Is Blurry Vision Always Due to Cataracts?

Are you concerned because your vision is suddenly blurry? Although blurry vision is one of the most common signs of having a cataract, it’s also a very common thing to have.

For many people, having blurry vision doesn’t always mean you have cataracts. Keep reading to learn more about why your sight could be blurry and what you can do about it!

Why is Your Vision Blurry?

woman experiencing cataracts

Having blurry vision usually means that you have a problem with your eye. This may be the cornea, optic nerve, or retina. In some cases, having blurry vision can be a sign of a severe medical emergency.

For this reason, if you experience vision that’s suddenly blurry, see your eye doctor as soon as possible. They will be able to determine what’s causing your blurry vision and start treatment if necessary.

Not sure what could be causing your blurry vision? Many eye conditions can cause this, including:

You Have Cataracts

healthy lens vs cataracts comparison

There are many signs of cataracts, but the most well-known one may be having blurry or distorted vision. For people in their forties or older, having cataracts becomes much more likely.

If you’re experiencing blurry vision along with other symptoms like double vision, glare and starbursts around lights, or light sensitivity, talk to your eye doctor. These are some of the signs that you may have a cataract.

You Have a Refractive Error like Nearsightedness, Farsightedness, or Astigmatism

If you’ve never needed to wear glasses or contact lenses, you may not recognize if or when your eyes have changed. Refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism can make your vision blurry.

These refractive errors are the reason why people need to wear visual aids. Refractive errors occur because the eye is not the right shape.

When the eye is an irregular shape, it affects how light can focus on the retina. The retina is a crucial part of how the light gets processed into signals that the brain can see as images.

If you already wear glasses or contact lenses, having blurry vision even while wearing these is often a sign that you need a new prescription. Make an appointment with your eye doctor and mention that you need to have your eyes examined. Soon, you’ll be seeing clearly again!

You’ve Developed Presbyopia

Another reason that you may have blurry vision is if you develop a condition like presbyopia. Also known as age-related farsightedness, presbyopia develops when the lens loses flexibility due to age.

older man reading newspapers

As you get older, the lens becomes less flexible, making it more challenging to focus on things that are close up, like a book or your smartphone. A tell-tale sign of presbyopia is the need to hold magazines, newspapers, or other reading materials further away from your face to see them or read them.

Many people choose to use reading glasses if they find it difficult to see, but you can also wear special contact lenses and look into procedures like refractive lens exchange (RLE). If you have cataracts and presbyopia, you can treat both during laser-assisted cataract surgery with a premium intraocular lens.

You Have Bacterial or Viral Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is a highly contagious eye condition if you have bacterial or viral conjunctivitis. There are several different kinds of conjunctivitis, including allergic, bacterial, viral, and chemical conjunctivitis, among others.

Not all types of conjunctivitis are contagious. Allergic conjunctivitis occurs due to your body’s reaction to allergens.

If you’ve been diagnosed with bacterial or viral conjunctivitis, you may experience blurry vision, along with itchiness, swelling, and irritation, among other uncomfortable symptoms. Make sure to wash all bed sheets, pillowcases, and your hands to prevent the spread of germs.

You Slept Overnight in Your Contact Lenses

When it comes to wearing contact lenses, sleeping in them is not a good idea. Sleeping in any contact lens is a breeding ground for bacteria, and it can even cause corneal ulcers.

Corneal ulcers are open sores that develop on the cornea that can make your vision blurry. The best way to avoid these is to take your contact lenses out before going to bed every night. If you wear dailies, make sure to dispose of them every night before bed as well.

You Suffer from High Blood Pressure

It wouldn’t seem that having high blood pressure would affect your eyes, but it does. If you have high blood pressure, you may develop something called retinal vein occlusion (RVO).

With retinal vein occlusion, the flow of blood going to the retina gets blocked. For many patients, this is usually because of a blood clot blocking the retinal vein, and patients may notice that their vision is blurrier, among other symptoms.

If you’re over 50 years old and have high blood pressure, see your eye doctor for regular eye exams to stay ahead of potential retinal vein occlusions.

You Have Computer Vision Syndrome

computer vision syndrome

Spend hours in front of your computer for work? If your eyes feel tired, fatigued, or sore, you may have what’s known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).

With CVS, you may experience blurry vision as well as general digital eye strain. Since no longer working in front of the computer isn’t an option, the solution is to take frequent breaks.

Every twenty minutes, look away from your screen at something that’s at least twenty feet away from you for twenty seconds or more. While you’re taking this break, make sure that you’re also stopping to blink.

Spending a great deal of time in front of screens significantly decreases your blink rate, which can lead to symptoms of dry eye and blurry vision, among other things. Taking the time to blink will help your eyes feel more moisturized and lubricated. If your eyes feel especially dry, use eye drops or artificial tears, which you can keep at your desk.

It’s important to realize that these are only some of the reasons you could experience blurry vision. If something doesn’t seem right, let your eye doctor know! Letting them know will allow them to rule out any critical eye conditions and determine the root cause of your blurred vision.

Have additional questions or concerns about your vision? Schedule an appointment at Bausch Eye Associates in Allentown, PA, today!