Blurry vision

What is blurry vision?

Blurry vision makes objects appear hazy or out of focus. It mostly affects both eyes, but some people also experience it in only one eye.

Blurry vision can last for just a few moments, or far longer depending on the cause. In some cases, it can be permanent.

What causes blurry vision?

The main causes of blurred vision are refractive errors – myopia (short-sightedness) hyperopia (long-sightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia. Blurry vision can also be a sign of more serious, underlying issues and must be examined if it persists.

Wearing contact lenses for too long can cause proteins and other debris in your tear film to build up on the lenses and contribute to hazy vision. That’s why you should wear your contacts as recommended by the manufacturer and your optician.

High blood pressure can damage the vessels supplying blood to your retina, causing retinopathy, a condition that can lead to bleeding in the eye, blurred vision and complete loss of vision.

Other causes of blurred vision include ocular migraines or migraine headaches, eye floaters, certain medications such as allergy medication and eye conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.

How is blurry vision treated?

How your blurry vision is treated depends on what is causing it. An optometrist will be able to diagnose the cause with an eye examination and recommend an appropriate treatment. Your examination will usually consist of a Snellen eye chart test, slit lamp and measurement of spatial contrast sensitivity.

If you’re short or long sighted, treatment most commonly consists of corrective lenses. Another more invasive option is LASIK eye surgery. With this option, you may encounter temporary blurry vision after surgery, but this will hopefully clear up after a few days. Presbyopia can also be corrected with multifocal lenses, and those who have astigmatism will be prescribed toric lenses.

Quick links:

A guide to light sensitivity
A guide to double vision
A guide to cataracts
Do I need an eye test?