Causes of Blurry Vision in One Eye

Causes of Blurry Vision in One Eye Image

Many people experience blurry vision in one eye at some point in life. In many cases, blurry vision isn't a serious medical emergency or a life-threatening condition. However, it may be a warning sign of a condition requiring medical treatment - especially if the sudden blurry vision is persistent.

To help you understand your condition, EyeCare Associates has put together a guide of common causes of blurry vision. To learn more, schedule an eye appointment at your local EyeCare Associates.

Most Common Causes of Blurry Vision

Changes in Vision Over Time

As we age, it's common to experience or have worsened vision problems. These include nearsightedness, farsightedness, or even an astigmatism.

Nearsightedness affects your ability to see objects close. People with this condition have difficulties seeing far away. Farsightedness is the opposite, allowing you to see far away but not close. An astigmatism is caused by the cornea or lens of the eye being irregularly shaped, often resembling a football. This can impact your ability to see close and far distances.

Whenever you are experiencing vision loss, you should set up an eye appointment. Your eye doctor may recommend getting glasses or increasing your current lens prescription.

To schedule an appointment, find an EyeCare Associates location near you today.

Blurry Vision Due to Dry Eye

Dry eye is caused by your eyes not producing enough tears to stay moisturized. This is a common condition, that affects around 16 million people¹.

To treat this condition, purchase eye drops formulated for wetting or producing artificial tears. They are commonly sold as over the counter and provide fast relief.

The best way to manage your dry eye condition is by scheduling an appointment with your eye doctor. They can provide customized treatment options that help effectively manage this condition. Find a EyeCare Associates center near you.

Side Effects of Medications

The next time you experience blurry vision, be sure to evaluate the medications you may be taking.  Some common medications that can affect vision² include antihistamines, antimalarials, corticosteroids, and antipsychotics.

Those with glaucoma or diabetes are at higher risk of having a medication with vision affecting side effects. Ask your doctor or a pharmacist if a medication you are using can cause blurry vision.

Less Common Causes of Blurry Vision

Wet or Macular Degeneration Disease

Mostly seen in older individuals, macular degeneration is a disease that affects the vision in the middle of your eye. The dry version, in which some light-sensitive cells gradually break down, usually occurs first and is slow developing. It can result in blurry central vision or make seeing in dim-lit areas more difficult.

Between 10% to 15%³ of dry macular degeneration cases develop into wet macular degeneration. Wet macular degeneration causes the blood vessels in your eye to leak. This can cause blurry central vision in one eye and potentially even permanent vision loss.

It’s estimated that about 11 million people⁴ in the U.S. are diagnosed with wet or dry macular degeneration.

For more information, read our guide to macular degeneration.

Less Common: Detached Retina

The retina is the light-sensitive internal tissue lining the back of your eye. It’s possible for the retina to detach⁵ spontaneously from its normal position. This can lead to blurry vision in one eye.

Those more likely to suffer from a spontaneously detached retina are:

  • Ocular degenerative condition

  • Chronic inflammation

  • Uncontrolled diabetes

  • Retinal surgery

  • Family history

  • Trauma

Early symptoms of a detaching retina are flashes and floaters, which are small objects that obstruct your ability to see clearly. They are caused by the natural shrinking of the gel-like fluid in your eye.

If these risk factors or symptoms apply to you, immediately seek help from a healthcare professional.

Common Medical Emergency: Stroke

In the United States, someone suffers from a stroke every 40 seconds⁶. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to your brain becomes blocked. This can cause many physical symptoms, along with vision problems.

A stroke is a medical emergency. If you are experiencing sudden weakness, confusion, trouble walking, or blurry vision, please call 911 for immediate help. This is a life-threatening condition that needs medical attention.

Less Common Medical Emergency: Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Angle-closure is one of the less common forms of glaucoma⁷. It’s caused by blocked drainage canals in the eye, resulting in blurry vision or vision loss.

In addition to blurry vision, other symptoms can include nausea, severe head pain, and eye pain. Seek medical attention if you believe you are experiencing angle-closure glaucoma, as this condition needs immediate medical attention to treat.

Medical Emergencies That Can Cause Blurry Vision

Spontaneous Detached Retina

The retina is a light-sensitive internal tissue lining the back of your eye. The retina can detach⁵ spontaneously from its normal position, which can lead to blurry vision in one eye.

Flashes and floaters are a common early symptom of a detaching retina, but this condition can happen spontaneously without symptoms. Those at higher risk for developing this condition are those who experience:

  • High levels of trauma

  • Ocular degenerative conditions

  • Uncontrolled diabetes

  • Chronic inflammation

  • Recent retinal surgery

  • Family history of this condition

If you are experiencing symptoms of a detached retina, seek medical help immediately.

Stroke

In the United States someone suffers from a stroke every 40 seconds⁶. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to your brain is blocked. In addition to other physical symptoms, a stroke can cause blurry vision or vision loss in one or both eyes.

A stroke is a medical emergency. If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the symptoms of a stroke, call 911 for immediate medical assistance. Common symptoms of a stroke are:

  • Weakness or numbness on one side of the body

  • Confusion

  • Trouble walking

  • Blurry vision

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

This less common type of glaucoma⁷ is also a medical emergency. It’s caused by blocked drainage canals in the eye. In addition to blurry vision, other symptoms include nausea and severe head and eye pain. Seek quick medical attention at an emergency room or from an eye doctor.

iStock-1199697099 (1)

Schedule an Eye Exam Today

No matter the cause of your vision loss, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor. This can help prevent the development of more harmful conditions. To schedule an eye exam, find an EyeCare Associates location near you.