Medical Advice

The Whys and How of Blurred Vision

Blurred vision may be a sign of an eye disease. It can affect one eye (unilateral blurred vision) or both eyes (bilateral blurred vision). Although it occurs rarely or frequently, the condition should not go untreated.

If your vision is blurred, you will be unable to see fine detail and lack of clarity could become frustrating. Any type of vision loss (blindness, double vision, blurred vision) could mean different things, ranging from glaucoma to migraines and may result in blindness.

The vision may be blurred at any distance. If you experience blurred vision, regardless of age, you should see your doctor for a routine check because it could be a warning sign of a more serious problem.



Blurred vision may be accompanied by different symptoms that vary depending on the condition, disease or disorder that they underpin. It is possible that the problems be present in the eye or could be about symptoms affecting other body systems such as the neuromuscular system and the immune system. For example, blurred vision caused by an autoimmune disease may be accompanied by pain and joint stiffness.

Blurred vision due to refractive errors (myopia, for example) can occur with minor head pain. Blurred vision may occur associated with various symptoms affecting the eyes, namely:

• ocular bleeding
• leakage in the eye
• dry eye
• eye pain
• sensitivity to light
• itching of the eyes
• peripheral or central vision loss
• weak close sight
• poor vision at night
• bloodshot eyes
• presence of floaters or spots in your vision

Blurred vision may be due to dysfunction of other systems in the body, with symptoms such as:

• abdominal pain
• butterfly-shaped rash across the nose and cheeks
• depression
• drooping eyelids
• fatigue
• fever
• gradual difficulty in speaking and walking, memory loss, numbness or weakness of the extremities
• headache
• hypertension
• difficulty in concentrating
• unexplained weight loss

In some cases blurred vision may occur associated with other symptoms, which could indicate a serious condition or could endanger a person’s life – a situation that should be evaluated in a medical emergency:

• blurred vision after head injury
• unclear speech
• delirium, fainting, change in the level of consciousness
• confusion, delirium, lethargy, hallucinations
• dizziness
• high fever
• memory loss
• numbness or paralysis on one side of the body
• seeing halos around sources of light, blind spots in your vision or distorted vision
• convulsions
• sharp pain in head
• loss of vision, sudden change in clarity of vision, eye pain
• weakness


Blurred vision can be caused by various disorders, by eye problems, and neurological disorders or autoimmune diseases. Many of the causes of blurred vision are very serious conditions.

Blurred vision can be triggered by several types of views commonly found as:

• astigmatism
• dry eye
• presbyopia
• myopia
• diopter or wrong prescription contact lenses
• eye irritation

There are many types of disorders, diseases and conditions that could cause blurred vision, including:

• conjunctivitis
• corneal ulcer
• glaucoma
• cataract
• eye inflammation or infection
• macular degeneration
• optic neuritis
• occlusion of retinal vessels
• retinoblastoma
• retinopathy and lens osmosis
• uveitis

Autoimmune diseases which have blurred vision symptoms include:

• Systemic Erythematosus Lupus
• myasthenia gravis
• multiple sclerosis

Other diseases, conditions and disorders that cause blurred vision include:

• strokes
• pregnancy
• Sarcoidosis
• migraine
• anemia
• use of amphetamines and other illicit drugs
• arteritis
• transient ischemic attack

In some cases blurred vision may be a sign of serious or life-threatening diseases, which should be analyzed as quickly as possible. Among these are:

• cerebral hemorrhage
• brain tumors
• botulism,
• Carotid embolism
• brain damage
• convulsions
• encephalitis
• vertebrobasilar insufficiency

Relieving the pain

For pain relief the doctor may recommend reading glasses or other glasses such as the computer ones (monitor comfort), bifocal or multifocal lenses.

There are some ways that you can try to fool the brain: use of two lenses, some for distance vision and the other for near vision. Contact lenses may be prescribed for this purpose. Monovision lenses allow the brain to focus automatically, regardless of the eye problem.

If the eye examination does not reveal any problems, you can try lubricating drops to relieve the dry eye. Talk to your doctor about the possibilities. Finally, if you wear glasses or contact lenses, try to clean them. Various waste and oils can focus on them and can lead to blurred vision. There are various types of cleaning solutions that can be purchased, but the best bet would be to seek advice from an ophthalmologist.

People who have blurred vision from cataracts could choose surgery to replace the lens with a new one, which will allow them to see more clearly.

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