Blurry vision – we’ve all experienced it at one time or another. Blurred vision occurs when eyesight and vision lose clarity and focus. Things appear foggy and indistinct, when they should be in sharp contrast. While this may be normal at times, like when you’re very groggy waking up in the morning, there are times when blurred vision can be a persistent problem and an indication of a bigger underlying condition. If your vision blurs suddenly, or you deal with blurry vision every day, these could be signs of a more complex issue with your eyes.

What causes blurred vision?

Causes of blurred vision can vary greatly as blurred vision can be attributed to a number of conditions – some are directly related to the eye, and some are underlying conditions that simply manifest with blurry vision as a symptom. The most common of which, according to All About Vision, are “refractive errors — nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism — or presbyopia”.

blurred visionRefractive errors are extremely common and account for the majority of blurred vision. Refractive errors can be corrected with an eye exam and glasses, contact lenses, or refractive eye surgery. In these cases, blurred vision is a persistent problem that impacts quality of life, but can be corrected fairly easily by your eye care professional.

Blurry vision can also be caused by something as simple as a straining of the eye. Today we spend an unprecedented amount of time looking at screens – cell phones, tablets, televisions, laptops, GPS, the list goes on. This can be tough on the eyes and prolonged exposure to screens can lead to blurry vision.

According to Healthline, blurred vision is also one of the first signs of diabetes – this is a more serious underlying condition of which blurry vision is just a symptom. For this reason, it is extremely important to have blurry vision properly diagnosed by your eye care professional.

Sudden blurred vision

Any change in vision that comes on suddenly is reason for a visit to your eye care professional. According to All About Vision, “If you have sudden blurry vision in one eye and are over 60, you may have developed a macular hole in the part of the retina where fine focusing occurs”.  This condition generally requires surgery to repair the eye, so seeking immediate medical attention is very important. Sudden blurred vision in one eye can also occur as a result of a brain tumor on an optic nerve, a detached retina, or other eye injuries.

Whether blurriness comes on gradually or all at once, and affects both eyes or only one, it is important to schedule an eye exam to properly address your body’s needs. Blurry vision can indicate something as simple as too much TV time, a need for glasses, or a serious underlying medical condition.