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5 Possible Causes of Sudden Blurry Vision

Blurry Vision
Often, vision that seems blurry or unclear can be attributed to nearsightedness, a condition in which the shape of the eye makes it difficult to see items that are more than a few feet away.

However, nearsightedness tends to be present from an early age or develop gradually. If you have blurry vision that seems to have appeared in a matter of days, hours, or weeks, your eye doctor will consider a few other possible causes. The following are five possible causes of blurry vision.

1. Diabetic Retinopathy

If you are a diabetic, or if diabetes runs in your family, you should be especially wary of any visual blurriness you experience.

Blurry vision can be a sign of diabetic retinopathy, a condition in which the blood vessels in your retina become damaged due to sustained high blood sugar levels. The blood vessels begin leaking fluid into the back of the eye; this fluid puts pressure on the retina, which causes blurry vision. 

If you have diabetic retinopathy and ignore it, you may suffer permanent vision loss. You can keep the condition from worsening if you and your doctor can get your blood sugar levels under control, though some more serious cases require treatment with steroid medications or surgery to remove excess fluid.

2. Migraine

Does your visual blurriness come in episodes? Does it appear just before you get a headache, or is it accompanied by other symptoms like nausea and fatigue?

Periodic blurry vision can be a symptom of a migraine. Some people, in fact, only ever experience visual symptoms and never actually get the headache component of the migraine. You may also see flashes of light or experience blind spots in your visual field.

Usually, if you work with your doctor to get your migraines under control via lifestyle changes and prescription medications, your visual symptoms will subside, too.

3. Dry Eyes

Pay attention to how your eyes feel when your vision becomes blurry. If they feel dry and scratchy, then the visual blurriness may simply be attributed to eye dryness. Eye dryness has many possible causes, from allergies to autoimmune diseases.

In the short-term, use lubricating eye drops to enhance eye comfort and clear up your vision. Work with your eye doctor to identify the underlying causes of your eye dryness so you can address them directly.

4. Multiple Sclerosis

Visual blurriness can be one of the early signs of multiple sclerosis. If MS runs in your family, blurry vision is a sign that you need to get tested for this disease. You should also get tested if your blurry vision is accompanied by other early signs of MS, which include:
  • Tingling in the extremities
  • Trouble holding your urine
  • Confusion and mental fatigue
  • Unexplained weakness in the legs
  • Trouble with balance
  • Irritability and mood swings
Blurry vision due to MS often occurs in one eye at a time. While you may not recover vision you have already lost, MS treatments can help keep your vision loss from worsening.

5. Uveitis

Another possible cause of blurry vision is uveitis, a condition in which the uvea — the middle layer of tissue in the wall surrounding your eye — swells and becomes irritated. Other symptoms of uveitis include redness in the eye, sensitivity to light, and floating spots in the visual field.

Uveitis can be caused by infection or by an autoimmune disease. If your eye doctor confirms that you have uveitis, he or she may collaborate with your general physician to figure out the underlying cause. Usually, treatment of the underlying allergy or disease will alleviate the swelling and restore your vision.

Sometimes, blurry vision is an indicator of a more serious problem. As such, you should make an appointment with your eye doctor if you ever begin to notice blurry vision — whether it occurs in spurts or lasts for weeks at a time. If you are looking for an eye doctor in the Calaveras County area, contact Robert S Haymond, MD.