blurry vision up close, which can be especially noticeable when performing tasks that require near vision, such as reading.
Presbyopia is caused by changes in the natural flexibility of your eye’s lens. It is typically corrected with reading glasses, bifocal glasses, and other forms of prescription vision correction.
Other Refractive Errors
Refractive errors are conditions that occur when your eye is refracting light improperly, resulting in blurry vision at different distances. Presbyopia is a refractive error, but there are several other conditions that can have similar effects.
In addition to presbyopia, some of the more common refractive errors include:
- Myopia (Nearsightedness): This condition can be caused by the eye being too long or the cornea being too curved, which can cause light to refract towards a focal point in front of the retina, resulting in blurry distance vision.
- Hyperopia (farsightedness): This condition can occur when the shape of your eye or cornea causes light to refract to a focal point behind your retina, resulting in blurry close-up vision.
- Astigmatism: This condition is caused by an imperfection in the curve of the cornea, resulting in blurry vision at all distances. Astigmatism can be either regular astigmatism, where the improper curvature remains steady, or irregular astigmatism, where the curvature changes along the surface of the lens.
In many cases, refractive errors can be treated with the use of prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. In some situations, an additional solution can be found through laser vision correction, which can reduce or eliminate the need for other forms of vision correction.
A cataract is caused by clouding in the natural lens of the eye. The clouding that causes cataracts can occur when the proteins in the eye naturally break down and clump together over time, which can obstruct light entering your eye and lead to blurry vision.
Cataracts are common. They can be treated with glasses and contact lenses during their early stages, but eventually, they must be treated with cataract surgery.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome is a common condition typically caused by an issue with tear production.
The eye creates tears to help moisturize and protect itself. These tears are made of 3 layers:
- The water layer, which helps hydrate and protect your eye.
- The mucin layer, which helps keep the surface smooth and helps tears spread evenly across your eye.
- The oil layer, which helps stop your tears from evaporating too early.
If there’s an issue affecting the amount of tears your eyes make or the quality of your tears, it can lead to your eyes feeling dry, gritty, or irritated and cause several other dry eye symptoms, including redness, watery eyes, and blurry vision.
Dry eye syndrome can be treated with the use of eye drops, warm compresses, and other forms of dry eye therapy provided by your eye doctor.
Dry eye is a common condition with several causes. Speaking with your optometrist can help you determine a treatment method to relieve your dry eyes based on your specific needs.
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions often caused by pressure on the optic nerve. The symptoms of this condition usually start slowly but can progress further and cause more serious damage to the eye. Glaucoma can cause gradual vision loss, which may begin with blurry vision.
An optometrist can diagnose glaucoma during a comprehensive eye exam. Without treatment, this condition can lead to permanent vision loss.
Treating glaucoma during its early stages can help prevent vision loss and preserve your eye health, but that starts with early detection. So, it’s critical to visit your eye doctor for regular eye exams if you’re at risk of developing glaucoma.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is a progressive eye disease that directly affects the macula—the part of the retina that controls sharp central vision. As you age, this part of the eye can naturally begin to degenerate, leading to blurry central vision and eventually vision loss.
The risks of developing this condition can increase as you age. However, there are treatments and strategies that can help reduce the effects of AMD on your vision, including medications and injections, which your eye doctor may recommend based on the type of AMD affecting your eyes and the progression of your symptoms.
Diabetic retinopathy is a vision complication associated with diabetes. This disease affects the blood vessels in the retina and can lead to blurry vision and vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy affects roughly 1 in 3 people with diabetes, and if left undiagnosed, can eventually lead to total vision loss.
It’s important that people suffering from diabetes visit their optometrist for a diabetic eye exam. An optometrist can determine whether or not diabetic retinopathy is affecting your eyes and provide guidance and treatments to support your eye health.
In some cases, diabetic retinopathy can be treated with adjustments to your lifestyle, but other procedures may be recommended based on your eye health and overall health.
Certain medications can cause conditions that lead to blurry vision. If you experience vision problems after changing the medication you take, you should visit your primary physician to reassess whether or not it’s the right choice for your condition.
An eye doctor can also help you evaluate the medications you may be taking and their effects on your vision. In some cases, switching medications may help restore your vision, but in other cases, your eye doctor may recommend other medications, lifestyle changes, and treatments based on your individual eye health.
Migraines can cause many different disturbances to your day-to-day life, including changes to your vision.
Migraines can cause:
- Blurry vision
- Flashing lights
- Blind spots
In some cases, migraines can be managed through lifestyle changes, avoiding bright lights or loud environments, or taking medications recommended by your doctor. If you experience chronic migraines, you should visit a healthcare professional to determine what the cause may be and how to manage them in the future.
In some situations, an injury or trauma to the head or eyes can result in blurry vision. If you experience an injury of this form, it’s essential to seek medical attention from either an optometrist or an emergency healthcare professional.
Getting emergency eye care following an injury can provide an early opportunity for your optometrist to evaluate the injury and provide an appropriate treatment plan.
Treatment & Support for Blurry Vision
Blurry vision can be problematic in many different ways—and it can also have many potential causes. If you’re struggling with blurry vision, it’s critical to visit your optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam.
We can determine what’s causing your blurry vision and provide a treatment plan based on your needs. To find out what’s causing your blurry vision, schedule an appointment with us here at Fort Myers Eye Associates today.