What is blurry vision and why does 50% of the world’s population have it?
Consider the front of your eye as a projector and the back of your eye, namely retina, as the projector screen. When light entering your eye, fails to focus on the retina, it results in an out of focus and hazy image which we term as Blurry.
One of the causes of blurred vision is refractive errors like Myopia (nearsightedness), Hyperopia (farsightedness), Astigmatism and Presbyopia. A primary eye evaluation by an Optometrist helps to determine these refractive errors, which can then be corrected by appropriate spectacles and contact lenses.
If you are facing problem in viewing the objects at distance then there are chances of you being myopic. Myopia or nearsightedness is a vision condition in which a person finds the close-by objects clear and the distant objects blur. Myopia occurs when the eyeball of the eyes is too long or the cornea gets curved. Further, the light entering the eye doesn’t get focused correctly making the distant objects look unfocused.
Hyperopia or farsightedness is the ability of the eye to view distant objects better than the near. The most common symptoms of a Hyperope are headache, eye irritation, eye fatigue and eye strain.
Astigmatism causes vision to be distorted for both distance and near viewing. Vision may be clear in one meridian as compared to the other. Symptoms of astigmatism include eye strain and headaches after extended visual tasks. Squeezing one’s eyes may improve the image quality and hence people with astigmatism are often seen squeezing their eyes or tilting their heads.
Presbyopia is an age-related physiological condition causing loss of focusing ability for near. The word ‘Presbyopia’ comes from a Greek word which means ‘old eye’. Often, people start noticing Presbyopia at the age of 40 when they start finding it difficult to read books, newspapers and cell phone displays. In the initial stages of Presbyopia, near viewing is better in the morning but becomes strenuous as the day progresses. Holding the reading material away from the eyes makes it easier to read it as compared to the regular distance.
If you are facing problem in viewing the objects at a distance then there are chances of you having Myopia. Myopia or nearsightedness is a condition wherein vision is better for near viewing as compared to distant viewing. The common symptoms include the inability to read signboards or recognize faces from a distance. It can easily be corrected with minus lenses.
Cataract occurs when the lens within the eye becomes cloudy making things look hazy and blurry. Sensitivity to bright light increases due to the scattering of light by the cataractous lens. If not corrected, Cataract can obstruct your vision to a point of blindness. It can be corrected by opting for cataract surgery and replacing the cataractous lens with an artificial lens. The surgery restores the lost vision successfully.
Eye Floaters are dots or lines moving across your visual field.
Example: You’re typing at your desk like any normal workday, and you happen to glance away from the screen. As you do, a cluster of grey-ish dots appears out of nowhere, drifting along wherever you turn your gaze. You clean off your glasses and check for eye boogers, but that doesn’t help. It’s like the dots are somehow stuck on your eye. Those annoying shapes are eye floaters, and they can look like black or grey spots, squiggles, or cobweb-like strings.
Most of the times they are harmless and do not require any treatment. However, in cases where the vision gets disrupted drastically, doctors recommend a surgery called vitrectomy.
Dry Eye is a condition in which the eyes fail to produce enough tears. The most common symptoms are stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in the eyes. Many times, the conditions are aggravated by environmental factors like dry weather, air conditioning and prolonged computer use. Depending on the severity of the condition, your optometrist will either ask you to make some changes in the visual behavior, suggest exercises or prescribe eye lubricants.
You may be surprised to know but the excessive tearing of the eye is also related to dry eyes. This is because dryness on the eye's surface sometimes will over-stimulate the production of the watery component of your tears as a protective mechanism. But this "voluntary tearing" does not stay for long to correct the underlying dry eye condition.
Contact lenses are definitely more comfortable than wearing eyeglasses but if you wear them for a longer period than prescribed, proteins and other debris from the tear film will start building up on the lenses. This will increase the risk of eye infections and cause blurry vision of all a sudden.
Diabetes is the most common cause of blurry vision and studies have also shown a positive correlation between diabetes and cataracts due to elevated sugar levels in the body. So, if you are experiencing blurry vision due to diabetes, be sure to see an eye doctor and report your vision changes to reduce the risk of other eye problems.
Pregnancy generally accompanies morning sickness, swollen feet, constipation, back ache, and fatigue but the hormonal fluctuations in the body can also lead to blurry vision while you’re pregnant. However, your vision may return to its normal state following delivery but if you suffer more serious vision problems, be sure to see an ophthalmologist immediately.
This complicated eye condition belongs to a group of related eye disorders that damage the optic nerve resulting in loss of vision. So, if you’re experiencing hazy or blurry vision, glaucoma maybe the cause. Since the symptoms of glaucoma are not visible until it has a significant impact on your eyesight, the best way to prevent glaucoma is to undergo an eye examination periodically.