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What Causes an Eye to Get Blurry?

by
author image Lisabetta DiVita
Lisabetta Divita is a physician whose love for writing flourished while she was exposed to all facets of the medical field during her training. Her writings are currently featured in prominent medical magazines and various online publications. She holds a doctorate in medicine, a master's in biomedicine, and a Bachelor of Science in biology from Boston College.
What Causes an Eye to Get Blurry?
A man standing in front of a mirror rubbing his eyes. Photo Credit Brad Killer/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Trouble seeing and bumping into things are just some signs of blurry vision. In some cases, this may be due to an underlying medical problem or it can be due to eye strain cause by activities such as reading a book too closely. There are many things that can cause an eye to get blurry.

Nearsightedness

Nearsightedness, medically known as myopia, is a common eye problem in which objects that are at a distance appear blurry. The Mayo Clinic says that nearsightedness can occur rapidly or gradually, typically worsening during childhood and the teen years.

Other symptoms of nearsightedness include having to squint to see clearly and developing headaches as a result of straining the eyes. Children will typically blink many times, sit close to the television or rub their eyes many times.

Risk factors for nearsightedness include having a family history, being born prematurely and doing close work such as reading and sewing.

Eyeglasses and contact lenses can help correct nearsightedness. Surgeries such as laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) or photorefractive keratectomy may be performed to help improve vision.

Presbyopia

Presbyopia refers to a condition in which objects that are near appear blurry. The Mayo Clinic says that this is a normal part of aging and typically becomes apparent in the early 40s.

Specific symptoms of presbyopia include reading books or other items at a distance in order to see the words clearly. Other presbyopia symptoms include developing eye strain and headaches when working closely.

Risk factors for developing presbyopia include being older than age 40 and suffering from diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis and heart disease. Certain drugs such as antihistamines, alcohol and diuretics can increase the risk for developing presbyopia.

Using prescription reading glasses, bifocals or trifocals can help correct vision. LASIK or conductive keratoplasty can also be performed to manage presbyopia. In some instances, the lens of the affected eye can be removed and replaced.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma refers to a condition in which the optic (eye) nerve is damaged, leading to increased eye pressure. A few types of glaucoma are open-angle, angle-closure, congenital and secondary.

MedlinePlus, a website of the National Institutes of Health, says that open-angle glaucoma is actually the most typical form of glaucoma. Its symptoms include loss of peripheral vision.

Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the fluid in the eye (aqueous humor) becomes blocked. Symptoms may include blurry vision, red eyes, swollen eyes and pain in the affected eye.

Congenital glaucoma is inherited and its specific symptoms include tearing, light sensitivity and enlargement of the affected eye.

Secondary glaucoma can be due to drugs such as corticosteroids or eye disease such as uveitis.

Depending on the type of glaucoma, treatment can involve using eye drops, taking pills or medications intravenously, or having surgery to decrease the eye pressure.

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