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Blurred Vision: An Overview

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4 min read


Blurred vision is usually a sign of an eye condition. This article will discuss the various eye conditions causing blurred vision in detail.

Written by

Dr. Sumithra. S

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Shikha Gupta

Published At October 12, 2022
Reviewed AtFebruary 29, 2024


Blurred vision is a sign that a person cannot view things clearly. Various conditions can cause this. For example, blurred vision progressing slowly is often caused by an underlying medical condition. Whereas an injury can cause a sudden blurry vision.

What Is Blurred Vision?

An eye is made of various layers like cornea, retina, iris, pupil, sclera, optic nerve, lens, etc. Damage or infection in any of these layers can cause blurred vision. Blurred vision can be seen as a sign in neurological disorders too. The various conditions that show blurred vision as a sign or a symptom are,

  • Hyphema.

  • Detached retina.

  • Concussion.

  • Macular hole.

  • Macular degeneration.

  • Stroke.

  • Endophthalmitis.

  • Optic neuritis.

  • Keratitis.

  • Conjunctivitis.

  • Uveitis.

  • Orbital cellulitis.

  • Straining the eye.

What Are Some Conditions That Lead to Blurred Vision?

The following conditions may lead to blurred vision-

1) Hyphema

It occurs due to an injury to the eyes. The injury will cause the pooling of blood in the front part of the eyes, that is, in the anterior chamber of the eyes. Blurry or a blocked vision with a red tint is a classic sign of hyphema.

Most hyphema cases can be treated with medicines alone. Topical corticosteroids are the first line of drugs for hyphema. The patient will be advised to limit eye activity and rest his or her head at 45 degrees to prevent blood from flowing back from the inferior chamber. Surgery will be required only in 5 % of cases.

2) Detached Retina

Retina is the layer present at the back of the eye. Due to age-related changes or an injury, the retinal layer will detach from the back of the eye and become devoid of nutrients and oxygen, due to decreased supply by the blood vessels. Blurred vision, the presence of floaters in the path of vision, and peripheral vision are the classic signs of a detached retina.

In case of retinal detachment, the treatment option available is only surgery. The surgical procedures include pneumatic retinopexy, vitrectomy, and scleral buckling. All these procedures are aimed at reattaching the detached retina.

3) Concussion

Concussion is a mild brain injury. It is not life-threatening but can cause serious vision damage. Blurred vision, pain in the eyes, and loss of vision are the classic eye-related changes a concussion can cause, along with amnesia, confusion, drowsiness, and dizziness.

If the concussion case is mild, the treatment will be mostly focused on limiting the symptoms. The patient will be advised to rest.

4) Macular Hole

Macula is the central part of the retinal layer. It is responsible for the central vision during reading, driving, etc. In older age, the macula can get stretched, and a hole can form, known as the macular hole. Due to this, the central vision gets affected. Blurry vision will be the first sign. Later, the objects may become wavy and not in line. As it goes untreated, the central vision can be lost.

Vitrectomy is the most preferred line of treatment for managing the macular hole. It includes injecting a bubble into the eye space that will act as a binding element in the place of the macular hole. To maintain this hole at place, the patient will be instructed to limit eye movements for some time.

5) Macular Degeneration

Degeneration, in general, means the loss of original functions and structure. Macula as discussed earlier is the central part of the retina responsible for clear vision. As a person ages, this macular layer will thin out and degenerate. Due to which, the affected person will experience difficulty in reading, driving, etc. Inability to recognize faces, blurry vision, wavy images, loss of central vision, etc, are a few of the signs and symptoms of macular degeneration.

There are no treatment options available to manage macular degeneration as of now, however, many researchers are trying to find solution. It is only possible to adapt to the changes through low vision rehabilitation. One of the upcoming management modalities is the implantation of a telescopic lens.

6) Stroke

Stroke is caused due to a blocked blood vessel to the brain or when a blood vessel supplying the brain ruptures or bleeds. Stroke is characterized by numbness in one side of the body including arms, legs, and face. Blurry vision in one of the eyes is very common. Patients may find it difficult to view things with one eye and there will be difficulty in speaking as well. Stroke is a serious medical condition and needs to be addressed immediately.

Treatment for stroke involves clearing the clot using medications or surgery. Antiplatelets, anticoagulants, and statins (medicines to lower cholesterol levels) will be prescribed. If the blood vessels are found to be weak, a stent will be placed to strengthen it.

7) Endophthalmitis

Endophthalmitis is an infection of the tissues of the eyeball caused by bacteria, fungi, punctures, or an eye injury. It is an emergency condition and it needs immediate medical care. Blurry vision, loss of vision, red eyes, and eye discharge are classic signs of endophthalmitis.

Vitrectomy surgery, antibiotics, and steroids are the preferred line of treatment to treat endophthalmitis.

8) Optic Neuritis

Optic nerve is responsible for transmitting visual information from the eyes to the brain. Swelling and damage to the optic nerve is known as optic neuritis. Optic neuritis shows signs of blurred vision, loss of vision in one eye, eye pain, fading colors, and flashing lights.

Optic neuritis generally heals on its own. In serious cases, steroidal therapy will be needed.

9) Keratitis

Keratitis is an inflammatory condition of the corneal layer of the eyes. Cornea is the clear layer of the eye. Pain and redness of the eyes, and cloudy or blurry vision are signs of keratitis.

Cold compresses, artificial tears, eye ointments, and eye drops are the line of treatment for keratitis.

10) Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is an inflammatory condition of the conjunctival layer of the eyes. It is also known as pink eyes. It is caused by bacteria, viruses, irritants, fungi, parasites, etc. Symptoms include redness of the white part of the eyes, inflammation, blurred vision, swollen eyes, itching and burning sensation of the eyes, and green or white eye discharge.

Cleaning and washing the eyes regularly is very important. Warm compresses and artificial tears will provide ease. Eye drops usage is limited in order to not worsen the redness of the eyes.

11) Uveitis

Inflammation of the uvea of the eyes is known as uveitis. It can be caused by an injury, or bacterial or viral infection to the eyes. There are three types of uveitis - anterior, intermediate and posterior. It usually presents with eye pain, cloudy or blurry vision, and redness of the eyes.

Eye drops and corticosteroids treatment at the right time will help prevent uveitis from causing complications.

12) Orbital Cellulitis

Orbital cellulitis is an inflammatory condition of the soft tissues that hold the eye in its place (eye socket). It shows symptoms of protruded eyes (proptosis), double vision, blurry vision, pain around the eyes, inability to open the eyes, discharge from the eyes, etc.

Broad-spectrum antibiotics administered intravenously and surgery are the preferred and effective treatment modalities to heal orbital cellulitis.

13) Straining of the Eyes

Eyes can get strained due to continuously looking at a computer screen. It may cause itchiness, dry eyes, and blurry vision. It is advised to take breaks in between and wear appropriate glasses.


An emergency or serious condition does not necessarily cause blurry vision. But it is always good to address it to avoid complications. Always seek help from an ophthalmologist for any eye changes noticed so that they can be healed right at the beginning. Vision is the greatest gift of life, and it cannot be taken for granted any day.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Are the Possible Reasons for the Sudden Onset of Blurry Vision?

It could be related to refractive errors like nearsightedness or farsightedness, which may require corrective lenses. Other possibilities include eye fatigue from extended screen time, dryness of the eyes, or side effects of certain medications. Additionally, underlying conditions such as migraines, sinus congestion, or high blood pressure can contribute to blurry vision.


When Should One Be Worried About Blurry Vision?

Sudden or rapidly worsening blurry vision should be concerning, as it could signal a serious underlying condition. Seek immediate medical attention if blurry vision is accompanied by eye pain, redness, double vision, or loss of peripheral vision. A person with a history of diabetes, high blood pressure, or eye conditions should be cautious and consult a doctor if vision remains persistently blurry.


What Are Some Methods to Alleviate or Improve Blurred Vision?

To alleviate or improve blurred vision, there are several methods one can try:
- Wear corrective lenses (glasses or contact lenses) for refractive errors.
- Perform eye exercises to strengthen eye muscles.
- Utilize the 20-20-20 rule- take regular breaks from screen time by looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
- Take breaks, and get enough sleep to rest the eyes.
- Be sure to take good care of the eyes by avoiding irritants and using lubricating eye drops.
- Seek professional advice if blurred vision persists or worsens or if accompanied by other concerning symptoms.


Can High Blood Pressure Lead To Blurry Vision?

Yes, having high blood pressure may cause vision problems. Blood arteries all over the body, including those in the eyes, can be impacted by hypertension. Uncontrolled or abnormally high blood pressure can harm the tiny blood vessels in the retina, resulting in vision that is distorted or blurry. Hypertensive retinopathy is the name given to this condition.


Does Dehydration Cause Blurry Vision?

Yes, dehydration causes blurry vision. Blurry vision is because of improper lubrication. Drinking proper water helps to flush out salt in the body and helps one to hydrate the eyes, helping to reduce eye strain.


Can Sudden Blurred Vision Be a Symptom of a Stroke?

Yes, a stroke can manifest itself as an abrupt clouded vision. In some circumstances, a stroke can impair blood flow to the brain's visual circuits, causing vision issues, including blurred vision. A severe headache, abrupt weakness or numbness on one side of the body, trouble speaking or comprehending others, dizziness, and other symptoms may also be present. A stroke is a medical emergency requiring rapid care. Thus, it is critical to seek medical help right once if sudden impaired vision is observed along with these symptoms.


Can Blurred Vision Be a Symptom of Diabetes?

Blurred vision can be a symptom of diabetes. High blood sugar levels can cause fluid to shift in the lens of the eye, leading to changes in its shape and affecting the ability to focus. This condition is known as diabetic retinopathy. If blood sugar levels are poorly controlled, it can contribute to the development or progression of this eye condition, resulting in blurred vision.


What Are the Possible Causes of Fuzzy Headaches and Blurred Vision?

Some potential factors causing fuzzy headaches and blurred vision include migraines, which can cause visual disturbances along with head pain. Additionally, conditions like sinus congestion or allergies can lead to blurred vision and headaches due to increased pressure in the sinus cavities. Other causes may include eyestrain from excessive screen time, dehydration, or medication side effects. It is very essential to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis to determine the specific cause and appropriate treatment for these symptoms.


Is It Possible for Blurred Vision to Resolve on Its Own?

Whether blurred vision will go away depends on its underlying cause. Temporary blurred vision caused by factors like eye strain, fatigue, or dryness may resolve on its own with rest, proper hydration, or using lubricating eye drops. However, suppose blurred vision persists or is caused by conditions like refractive errors, diabetic retinopathy, or other eye diseases. In that case, it may require specific treatments to address the root cause and improve vision.


Can Insufficient Sleep Lead To Blurry Vision?

Vision blurring may be caused by insufficient sleep. The eyes can strain and become out of alignment if they do not get enough sleep. It could result in eye tiredness, dryness, and difficulty focusing, which could briefly blur the vision. Healthy sleep patterns and adequate rest can assist in resolving this problem and enhance eye health.


Which Medications Are Associated With the Potential Side Effect of Blurred Vision?

Blurred vision can be a side effect of certain medications, including antihistamines, antidepressants (tricyclics), antipsychotics, blood pressure medications, and some anti-seizure medications. These medications may affect the nervous system, cause dryness, or alter eye function, resulting in blurred vision.


Is There a Link Between Kidney Problems and Blurred Vision?

There can be an association between kidney problems and blurred vision. In cases of advanced kidney disease or uncontrolled high blood pressure, fluid and electrolyte imbalances can affect the delicate blood vessels in the eyes, potentially leading to blurred vision. Additionally, kidney problems can cause the accumulation of waste products in the body, which may impact overall ocular health.


Is There a Correlation Between High Cholesterol Levels and Blurred Vision?

Elevated cholesterol levels can contribute to blurred vision. Excess cholesterol can lead to the narrowing of arteries supplying blood to the eyes, causing reduced blood flow and potential vision issues. Proper management of cholesterol levels through a healthy lifestyle, including diet, exercise, and medication when needed, is crucial to minimize the risk of vision problems and cardiovascular complications.


Is There a Relationship Between Low Electrolyte Levels and Blurred Vision?

The presence of low electrolyte levels may be a factor in blurry vision. Electrolytes are essential for preserving the right fluid balance throughout the body, particularly in the eyes. Imbalances, such as low potassium, sodium, or calcium levels, can impair the function of the nerves and muscles, especially those in charge of eye movement and focus. Vision blur could be the result of this interference with the electrochemical signals. 


What Blood Sugar Levels Cause Eyesight to Become Blurry?

Consistently high blood sugar levels, usually above 180-200 mg/dL (10-11 mmol/L), can lead to blurred vision. This occurs due to changes in the shape of the eye's lens, affecting focus. Monitoring and controlling blood sugar levels within the target range is essential for individuals with diabetes to minimize the risk of vision problems. Regular blood sugar monitoring is crucial for maintaining optimal vision health.
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Dr. Shikha Gupta
Dr. Shikha Gupta

Ophthalmology (Eye Care)


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