Any person may experience blurry eyes. When they get tired, their eyes may blur, or it could be that they are dehydrated and need more water. What should a person know about this condition, and when should they make an appointment to see their eye doctor?
What is Blurred Vision?
When a person is unable to see clearly, they likely have blurry vision. Their eyesight is no longer sharp and clear, and the problem may affect only certain parts of their vision or their entire line of sight. Squinting may help bring items into focus once again. Some people describe this problem as cloudy or dim vision, and it may come and go. For certain individuals, the problem worsens over time. However, blurred vision may come on suddenly, and it may only affect one eye.
What Causes Blurred Vision?
Many things bring about blurred vision. A person might suffer from astigmatism or be near- or far-sighted. Corrective lenses help to clear blurred vision when this is the underlying cause. A corneal abrasion or migraine may also bring about blurred vision, as can be trauma to the eye. Allowing the eye to heal or treating the migraine is enough to correct the vision in these cases.
However, the doctor might find the patient has an underlying medical condition. For instance, a stroke can bring about blurred vision, and a person who has diabetes might find they can no longer see clearly. In these situations, the person must have the underlying condition treated to address the vision problems.
Pregnant women need to report any blurred vision to their doctor right away. This can be a sign of pre-eclampsia, a dangerous condition caused by high blood pressure. Women who have never had blood pressure problems in the past can develop this condition, which is why it is crucial to report blurred vision, floaters, or any other eye problems to their doctors right away.
Many people don’t realize psoriasis, a skin condition, many also affect the eyes. They deal with thick, red patches on the skin and are familiar with the joint pain and inflammation that can come with this condition. When psoriasis affects the eyes, it brings about a condition known as uveitis. Inflammation from psoriasis brings about swelling and blurry vision. Other systems of uveitis include redness, pain, and sensitivity to light. The doctor will prescribe a treatment based on which part of the eye is affected.
Diagnosing Blurred Vision
When a patient report blurred vision, the doctor will take a complete medical history. This helps identify any underlying medical conditions that may contribute to vision problems. They will also ask the patient to describe what they are experiencing in more detail, as this helps to narrow the cause.
For instance, the doctor will want to know if the patient has floaters or other symptoms. This helps to narrow the cause of the vision problems. They will also need to know if the blurred vision started after a fall or other trauma. Finally, they need to know about any medications the patient is taking, as certain medicines can cause blurred vision. With this information in hand, the doctor will conduct eye tests. The first test most doctors perform is an eye chart test, where the patient reads letters off a chart. The doctor may also do a refraction test, a slit lamp exam, or tonometry, which provides information about intraocular pressure.
At times, the doctor may also conduct blood testing. They need to know if there are bacteria in the blood. The blood tests also tell them whether the patient has an infection that could contribute to the blurred vision.
Treating Blurred Vision
The treatment for blurred vision depends on the underlying cause. For example, if the blurred vision is a result of dry eye, the doctor may prescribe drops to lubricate the eye. When blurry vision is a result of a refractive error, corrective lenses will be prescribed. Surgery to remove cataracts also helps many people restore their vision and see clearly once again.
For those suffering from diabetes or another medical condition, the eye doctor will work with the medical provider to treat the underlying condition. When this condition is under control, the blurry vision may resolve. If not, the eye doctor can determine how best to proceed.
Doctors have treatment for age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma, along with other eye diseases. Once a person report blurred vision, the doctor works to determine the cause and develops a treatment plan. However, some situations call for immediate medical attention, and a person must know how to distinguish between an eye condition developing and a medical emergency.
When to See a Doctor?
Any person experiencing blurred vision should make an appointment with their eye doctor to learn the underlying cause. However, certain situations call for a trip to the emergency room. Any person who has a severe headache or is having trouble speaking should call 911 if they have blurry vision. The same holds if they lose control of their muscles on one side of the body or one side of the face droops. All are signs of a stroke.
Sudden eye pain or vision loss should lead to an immediate visit to local emergency services. The same holds when a person has trauma to one or both eyes. For those cases where vision slowly gets worse or a person has blurry eyes on more than one occasion, a trip to the eye doctor is called for.
Any change in vision should lead to a visit to the eye doctor. Many things can bring about blurred vision, some of which are serious. It’s best to know what the person is dealing with, so the problem can be addressed before it worsens. Additionally, every person should see an eye doctor once a year for vision checkups. The doctor may find problems the person is unaware of during these visits, protecting their eyes and overall health in the process. Make an appointment today for a complete eye checkup. A person’s vision is too precious to leave to chance.