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Blurred vision and fatigue: Why Is My Vision Blurry? Top 8 Causes of Sudden Blurred Vision

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Why Is My Vision Blurry? Top 8 Causes of Sudden Blurred Vision

Do you often find yourself blinking, squinting, or rubbing your eyes to gain a clearer view? If you have blurry vision, you might chalk it up to age or needing new glasses. But it can be a sign of other health problems, too.

Often, treatment for these conditions will clear up your blurred vision. Remember, though, that sudden changes to your eyesight aren’t normal, so if they happen, see your doctor right away.

Could It Be Diabetes?

The condition raises your risk for an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy. Over time, high blood sugar can damage the tiny blood vessels in your retina, the part of your eye that senses light. That can lead to swelling in a part of the retina called the macula, new and unwanted blood vessels growing in the eye, and bleeding inside the eye.

Along with blurry vision, diabetic eye disease may also cause:

  • “Floating” spots in your field of vision
  • Permanent loss of vision

Early treatment is the best way to ward off permanent damage. So protect your eyes from diabetes by getting them checked at least once a year. Learn more about the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy.

Could It Be a Stroke?

One of the key signs that you’re having a stroke is a sudden, painless change in eyesight. You might have blurry or double vision.

Call 911 right away if you have either of these changes and other stroke warning signs, such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Face drooping
  • Loss of balance
  • Slurred speech or other problems speaking clearly
  • Weakness or numbness in one arm

Learn more about the timeline of a stroke.

Could It Be Preeclampsia?

If you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t take blurry vision lightly. It could be a sign of preeclampsia, a dangerous condition marked by very high blood pressure and protein in your urine. Preeclampsia occurs in women who have never had high blood pressure before and generally occurs late in pregnancy, generally after 20 weeks. It can have serious, life-threatening effects on you and your baby.

Preeclampsia may not cause any symptoms, but blurry vision and other sight changes such as seeing flashing lights or spots could be clues that you have it.

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Be sure to contact your doctor if you notice these as well as other possible signs:

Learn more about how to lower your preeclampsia risk.

Could It Be a Migraine?

A migraine is more than a horrible headache. There are a host of other symptoms that you might have with the pain, including blurry vision and sensitivity to light. You may feel these signs even before a migraine starts, and they may last until it’s over.

More dramatic changes to your eyesight during a migraine are called an aura. They can include:

  • Loss of part or all of your vision for a little while (usually 30 minutes or less) 
  • Seeing flashes of light
  • Seeing flashes of light
  • Seeing wavy lines or spots

To solve these problems, you’ll need to work with your doctor to treat your migraines and keep them from starting. Learn more about migraine headaches with aura.

Could It Be Psoriasis?

You may know this condition from these symptoms:

But psoriasis can affect your eyes, too. It can cause a condition called uveitis, when inflammation leads to swelling that causes blurred vision, pain, redness, and sensitivity to light.

Treatments can get rid of uveitis, but the type you need will depend on which part of your eye is affected. Learn more about uveitis.

Could It Be Multiple Sclerosis?

Blurry vision is often one of the earliest symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). The disease causes inflammation along the nerve that connects your eyes to your brain, called the optic nerve. That causes a condition called optic neuritis, which can give you blurry sight, loss of color vision, and pain when you move your eyes. It often happens in just one eye.

Besides blurry vision, MS also causes:

  • Trouble with balance
  • Bladder and bowel problems
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling very tired
  • Numbness
  • Stiffness
  • Weakness

Optic neuritis doesn’t necessarily mean you have MS, so talk to your doctor about what’s causing it. The problem often goes away on its own, but your doctor can give you some medications to help you heal faster. Learn more about vision problems linked to MS.

Could It Be a Brain Tumor?

Scary, but true: A tumor in any part of your brain can make pressure build inside your skull. That can cause many symptoms, including blurred vision.

Other signs of a possible brain tumor are:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headache that won’t go away
  • Nausea
  • Personality changes
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting

If your doctor thinks you might have a brain tumor, they’ll use different tests to check how well your brain and spinal cord work, as well as imaging tests to see inside your head. Learn more about the different types of brain tumors.

Could It Be Parkinson’s Disease?

Blurry vision is not the first sign of this nerve disease. But as it gets worse, it can affect sight. That’s because the condition may change how your eyes move. As your sight seems less sharp, you may strain your eyes because they have to work harder to focus.

Parkinson’s disease affects much more than the eyes. It also causes:

  • Poor balance and coordination
  • Stiffness in your body
  • Tremors that affect the hands, arms, legs, and face

Learn more about Parkinson’s disease symptoms.

Timeline of a Stroke: What Happens Minute-by-Minute

It might start with the odd symptom. Maybe the side of your face goes numb. Or you can’t lift your arm because it feels like lead. If you’re having a stroke, what happens next — and how fast — makes all the difference in how you’ll recover.

That’s why it helps to know how a stroke unfolds. You’ll be better prepared to take the right steps for yourself or someone close to you.

The First Few Minutes

A stroke comes on when your brain doesn’t get the blood and oxygen it needs. That could be due to a clot, known as an ischemic stroke. Or it can happen with a burst blood vessel, as with a hemorrhagic stroke.

No matter which one it is, it’s not long before brain cells start to die. Once a stroke begins, you lose almost 2 million brain cells every minute.

That’s what leads to the first symptoms you have, which can seem like some part of your brain quickly went offline. You might be grabbing milk from the fridge and suddenly your face feels funny. Or sitting at your desk and realize you can’t budge your arm to answer the phone. Or you’re in the middle of a sentence when you start slurring your words.

In seconds, you go from totally fine to totally not. Any one of those three signs — face drooping, arm weakness, and trouble talking — means someone needs to call 911. Don’t wait. And don’t call your doctor or family members first.

The Call to 911

When you make the call, say, “I think it’s a stroke.” That lets the 911 dispatcher know to act quickly and get an ambulance to you right away.

While you wait, don’t be tempted to drive yourself or someone having a stroke to the emergency room. It might seem like forever, but the best thing you can do is sit tight. As the minutes tick by, new symptoms may set in. Still, you’re much more likely to get the care you need if you wait for the ambulance.

What you can do is make sure the front door is unlocked for medical workers and loosen any clothes around your neck or chest so you can breathe easily.

When First Responders Arrive

When the ambulance shows up, they’re going to act fast. They start by making sure you’re breathing and you have a pulse. If not, you’ll get CPR. In some cases, they’ll give you oxygen.

Then, they’ll do a quick check to look for signs of stroke. There are different ways to do this. Often, first responders use the Cincinnati Prehospital Stroke Scale (CPSS), where they ask you to:

  • Smile so they can see if your face looks crooked or droops on one side
  • Hold both arms out straight for 10 seconds to see if one arm drifts downward or doesn’t move at all
  • Say a simple phrase, like “The sky is blue,” to check if you slur your words or have trouble understanding what they’re saying
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They’ll also want to know exactly what time your symptoms started. And they might check your blood sugar level.

If everything points to a stroke, they send what’s called a CODE STROKE to the hospital. All of this happens within minutes. Then you’re speeding off in the ambulance. If there’s a stroke center in your area, they’ll take you there, even if it’s a little farther. If not, you’ll go to the nearest hospital.

While you’re on the way, the emergency room gets things lined up. Everyone, from lab techs to doctors who specialize in strokes, gets ready to hit the ground running.

At the Hospital

Once you’re through the emergency room doors, the stroke team jumps into action.

Within 10 minutes. A doctor starts a physical exam and asks you or a loved one about your symptoms and health history.

Within 15 minutes. You get tests to see if you’re having a stroke and how severe it might be. Your doctor checks how aware you are of what’s happening and how well you see, speak, and move. You might also get some blood tests.

Within 25 minutes. You get a CT scan to make an image of your brain so doctors can tell what kind of stroke you’re having.

Within 45 minutes. The doctor reviews the CT results.

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From there, it’s time for treatment. For an ischemic stroke, that usually means you get a clot-busting drug. It works fast to get blood flowing back to your brain. Ideally, you get it within 60 minutes after you get to the hospital.

For hemorrhagic stroke, you’ll likely head to surgery to repair a broken blood vessel.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Your Eyes

You may not have heard of it, but you may be suffering from it. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is an extreme fatigue that lasts more than six months. It is an intense tiredness and weakness that does not improve quickly with rest. It can also become worse if the sufferer attempts physical activity or mental exertion. It’s estimated that millions of people worldwide suffer from CFS, but the exact number is unknown because so many cases go undiagnosed. Another thing you may not know is that CFS can be connected to eye health and vision.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can sometimes be hard to diagnose because the symptoms are common to many illnesses. The eight main symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are extreme fatigue, sore throat, muscle pain, joint pain (without redness or swelling), headaches, memory or concentration problems, exhaustion lasting more than one day after physical or mental exertion, and enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or armpits.

There are other symptoms that can occur, but they do not present themselves in every person suffering from CFS. These include the inability to think clearly, balance issues (dizziness/fainting), allergies (foods, medications), irritable bowels, chills and night sweats, mood problems (depression, anxiety, irritability), and visual disturbances (blurry vision or sensitivity to light). CFS is a mysterious disease that affects people differently, and it can also affect their vision in a variety of ways.

Vision and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The visual disturbances associated with CFS cover a variety of types. People who suffer from CFS most commonly report blurry vision. Some people also complain of itchy, watery eyes, while others have a real problem with dry eyes. People experiencing itchy or dry eyes often rub their eyes, which only causes more redness and more discomfort.

Other vision issues include problems with being able to focus on items, not being able to focus from a distance, tracking lines of print, ghosting of images, tunnel vision (and other issues with peripheral vision), inability to judge distances, and eye floaters. Clearly, this condition can make it difficult to see properly. You can try some eye exercises to help strengthen your focus muscles, but remember to seek medical attention as well.

Sufferers of CFS who have experienced any of the above problems should see a doctor for an examination. After studying many patients with CFS, doctors have found that patients also often suffer from poor oculomotor control. This means eye movements that are normally quick become slow and sometimes jerky. Sometimes it is difficult for a patient to move their eyes from one object to another.

Another issue that doctors see in CFS patients is exophoria. This means that when one eye is covered the other eye drifts outwards. Doctors also see restricted peripheral fields, low blink rates (and incomplete blinking), staring, small pupils, ocular surface abnormalities, abnormal tear film, and chronic allergic conjunctivitis. CFS can certainly make seeing difficult, but luckily there are things you can do to make the symptoms less severe.

Getting Treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Often patients suffering from vision problems are referred to an optometrist or ophthalmologist. Usually, the patients have normal eye exams, which usually result in prescription lenses. But, other times, the patient has such rapidly changing vision that corrective lenses will not help with them. Of course, there are other alternatives that can help with vision issues related to CFS.

There are a number of things you can do to treat the dry eyes that come with CFS. Staying hydrated will help alleviate issues with dry eye symptoms. Warm compresses can also help with dry eyes or with irritated eyes. If the patient is sensitive to light, they should avoid bright lighting such as fluorescence. They should also wear sunglasses whenever they are outside, regardless if it’s sunny or cloudy.

Patients complaining of itchy, watery eyes may also get some relief from over-the-counter antihistamines. Regardless of the symptom, the more tired the patient feels, the more likely their symptoms will be aggravated.

To address the overall health and strength of the sufferer’s eyes, they should consider implementing a vision strengthening vitamin supplement into their daily routine.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers should also find ways to relax. By removing stress from their life, the body and mind will be able to rest and heal more quickly. They should also work to get a full night of sleep. This sometimes means implementing a strict bedtime, installing room darkening window coverings, limiting daytime naps to an absolute minimum, avoiding caffiene, not drinking alcohol, and giving up nicotine.

Healthy Diet and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Healthy eating can heal the body of a multitude of ailments. For people suffering from CFS, a healthy diet will help rebuild their body strength. A diet full of vitamins and minerals will help the body and eyes regain their vigor. If you don’t think you can get all of the necessary vitamins and minerals into your diet every day, consider taking a supplement, such as the Rebuild Your Vision Ocu-Plus formula.

However, you should consult your doctor before beginning a supplement regimen. This is especially true if you are currently taking any medication to treat the other symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. You don’t want to accidentally combine supplements or medications that will counteract or even negatively affect each other.

Another way a CFS sufferer can help overcome their illness is to refrain from overdoing it mentally and physically. It is very tempting to do a lot on a day when you are feeling better, but you will probably pay the price for it later by exhausting yourself. Take it slow every day and enjoy the small victories you experience on the way. A rested CFS sufferer tends to go into remission sooner than one who continues to push themselves beyond their limit. Going into remission means that you could experience a longer period of experiencing few to no symptoms of CFS.

So, if you are having problems with CFS and notice it affecting your vision, these simple tips will help you strengthen your vision naturally without overexerting yourself. Give them a try and start seeing a difference in no time!

Our Rebuild Your Vision Ocu-Plus Formula Contains All 17 Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbal Supplements to Improve Your Eye Health!

Related

Blurry Vision | 10 Reasons for Blurred Vision & Treatment

Causes of blurry vision

Most cases of blurry vision are caused by disorders of refraction (how the eye focuses light), and these can be treated by getting a good eye exam and making sure your glasses and contact lenses are of the appropriate prescription for you.

Myopia causes

Myopia, or nearsightedness, results in blurred distance vision. Causes of myopia include:

  • Genetics
  • Lots of reading
  • Some medications
  • Diabetes
  • Trauma
  • Cataracts
  • Infection/inflammation

Hyperopia causes

Hyperopia, or farsightedness, results in blurred near vision. Causes of hyperopia include:

  • Trauma
  • Inflammatory disorders
  • Some medications
  • Macular degeneration

Scheduling eye exams

Most of the time being far or near sighted isn’t due to a particular cause, it just needs to be diagnosed and corrected. It is important to have regular eye exams starting at school age for kids (age 5 or 6) and then every few years as you get older. If you wear glasses or contacts, you need exams every year to make sure your prescription is right and your corrective lenses are working appropriately.

Astigmatism

There is another type of refractive error that leads to issues at any distance called astigmatism. Astigmatism is usually genetic, but might also be caused by an eye injury or eye surgery.

Presbyopia

With aging, the lens of your eye loses accommodating power (this is termed presbyopia). Presbyopia is not considered to be a refraction error, though it causes symptoms similar to those of farsightedness — the ability to focus on near objects is lost.

Cataracts

In older adults and sometimes in people who aren’t all that old, blurry vision is due to cataracts or clouding of the lens of the eye. This can be due to damage from the sun and radiation, as well as genetic causes. This is a key reason to keep up with routine eye exams, especially after the age of 65, as this can be readily treated with surgery.

Diabetic retinopathy

In diabetics, there can be damage to the retina, called diabetic retinopathy, that can result in a loss of vision [5]. For this reason, it is key that diabetics get routine eyecare.

Other causes of blurry vision

Other causes of blurry vision may include:

  • Brain tumors
  • Myasthenia gravis: This is usually associated with double vision
  • Incorrect eyeglass/contact lens prescription
  • Cranial nerve disease or damage

This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Age-related macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease in which the center of the retina is progressively damaged, leading to gradual central vision loss. The macula, found at the center of the retina, is responsible for producing central..

Cataract

A cataract is when the lens, a crystalline structure in the eye that normally allows light into the eye, becomes cloudy. Symptoms of a cataract include blurry vision, difficulty seeing at night, glare, difficulty discerning colors, and increased nearsightedness.

The diagnosis is made by examination by an ophtha..

Recurrent migraine

Migraines are headaches of moderate to severe intensity, which happen when blood vessels in the brain swell up. They are episodic and thus can recur often. Most migraine sufferers experience increased sensitivity to sounds and/or lights and become nauseous and vomit.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: headache, history of headaches, fatigue, nausea, mild headache

Symptoms that always occur with recurrent migraine: headache, history of headaches

Symptoms that never occur with recurrent migraine: fever, headache resulting from a head injury

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Concussion (mild traumatic brain injury) needing imaging

A concussion is also known as mild traumatic brain injury or mild TBI.

Concussion is the result of being struck in the head. In some cases, especially with infants, being violently shaken so that the head whips back and forth can also cause a concussion.

Most susceptible are those playing contact sports. However, concussion is often the result of an automobile accident or simple fall and can happen to anyone.

Symptoms include headache; loss of balance and coordination; difficulty with memory and concentration; and sometimes, but not always, loss of consciousness.

If symptoms do not clear within a few hours, or seem to get worse, take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Diagnosis is made through patient history and physical examination. A mild concussion does not show up on imaging because there is no bleeding or swelling in the brain. Mild concussion is entirely a disruption in brain function, with nothing to see on an image.

Treatment involves rest from both physical and mental activity.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: nausea or vomiting, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, sensitivity to light, frequent mood swings

Symptoms that always occur with concussion (mild traumatic brain injury) needing imaging: head or face injury

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition in which the retina becomes damaged in people with diabetes. Risk factors for developing diabetic retinopathy include high blood sugars, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, genetic factors, undergoing cataract surgery, puberty,..

Hypertensive crisis

Hypertensive crisis occurs when your blood pressure becomes dangerously high (180/120 mm Hg), to a level that can damage your organs. Hypertensive crisis is categorized as “hypertensive urgency” if the blood pressure is high without damage to organs, and as “hypertensive emergen..

Acute close-angle glaucoma

Acute closed-angle glaucoma is also called angle-closure glaucoma or narrow-angle glaucoma. “Acute” means it begins suddenly and without warning.

“Glaucoma” means the fluid pressure inside one or both eyes is too high. “Closed-angle” means that the iris – the circular band of color in the eye – does not dilate open properly and blocks the natural drainage mechanism within the eye. The fluid builds up and causes the pressure to increase.

The exact cause of any glaucoma is not known. It may be an inherited trait.

Acute closed-angle glaucoma can be triggered by an extreme dilation of the eyes, as when walking from bright light into total darkness.

Symptoms include sudden eye pain, headache, nausea, blurred vision, and seeing a rainbow-like aura around lights. This is a medical emergency. Take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Diagnosis is made through patient history and thorough eye examination.

Treatment involves surgery to correct the dilation and drainage mechanisms of the eyes, as well as prescription eyedrops and oral medications.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: headache, nausea or vomiting, vision changes, being severely ill, eye pain

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Post-concussion syndrome

Post-concussion syndrome is a set of symptoms that can occur after a head injury. A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that involves confusion and memory loss, with or without a loss of consciousness. Post-concussion syndrome typically occurs after concuss..

New onset of type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes was formerly known as juvenile diabetes, and is the version of the disease found in children and young adults. Only about 5% of all diabetes cases are type 1.

With any type of diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to break down and digest sugar. Type 1 diabetes is thought to be an autoimmune condition that attacks the cells of the pancreas and may be genetic.

Most susceptible are children under age 14.

Symptoms include increased hunger and thirst; unintended weight loss; irritability; and fatigue.

If not treated, diabetes leads to severe and sometimes life-threatening health problems. It is very important to seek treatment if any type of diabetes is suspected.

Diagnosis is made through patient history and blood tests.

Diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be managed with insulin injections and careful attention to diet and exercise. Regular monitoring, both by a medical provider and by the patient, is an important part of controlling this condition.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, shortness of breath, vomiting, general abdominal pain, unintentional weight loss

Urgency: In-person visit

Blurry Vision, Blurred Vision, & Cloudy Vision: Causes & Treatments

By Aimee Rodrigues; reviewed by Gary Heiting, OD

Blurry vision is the loss of sharpness of eyesight, making objects appear out of focus and hazy.

The primary causes of blurred vision are refractive errors — nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism — or presbyopia. But blurry vision also can be a symptom of more serious problems, including a potentially sight-threatening eye disease or neurological disorder.

Blurred vision can affect both eyes, but some people experience blurry vision in one eye only.

Cloudy vision, where objects are obscured and appear “milky,” is very similar to blurry vision. Cloudy vision usually is a symptom of specific conditions such as cataracts.

Blurry vision and cloudy vision both can be symptoms of a serious eye problem, especially if they occur suddenly.

To determine whether you have blurry vision and what is causing it, see an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam.

NEED AN EYE EXAM? Find an eye doctor near you and schedule an appointment.

Blurry vision: Causes and treatment

Myopia: Symptoms of myopia (nearsightedness) include squinting, eye strain, headaches and blurry vision in one or both eyes. Myopia is the most common refractive error and causes objects in the distance to appear blurred.

Eyeglasses, contact lenses and refractive surgery such as LASIK and PRK are the most common ways to correct nearsightedness.