Blurry vision is generally defined as an inability to focus on fine details due to a lack of sharpness in vision. Left untreated blurry vision can strain eyes and cause headaches. A gradual onset of blurry vision could be a sign of some type of eye disease. There are numerous causes of blurry vision the most basic being near or far sightedness simply requiring treatment with glasses to the much more worrisome glaucoma, cataracts and other ocular diseases. This means recently noticing difficulty seeing at night, problems differentiated among colors, trouble reading far away objects such as street signs, or close up reading materials, discharge coming from eye, excessive itching or loss of peripheral vision . That being said sudden full or partial blindness, blind spots or halos around lights could indicate a medical emergency and should be treated with immediate medical attention. The following diseases and treatments are associated with blurry vision and can be addressed by your optometrist.
A common problem among middle age patients is presbyopia caused by a loss in the elasticity of the eye. The decline in vision is gradual and is normally marked by an inability to focus on close up objects. In the case of presbyopia vision is generally corrected through glasses or contact lenses with the prescription increasing as the condition worsens. Another age related cause of blurred vision is cataracts, which is a fogging of the lens causing a gradual decline in vision. Cataracts generally do not cause severe problems until a person reaches their 70s. Like presbyopia cataracts are treated through frequent updates in glasses or contacts prescription. Additionally, surgery has been shown to be a very successful treatment.
Glaucoma is the second greatest cause of blindness in the United States. Glaucoma is caused by a build up of the fluid in the eye causing excessive pressure on the optic nerve and thus leading to blindness. There are four different forms of glaucoma, which vary in the timing of the onset of symptoms as the disease can be inherited, a slow progression or a sudden occurrence of symptoms. As mentioned above any sudden vision loss should result in immediately seeking medical attention.
Diabetes can also be a significant cause of an onset of blurry vision through a damaging of the blood vessels leading to the eye, in a condition known as diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes related vision loss is often not noticed until it is very severe and generally can be treated with strict insulin regulation and in more severe cases with lasers. While often the damage of diabetic retinopathy is often irreversible, further damage can be prevented through proper care.
Your eye care specialist should address any changes in vision, as soon as you notice a problem. When you seek treatment you should be prepared to give your physician as much detail as possible about the changes in your vision. Before your appointment be sure to recall when you began to notice the blurred vision, time of day it occurs and how often the symptoms present. Also be aware of any family history of eye disease. Additionally some medications including those used to treat allergies, high blood pressure and psychosis can cause vision problems.
The more information you provide your physician with the more precise and accurate your treatment will be. Finally be calm when you visit your doctor and remember that most causes of blurry vision are reversible and treated with corrective lenses or simple surgery.