Sudden Blurry Vision
Three Causes of Sudden Blurry Vision
Have you ever experienced sudden blurry vision? In most circumstances, we usually associate blurred vision with a long-term or obvious cause, such as needing glasses or getting a foreign object stuck in one or both eyes. The truth is that there are many different causes of sudden blurry vision and some of them are temporary while others are very serious. When one’s vision suddenly becomes blurry, though, it is usually a sign that something serious is going on. Let’s take a look at some of the possible causes of sudden blurry vision.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. The most obvious symptom is cloudy or blurred vision which eventually progresses in severity over time. A cataract typically does not cause a sudden change in vision, however it can appear to do so at night time. People with cataracts often have a lot of trouble driving at night due to glare issues and seeing halos surrounding lights. Color contrasts and shadows may also appear less clearly in an eye with a cataract. This condition can be present from birth or it can develop as an effect of the aging process. The elderly are more likely to develop cataracts, however this condition is by no means limited to this age group. Conditions such as diabetes or hypertension are other known causes, as are trauma to the eye exposure to radiation or ultraviolet light. The most successful treatment for a cataract is a surgical procedure called extra-capsular surgery. This surgery is performed by extracting the eye’s natural lens and replacing it with an artificial one. The improvement in vision is almost instantaneous, although full clarity usually takes a few days to a few weeks to obtain.
Retinal detachment is a very serious issue that can cause sudden blurry vision. The retina is a clear tissue found in the back of the eye and is responsible for helping us see the images that the lens and cornea provide. A retinal detachment is when the retina partially or fully separates from the anchoring tissues beneath it. Sometimes detachment can occur literally out of the blue and with no obvious reason, however it can also be caused by uncontrolled diabetes or trauma. Studies also show that someone with a family history of retinal detachment is likely to be at a higher risk for this condition. The symptoms of retinal detachment are blurred vision, sparks or flashes of light appearing in one’s peripheral vision (similar to someone shining a flashlight from the side), the presence of “floaters” in one’s vision, and shadowing of vision or blindness. Retinal detachment should be treated immediately. One type of treatment includes using a laser to seal any tearing or holes causing the detachment. Another type of treatment, called cryopexy, uses an ice probe to literally scar the tissues together to prevent further separation. There is also the option of having a bubble of gas placed in the eye to help keep the retina in place. These treatments can help restore one’s vision, however they are not always 100% effective. The results often depend on how severe the damage is and whether the condition is caught early on.
A migraine is a severe type of headache that is typically limited to one side of the head. Migraines are fairly common and are probably the most likely cause behind one’s vision suddenly turning blurry, especially if a headache is present at the same time. Migraines can also cause tunnel vision, eye pain, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and/or sound. Migraines are a result of abnormal brain functioning which tends to happen as a result of environmental triggers, such as stressful situations, strong odors, and even certain types of food. Over the counter medications such as Excedrin, Aleve, and Advil can treat current symptoms, but those who experience frequent or long-lasting migraines may want to get a prescription medication from their doctor. Prevention of migraines requires one to discover what is triggering them and avoid it at all costs.