What are the causes of blurred vision?
Blurry vision can be annoying and frustrating to deal with, but it's a fairly common experience that happens to many people. Sometimes it can result from another underlying condition that doesn't involve the eyes at all, and other times it can be a warning sign of something more serious that is affecting your vision. If you do experience blurry vision at any point, you should schedule an eye test with your optometrist to rule out any major problems.
What are the symptoms of blurry vision?
Blurred vision is characterised by a noticeable loss in your visual sharpness. This means you may be unable to see small or fine details. Sometimes objects far away or close up may be slightly blurred, and other times the change can be so severe it affects your ability to carry out your normal routine. You may also experience accompanying symptoms along with blurry vision. These can range from photophobia (sensitivity to light), eye pain, dry or itchy eyes, discharge from your eye, increased tear production and changes to your peripheral, central or night vision. If you experience blurred vision along with any of these additional symptoms, it's best to see your optometrist for an eye exam
What can cause blurred vision?
There are many reasons why blurred vision can occur. A refractive error in your eyesight is one of the most common, and this is caused by irregularities in the shape of your eye. In order to see clearly, the eye needs to bend or refract light rays properly. If your eye is too short or too long, this causes problems in the refraction of light and leads to short- or longsightedness. It can also cause astigmatism, which is when the cornea (the clear front surface of the eye) is unusually curved. Shortsightedness (also known as myopia) is when you can see objects up close but have difficulty when they are farther away, while longsightedness (hyperopia) causes the opposite effect. These problems can all lead to blurred vision without the use of an appropriate visual aid to correct the issue.
Blurred vision can also be caused by cataracts, which make the lens of the eye cloudy. If you wear contact lenses, dirt or damage on the surface of these can cause blurry vision, as can dry eyes or migraines. Other eye conditions such as glaucoma (a rise in the fluid pressure inside the eye) and keratitis (inflammation of the cornea) can be associated with blurred vision. Macular degeneration, an age-related condition that causes a gradual loss of central vision, is also associated with this symptom. When you have been doing a lot of close up or near work (such as looking at a computer or TV screen for a long time), this can cause temporary blurry distance vision. You may need to update your prescription or adjust your habits to fix the problem, such as looking away from the object at hand to give your eyes a break.
If you notice your vision becoming more blurry as you look into the distance and the problem gets worse at night, it's definitely time to see your optometrist. This could be a sign that your eyes have progressed to a higher stage of myopia. Varifocals are a specific form of spectacles that combine different prescriptions in one lens. If your vision is blurry after getting varifocals, it may be a question of your eyes needing time to adjust. If the problem persists, see your optometrist for a follow-up. Sometimes blurred vision can be caused by a trauma or injury to the eye area. If you had a previous incident affecting one or both of your eyes and you notice your eyesight becoming blurry once more, see your optometrist immediately.