What is blurry vision?
Blurry vision is when you don't see as clearly or sharply as you once did. It's the most common vision problem. Blurry vision is different from loss of vision Sudden Vision Loss Sudden vision loss is when you lose some or all of your vision quickly. The loss can happen within a few minutes or over a few days. Vision loss differs from blurry vision. Blurry vision is... read more . Loss of vision means you become blind or can't see anything with all or part of an eye.
It's normal for your vision to slowly get blurrier as you get older, but glasses or contacts can usually help you see better
If you have sudden loss of vision, go to a hospital right away—vision loss is different from blurry vision
What causes blurry vision?
Most often your vision is blurry and you just need glasses or contact lenses because you are:
Nearsighted (have trouble seeing far-away objects clearly)
Farsighted (have trouble seeing close-up objects clearly)
Have astigmatism (blurry vision due to the shape of your eye's cornea or lens)
Other common causes:
Macular degeneration Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD or ARMD) The retina is a layer of cells at the back of your eye that's sensitive to light and sends signals to your brain that allow you to see. The macula is a small area of the retina that has a high... read more (a gradual breakdown of the back of your eye, leading to vision loss)
When should I see a doctor?
Go to a hospital right away if you have blurry vision and any of these warning signs:
Your blurry vision started suddenly
Severe loss of vision, especially in just one eye, even if the symptoms started slowly
Eye pain (with or without moving your eyes)
Having blind spots—not being able to see a certain area in your field of vision
You have an immune system Overview of the Immune System The immune system is your body's defense system. It helps protect you from illness and infection. The immune system's job is to attack things that don’t belong in your body, including: Germs... read more problem, such as HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection and AIDS The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a type of virus called a retrovirus. It causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), which is life-threatening. HIV is called an immunodeficiency... read more or AIDS
If you have blurry vision and a health problem that can cause eye damage, such as diabetes Diabetes Diabetes is a disease in which your blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high. You get diabetes if your body's normal way of controlling blood sugar isn't working right. There are 2 types of... read more , high blood pressure High Blood Pressure Each heart beat pushes blood through your arteries. Arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to your body. Blood pressure is the pressure of blood in your arteries. Without... read more , or sickle cell disease Sickle Cell Disease Sickle cell disease is a lifelong problem with your red blood cells. It's something you’re born with that causes some of your red blood cells to be unusually shaped. Instead of being shaped... read more , see an eye doctor within a few days—even if you have no warning signs.
If you have blurry vision with no warning signs, you can usually wait a week or longer to see an eye doctor.
What will happen at my doctor visit?
Doctors will ask about your symptoms and health history.
Check your vision with an eye chart
Put some liquid drops in your eye (you may have a burning feeling that lasts a few seconds)
Look into your eye using a special magnifying light (the light is very bright)
Measure the pressure in your eye (there are different ways to do this, but none of them hurt)
How do doctors treat blurry vision?
Doctors will treat the cause of your blurry vision. For example, if you have a cataract, you may need surgery to treat it.
Doctors may prescribe glasses or contact lenses to help you see more clearly.