Monday, February 1, 2010

Blurred Vision: Should I Be Concerned?

Blurred vision is a major complaint of patients that come to Village Eyes Optometry. There can be several causes of blurred vision. Some of them are not serious and some of them can be very serious. It is up to the eye doctor to determine the cause of the blurred vision, the best remedy, and the necessity of any medical intervention should the blurred vision be due to a serious medical problem.

Here are some common causes of blurred vision:
1. Nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. These are probably the most common causes of blurred vision. The solution is to prescribe the proper eyeglasses or contact lens prescriptions to solve the problem.
2. Computer usage. In this case the eyes can become blurred due to long term looking at a computer screen. This can occur even if the patient does not have a condition such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), or astigmatism. The eyes can become dry and this can also contribute to blurred vision.
3. Eye muscle problems. Here the eyes can become blurred as they compensate for the inability of the eye muscles to point properly at the desired reading material.
4. General fatigue. If a person is physically tired, their vision can become blurred.
5. Medications. Certain medications can contribute to blurred vision. The eye doctor needs to take a well documented case history to make sure that a medication that the patient is taking is not causing the blurred vision.
6. Medical conditions affecting the eyes. There are a number of systemic conditions as well as localized eye medical conditions that can cause blurred vision.
Multiple Sclerosis, Graves Disease, Myasthenia Gravis, Muscular Dystrophy, Diabetes, and Hypertension are just a few of the systemic diseases that can cause blurred vision. Withing the eye itself, several conditions can cause blurred vision such as cataracts, dry eyes, glaucoma, corneal problems such as keratoconus, problems with the iris such as iritis, problems with the vitreous (the middle part of the eye), eye floaters, and problems with the retina. The retina can cause all sorts of blurred vision problems such as macular degeneration and macular edema.

These are just an overview of the various issues that can lead to blurred vision. The most important thing to do is to see your eye doctor when you experience blurred vision. Your eye doctor will be able to determine if the cause of your blurred vision is something simple or is a more complicated matter requiring more involved treatment.

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