Why Is My Vision Blurry?

Noticing that your vision has become blurry can be quite distressing. We all rely on our vision so much for our day to day lives that faced with any kind of change in that faculty can be a frightening experience, whether you’re a child, a fully grown adult, or an elderly person, you can experience blurred vision. Fortunately however, the reasons for visual deterioration can be straightforward, therefore if you do notice any blurriness, it is advisable to consult an optician or your GP, if for no other reason than to set your mind at ease.

Why might my vision become blurry?

Blurry vision can occur for any number of reasons, the most common of which are:

Shortsightedness is an inability to focus on objects at a distance. Shortsightedness is also called myopia, and occurs if the eyeball grows too long or either the lens or cornea, clear structures at the front of your eye responsible for focusing light from the objects around you, becomes misshapen. Light needs to be focused properly onto your retina at the back of your eye for it to be properly translated into a message your brain can understand. When light is focused in front of the retina as opposed to on it, your vision becomes blurry. The condition is easily treated by the use of corrective lenses that compensate and focus light to where it should be, on your retina, hence creating a sharper image.

Farsightedness is the inverse of shortsightedness, meaning that you suffer from an inability to focus on objects closer to you. The condition is also called hyperopia, and is caused by a shorter eyeball or changes in your lens or cornea. While in myopia light is focused in front of your retina, in hyperopia light is focused behind it, and again this is easily treated by corrective lenses.

Astigmatism refers to a condition where your eye’s lens becomes more oval than spherical. This deformation affects where light is focused within the eye, and hence results in blurred vision that can also be corrected by means of prescribed lenses.

Presbyopia is the loss of your eye’s ability to focus that occurs as you age. While the specific cause is not fully understood, it is thought that this progressive decrease in focus is caused by your eye’s lens become less and less elastic. To be able to see and focus on objects at different distances muscles in your eye pull and push on this lens, changing its shape to produce clear images as you look at the world around you. This action requires a level of elasticity on the lens’ part, and over time this elasticity can be lost resulting in presbyopia.

What should I do about my blurry vision?

If you notice that your vision is blurry the most important thing to do is consult an optician or GP. The reasons for blurred vision discussed above are the most commonly occurring ones, but blurred vision can be a symptom of other conditions that, for safety’s sake, you should rule out. An optician is trained to examine your eye and tell you what it is you are experiencing, and after establishing the cause of your blurred vision he or she will provide you with a prescription for corrective lenses.

Treatments for blurred vision

Blurred vision is generally easily corrected by means of lenses designed to compensate for the loss of your eye’s natural ability to focus. These can either be fixed to a frame as eyeglasses (also known as spectacles) or put on top of your eye as contact lenses. A corrective lens is tailored to your specific needs, and follows a prescription your optician writes after conducting an eye test. Your lenses basically adjust where light is focused in your eye, more specifically, they make sure light from the world around you is focused directly on to the retina so that it can be properly sent to the brain as a signal you experience as vision. Lenses can either curve inwards (concave) to correct shortsightedness, or curve outwards (convex) to treat farsightedness. Similarly, lenses are shaped to treat astigmatism or presbyopia after your optician ascertains your prescription.

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