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Blurred Vision

Blurred vision is when your vision is no longer sharp and you can’t see small details. Any changes in your vision, whether sudden or over time, should be examined by an eye specialist.

Vision changes can be caused by many things. These include eye diseases, side effects of some medicines, or a condition such as diabetes. Never ignore vision changes. People often think that vision changes occur because they need a change in their glasses. Many people then delay seeing their healthcare provider about their vision changes. But it’s risky to delay care. If left untreated, some eye problems can lead to lasting (permanent) vision loss that can’t be corrected with glasses. This can significantly reduce quality of life.

Home care

Make changes in your home to reduce the risk of falling:

  • Keep walkways clear of objects you may trip over. Use nonslip pads under rugs.

  • Brighter lighting in your home may help you see better.

  • Don’t walk in poorly lit areas.

  • Be careful when stepping up and down from curbs and walking on uneven sidewalks.

Follow-up care

Follow up with an eye specialist or as advised. There are 2 types of eye care providers you can consult:

  • Optometrist. This is a licensed healthcare provider of optometry. Optometrists go to school for 4 years post-college to specialize in primary eye care. They do routine eye exams and can also diagnose and treat certain eye diseases. They also prescribe glasses and contact lenses.

  • Ophthalmologist. This is a medical doctor who went to medical school and then specialized in eye care and surgery. Ophthalmologists can diagnose and treat all eye diseases, prescribe medicines, and do eye surgery. They may also prescribe glasses and contact lenses.

When to get medical care

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Sudden change in your vision

  • Eye pain, redness, or discharge from your eyelid

  • Blurriness doesn’t get better, or it gets worse

  • Dark spots in your field of vision

  • Halos around lights

  • Dots or strings (called floaters) moving across your field of vision

  • Sudden flash of light inside your eye

  • Vision dims

  • Part or full vision loss

Online Medical Reviewer: Chris Haupert MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Tara Novick BSN MSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Whitney Seltman MD
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2022
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