Blurred vision: an explanation of common causes

Trouble seeing due to hazy or blurred vision is a common eye problem, but what’s really going on?

Blurred vision:  an explanation of common causes

What is blurred vision?

Blurred or hazy eyesight is not the same as having double vision. In general, blurry vision means difficulty focusing on one image, like adjusting the lens on a camera, while double vision means you see a single image split into duplicates.If your eyesight seems veiled or shadowed, this is known as blurred vision.Here are a few possible causes.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve is damaged by excessive pressure created by fluid build up. In general, glaucoma symptoms usually go unnoticed, while some individuals will experience headaches, red eyes and blurry vision.It is very important to seek medical treatment for glaucoma, as it is the lead cause of blindness.

Retinopathy

This condition is most often rooted in diabetes or hypertension. When retinal blood vessels are damaged, it can result in hemorrhaging and possible retina detachment. In addition to blurred vision, retinopathy also causes floating spots, double vision, eye pain and headache.

Cataracts

If you’re over 50, you are more likely to have cataracts. Cataracts are caused by proteins on the lens that stick together to form an opaque layer and cause cloudy vision.Cataracts can be removed quickly and easily with surgery. After surgery, you will experience a significant improvement to your eyesight after just a couple of days.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration affects the centre of your field of vision. The distortion can spread and comprise your ability to see colour and contrast. It can be caused by an injury, infection or inflammation of the eye.Since the damage is irreversible, it’s essential to consult an ophthalmologist and seek treatment quickly. Without medical attention your eyesight will only get worse.

Pharmaceuticals

The use of certain medications can cause vision problems. Check with your doctor to see if your treatment has any known side-effects, especially if you have diabetes or hypertension. Do not stop taking them until you know for sure.

Medications that can affect vision:

  • Antihistamines
  • Some hypertension medications
  • Malaria drugs

Protect your eyes by taking care of your overall health. Smoking, alcohol abuse, vitamin deficiency and unprotected sun exposure also cause blurred vision.

If blurred vision worries you, consult a doctor, an optometrist or ophthalmologist without delay. In most cases, vision problems are temporary and easily corrected, but you need to rule out any serious conditions.

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