Blurred vision is a common visual symptom. There is a decrease in the sharpness or clarity of vision that gradually develops. If there is abrupt, complete loss of vision in one or both eyes, it is considered as a different condition.
What are the possible causes?
- Clouding of the translucent eye structures that the light rays has to pass through to reach the retina.
- Disorders that affect the retina
- Deficient focusing of light rays on the retina
- Conditions that affect the pathways of nerves that transport visual signals from the eye to the brain
Some of the conditions that causes blurred vision are likely to cause other symptoms that urges an individual to seek medical care such as eye pain and redness.
What are the warning signs?
Among those who have blurred vision, there are certain symptoms that are a cause for concern such as the following:
- Abrupt change in vision
- Eye pain
- Severely diminished vision especially in only one eye even if the symptoms started gradually
- Loss of a specific area in the field of vision
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or AIDS or other condition that affects the immune system
When to consult a doctor
Individuals who have warning signs must be taken to the nearest emergency department right away. Those who have a systemic disorder that oftentimes causes retinal damage must consult a doctor as soon as possible.
In case the vision deteriorated gradually for months or years but there is no drastic impairment of vision or there are no warning signs, the individual can wait for up to a week before consulting a doctor.
What to expect during a check-up?
The doctor will ask the individual about the symptoms and his/her medical history and then followed by a physical exam. The results of the history and physical exam can help pinpoint the exact cause of the blurred vision and if further testing is still needed.
The underlying condition should be treated. The use of corrective lenses or surgery can be utilized to improve the visual acuity.
Even though the decrease in visual acuity generally occurs with aging, acuity is generally correctable to 20/20 with refraction even among the elderly.