Blurred vision, also described as clouded or dimmed vision, can:
Most cases are treatable but it’s important to pinpoint the cause.
There are many possible reasons for blurred vision.
You can book an appointment with a Spire private GP today.
The cone cells on the macula (a part of your eye that’s vital for seeing) become damaged, leading to loss of central vision. There are two main types: dry AMD, which progresses slowly but is untreatable, and wet AMD, which progresses more rapidly but is treatable, especially if spotted early.
Blurred vision that occurs with double vision can be a sign of a health emergency, such as a brain haemorrhage or stroke.
A cataract is the gradual clouding of your lens, which is a transparent disc behind your iris (the coloured part of your eye). It’s common in people over 65, though it can happen earlier. Besides blurred vision, symptoms include sensitivity to light and a dulling effect on colours. Luckily, it’s easily treated with cataract surgery.
Over time, diabetes can lead to a condition called retinopathy, when the tiny blood vessels at the back of your eye become blocked and leak. This damages your retina, which is essential for vision and can lead to sight loss. However, it can be prevented if detected early through regular screening.
There are four types of glaucoma, which can lead to a build-up of pressure in your eye, damaging the optic nerve. This can permanently damage your sight, especially your peripheral vision, but once it’s detected, sight loss can usually be prevented.
This is an autoimmune disease that causes your body to attack the protective coating that wraps around your nerve cells, causing these cells to become damaged. Vision problems are very common in people with multiple sclerosis and include blurred and double vision.
It’s important to get a diagnosis for blurred vision as soon as possible, especially if it's come on suddenly and/or you have other symptoms. See your optometrist or GP for further investigations.
They will ask you questions to determine your exact symptoms, such as when you first noticed your vision was blurry and what makes your blurred vision better or worse. They may also ask about your medical history and your family's medical history.
Next, they may examine your eyes and check your vision by asking you to read an eye chart. Other investigations they may carry out include:
Go straight to your nearest A&E department if you also have:
Some of these symptoms overlap with the symptoms of a stroke.
Treatment depends on the cause. They may include:
If an underlying health condition, such as a migraine, is the cause of your blurred vision, you will receive treatments specific to your condition.
If eye strain or wearing your contact lenses for too long is the cause of your blurred vision, your optometrist or GP may offer lifestyle advice.
Some causes of blurred vision can't be prevented. However, you can reduce your risk of blurred vision caused by lifestyle factors. You can:
Why is my vision suddenly blurry?
Sudden blurred vision is usually caused by injury or a sudden health event, such as:
Is sudden blurred vision an emergency?
Sudden blurred vision can be a medical emergency depending on the cause and other accompanying symptoms. It can be a sign of a brain haemorrhage, retinal detachment or stroke. If you have sudden blurred vision, call your GP immediately.
Is blurred vision a sign of diabetes?
Yes, blurred vision can be a sign of diabetes. Over time, diabetes can lead to a condition called retinopathy, when the tiny blood vessels at the back of your eye become blocked and leak. This damages your retina, which is essential for vision and can lead to sight loss. However, it can be prevented if detected early through regular screening.
How do you get rid of blurry vision?
Blurry vision can be effectively treated in many cases. However, the treatment will depend on the cause of your blurry vision. This may include:
If an underlying health condition, such as a migraine, is the cause of your blurred vision, you will receive treatments specific to your condition. If eye strain or wearing your contact lenses for too long is the cause of your blurred vision, your optometrist or GP may offer lifestyle advice.
How do glasses correct blurred vision?
If your blurred vision is due to a refractive error, such as short or long sight, astigmatism or presbyopia (age-related loss of your near sight), glasses can correct it.
In each of these conditions, light entering your eye fails to focus properly on the back of your eye (retina), which causes blurry vision. Wearing prescription glasses that are specifically made to correct your refractive error, help your eyes focus the light correctly on your retina.
Does high blood pressure cause blurry vision?
Yes, high blood pressure can cause blurry vision by damaging the vessels that supply blood to the back of your eye (retina), which is essential for vision. If you are concerned that you have high blood pressure, see your GP.