Blurry Vision in One Eye


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Blurry vision can be stressful, especially when it comes on without warning. Sometimes blurry vision occurs just in one eye. While fluctuations in vision can be normal, any blurred vision that lasts longer than a few minutes needs to be evaluated by an eye doctor.

Blurry vision can indicate many things. Some are serious, while others may not be very severe. From self-limiting issues such as dry eye and allergies, to more serious conditions such as brain disease, the causes of blurred vision in one eye are numerous. To top things off, determining the cause remotely or through telemedicine is quite difficult. Most of the time, an in-person evaluation with an eye doctor will be required.

Causes of blurred vision in one eye

Blurred vision in one eye can result from several issues. When the underlying cause is determined, this can be treated to prevent further problems with your eyesight. Here are a few of the reasons for blurred vision in one eye:

  • Unilateral cataracts: This is when a cataract only occurs in one eye
  • Infection: such as “pink eye” a.k.a. Conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers, or intraocular infections
  • Glaucoma or other causes of optic nerve injury: including trauma or compressive tumors
  • Nearsightedness or farsightedness
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Migraines

When you see your eye doctor, it is helpful to describe your eye blurriness, the duration of symptoms, if it is worsening or stable, and any associated symptoms such as eye pain. This will help the doctor diagnose your problem.

Other symptoms that might accompany blurry vision

Here are some accompanying symptoms with blurred vision. When you call your eye doctor, let them know which one of these other symptoms, if any, that you have:

  • Dryness of the eyes
  • Migraines
  • Sensitivity to bright lights and glares
  • Excessive discharge from the eyes and also tearing from the affected eye
  • Poor vision, especially at night
  • If you notice halos around lights
  • Redness of the eyes and soreness around your eyes

Especially if you are having numbness, slurred speech, or other neurological symptoms, you will need to be seen for immediate medical attention, most often in the emergency room.

Treatment of blurry vision

When you experience blurry vision in one eye, you will seek medical help so that the doctor can determine the underlying cause. Depending on what is affecting you, you will be given treatment. You will need to ensure that you follow treatment recommendations and follow up appointments to assure a resolution to your problem.

If you have a severe condition, you will be treated right away.

Some conditions like cataracts need to be treated surgically, but usually aren’t an emergency. Cataract surgery will restore clarity of vision in the eye that is treated.

Other vision changes can occur that aren’t from disease but from a natural change in your eye. Most people need to occasionally update their glasses. If you haven’t been seen recently, your eye doctor will test your eyes and advise you on the correct type of lenses for your vision.

No matter how you may feel about your eyes, it is best to take the time and get yearly eye exams, whether your vision is blurry or not. However if your vision becomes blurry between appointments, you need to be seen again. Any condition you have will be easiest to treat when caught early.

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About the Author Written by Dr. Michael Shumski, M.D., M.S.E.

Dr. Shumski is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in cataract & refractive surgery at Magruder Laser Vision in central Florida.

In service for many years to treat cataract patients

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