Blurry or cloudy vision is an extremely common problem, but one you should not ignore. Although the cause is usually nothing serious to worry about, blurry vision that comes on suddenly or persists should still be investigated by a qualified eye doctor. Occasionally it can indicate a serious eye disease requiring treatment.
Below, the team at Vista Eye Specialists discusses some of the most common causes of cloudy or blurry vision and what can be done to restore clearer vision.
A refractive error affects the way light enters the front of the eye and is focused on the retina. Myopia (nearsightedness) occurs when light focuses in front of the retina instead of on it; as a result, distant objects look blurry. Hyperopia (farsightedness) occurs when light focuses beyond the retina, causing nearby objects to look blurry. Astigmatism occurs when the cornea or lens is irregularly curved; objects at any distance may appear blurry or hazy.
How Are Refractive Errors Treated?
Refractive errors are easily fixed with a glasses or contact lens prescription. Laser vision correction (LASIK or PRK) can permanently alter the shape of the cornea for clearer vision without the use of contact lenses or corrective eyewear. Another solution is refractive lens exchange (otherwise known as clear lens extraction), which replaces the eye’s natural lens with an artificial intraocular implant.
Presbyopia is the age-related loss of focusing ability. Around the age of 40, the lens starts to thicken and lose its innate flexibility. This causes blurry vision up close (making the condition easily confused with farsightedness).
How Is Presbyopia Treated?
The effects of presbyopia can be improved by wearing reading glasses. Surgical treatment options include the placement of corneal inlays, refractive lens exchange or monovision LASIK.
Dry Eye Disease
Dry eye disease occurs when the body does not produce enough tears (or tears with the right composition) to keep the eyes properly moisturized. Chronic dry eye can lead to blurry vision; itchy, burning or red eyes; and a “foreign body” sensation in the eye.
How Is Dry Eye Disease Treated?
The treatment for dry eye disease depends on the root cause. Artificial tears can help soothe irritated eyes but prescription medication may be needed to restore adequate tear production. Other treatment options include placing small plugs in the tear ducts to limit tear drainage.
Other Causes of Blurry Vision
Blurry vision may indicate a serious underlying eye disease such as cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
Because these diseases are so different, the treatment depends on the circumstances of the individual case.
Other causes of blurry vision include prolonged use of digital devices (i.e., digital eye strain), overexposure to sunlight or simply fatigue.
Consult With Our Experts
If you are experiencing cloudy or blurry vision, you should schedule an evaluation with our eye doctors. We can determine the underlying cause of the blurriness and discuss suitable treatment options.