What Are the Common Causes of Blurred Vision?

closeup of an eye

It’s all too easy to take our eyesight for granted. But did you know that around 93 million adults in the US are at high risk for serious vision loss? Of these people, only around half visited the eye doctor in the last year.

Although many of us wear glasses or corrective lenses, we might not give our eye care much thought until something goes wrong. Blurred vision can be the first sign that you’ve got an eye disorder that needs urgent investigation.

Let’s take a closer look at the causes of blurred vision and how you can get help.

What Is Blurred Vision?

Blurred vision refers to any time you can’t see clearly. Many of us have blurred vision when we don’t wear our corrective lenses. Objects appear blurred around the edges and not sharply defined.

It can be hard to recognize faces and reading may not be possible.

Sometimes, we may only have partially blurred vision. It’s possible for just the peripheral field of vision to be affected, or for only one eye to have blurred vision. Whatever the symptoms, it’s wise to head to an eye doctor for further investigation.

Common Causes of Blurred Vision

The most common causes of blurred vision are near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and astigmatism. These eye problems are extremely common, affecting a large percentage of the popular. Normally, prescription glasses or contact lenses can help people to achieve a great level of vision.

Laser eye surgery is also an option for those looking for a more long-term solution. This treatment can resolve blurry vision for many patients. However, the results are not permanent and vision may begin to regress after several years.

Presbyopia

As we get older, we experience a change in our vision called presbyopia.

The lens becomes harder and less flexible. Vision blurs at close range, meaning you have to hold objects further away from you in order to focus. It usually starts around the age of 45 and continues until 65.

Regular visits to your eye doctor can ensure that you have the right glasses or contact lenses for your changing needs. They can also rule out other age-related eye issues during these visits.

Cataracts

Blurred vision in older people is commonly caused by cataracts. Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye. This gives the impression of looking through a foggy window.

Cataracts usually start to develop between the ages of 40 and 50. The cause is unknown, but by the age of 80, half of Americans will have cataracts or will have had surgery to remove them.

At first, stronger glasses can help to correct your vision. But if your vision becomes increasingly blurry, cataract surgery is your best option. It is a safe, simple procedure that can make a huge improvement to your sight.

Your eye doctor will examine your eyes for signs of cataracts and advise you on the best course of treatment.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a degenerative condition that can be picked up early with regular visits to your eye doctor. Usually, the changes are so small and gradual that you won’t notice them. In time, it can lead to blurred vision and even blindness if it isn’t treated.

There are four types and all of them affect the optic nerve. The optic nerve connects the eye to the brain. People aged 50 and over, those with high blood pressure, and people with diabetes are particularly susceptible to glaucoma.

As part of your eye care routine, schedule a check-up with your eye doctor at least every 2 to 3 years. If you have any sudden symptoms, seek medical help right away.

Macular Degeneration

If you have blurred vision and loss of vision in the center of your field of vision, you could be suffering from macular degeneration.

Dry macular degeneration refers to cell loss in the retina. It causes gradual vision loss. Wet macular degeneration leads to rapid vision loss in your central field of vision.

It mainly occurs in people aged 50 and over. Medication and surgery can help, but it’s important to get an early diagnosis. Currently, there is no cure for macular degeneration.

Other Common Causes of Blurred Vision

Blurred vision can also result from eye injuries, infections, and complications from diabetes. But it can also be a symptom of conditions that are not eye issues in themselves.

This includes stroke, head injuries, brain tumors, Parkinson’s disease, and migraine. Don’t assume you know what’s causing your blurred vision.

Signs of a stroke include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Balance issues
  • Weakness on one side

Head straight to the emergency room if you have any symptoms you suspect could be a stroke.

Rare Causes of Blurred Vision

Most cases of blurred vision can be traced to one of these common causes. However, there are also rare conditions that can exhibit this symptom.

Acute Retinal Necrosis (ARN)

This is a rare disease, believed to be caused by a viral condition. It mostly affects healthy patients aged between 50 and 70. Antiviral agents can help to reduce the infection and minimize the extent of retinal necrosis.

Retinal Migraine

This rare form of migraine can come with headaches as well as transient blindness or blurred vision. Your eye doctor can diagnose this after ruling out other conditions. The migraines can last for a few hours and up to several days, but vision loss usually lasts less than one hour.

When to See an Eye Doctor

If you have any eye issues that affect your vision, see an eye doctor as soon as possible.

Most likely you will have a common eye condition. Whatever the cause, it’s best to start treatment as early as possible. Some conditions cannot be reversed but can be slowed down by early treatment.

Head to Eye Pros in Utah

These common causes of blurred vision can make life difficult! The good news is that glasses, contact lenses, medications, and surgery can greatly improve your vision in many cases.

If you notice these symptoms and you’re in Logan, Orem, Layton, or Ogden, UT, head over to your local Eye Pros location.

Our dedicated team of doctors is waiting to get to the bottom of any eye issues you’re experiencing. They’ll use the latest knowledge and equipment to help you find the right treatment for your condition.

Call us at 1-833-776-2020 or send us a message online today!