Vision change one eye: 11 Causes of Blurry Vision in One Eye

11 Causes of Blurry Vision in One Eye

Dr. Russel Lazarus, March 8, 2022

Are you experiencing blurry vision in just one eye? This could be a sign of a serious eye condition.

While blurry vision is often associated with a need for eyeglasses or a new optical prescription, monocular blurry vision can signal a more serious condition that requires immediate attention.

Blurry vision that comes on suddenly or appears only in one eye can be a sign of a medical emergency and should be evaluated immediately by an eye doctor or another medical professional.

Here are six emergencies that can cause blurry vision in one eye:

1. Stroke

Blurry vision in one or both eyes can occur when a stroke affects the visual areas of the brain. Seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms along with blurry vision:

  • Severe headache
  • Disorientation
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding speech
  • Imbalance or walking issues
  • Numbness or tingling in extremities, especially on one side

2. Retinal detachment

Retinal detachment is an eye emergency that occurs when the retina is pulled away from its normal position on the back wall of the eye.

This sight-threatening condition generally results in a sudden onset of blurred vision, along with:

  • Flashes of light or eye floaters that move across your vision
  • Decreased peripheral vision
  • Appearance of a shadow or curtain in your visual field

3. Brain tumor

Brain tumors can put pressure on the visual processing areas of the brain and cause blurry vision, as well as other visual changes.

Other signs of a brain tumor include:

  • Persistent headaches
  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Trouble speaking
  • Weakness of one side of the body
  • Balance and coordination issues

4. Closed-angle glaucoma

Closed-angle glaucoma is an eye emergency that occurs when ocular fluid cannot drain properly, resulting in a sudden buildup of intraocular pressure. The elevated pressure presses on the optic nerve, causing permanent damage and vision loss, usually in one eye.

Other signs of closed-angle glaucoma include:

  • Headache
  • Severe eye pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seeing halos around lights

5. Wet macular degeneration

Macular degeneration (AMD) is a sight-threatening eye condition that affects the macula, the center of the retina, responsible for central vision and vision for fine details.

There are two forms of macular degeneration: dry and wet.

In the wet form, one eye may suddenly experience a bleed or leakage of fluid, resulting in an immediate loss of vision in that eye – this is an eye emergency.

One of the first signs of AMD is blurry vision in one or both eyes.

Other signs of AMD include:

  • Appearance of dark or blind spots in your central vision
  • Wavy vision or other visual distortions in your central vision
  • Difficulty reading and driving
  • Trouble with facial recognition
  • Inability to see fine details

6. Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a serious eye condition that affects people with diabetes. It develops when elevated blood sugar levels remain high for long periods of time, damaging the tiny blood vessels throughout the body, including in the retina.

When the retinal blood vessels become damaged, they begin to leak fluid, resulting in retinal swelling and blurred vision.

Other signs of diabetic retinopathy include:

  • Double vision
  • Seeing floaters in your field of vision
  • Increasing dark spots in your field of vision
  • Poor night vision

SEE RELATED: Why Is There Excess Fluid in My Eye?

Contact an eye doctor near you if you are experiencing blurry vision or any other visual changes.  

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5 less-urgent causes of blurry vision in one eye:

While the following causes don’t usually require an emergency trip to the eye doctor, treatment is still necessary to prevent any complications.

1. Conjunctivitis (pink eye)

Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin membrane that covers the white part of the eye and lines the inner eyelids. It can occur in one or both eyes, and while mild cases don’t usually impact vision, more serious cases can result in blurry vision.

Other symptoms of pink eye include:

  • Whites of the eye appear red or pink
  • Itching or burning in the eye
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Gritty sensation in the eye
  • Excessive tearing
  • Discharge from the eye

2. Other eye infections

Many different eye infections can result when bacteria, viruses or fungi enter the eye. Any of these infections can lead to blurry vision.

Common eye infections that result in blurry vision include:

  • Covid-19
  • Endophthalmitis
  • Keratitis
  • Optic neuritis
  • Ocular herpes
  • Uveitis

3. Retinal migraine     

A retinal migraine causes blurry vision and temporary blindness in one eye that usually lasts less than one hour. It can precede a headache or appear during, or after a headache.

4. Cataract

A cataract is the clouding of the eye’s naturally transparent lens, resulting in blurry vision in that eye. Although cataracts generally develop in both eyes, the clouding of the lens can occur at different rates, causing a difference in severity of blurred vision between the two eyes.

Other signs of a cataract include:

  • Sensitivity to glare from sunlight, bulbs, headlights
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Poor night vision
  • Colors appearing less vibrant
  • Double vision

5. Eye strain

Eye strain is often a symptom of excessive screen time or a prolonged near vision activity. Eye strain often leads to other uncomfortable symptoms, including:

  • Blurry vision
  • Headache
  • Eye fatigue
  • Dry eyes
  • Neck and shoulder pain

LEARN MORE: Guide to Eye Health  

If you are experiencing blurry vision, schedule an eye exam to determine the cause and learn about treatment options. 

Blurry vision in one eye is a common symptom with a number of possible causes.

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience a sudden onset of blurry vision or any other symptoms that signal a medical emergency.

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8 ‘Do Not Ignore’ Warning Signs of Serious Eye Problems »

Eye Floaters: Should I Worry?

Dr. Russel Lazarus, February 11, 2021

Eye floaters can be a sign of serious disease, but now eye doctors can successfully treat with a range of very effective options.

What are eye floaters?

Eye floaters are small spots that can appear in a variety of shapes and shadows. They tend to drift or “float” through the visual field, and have the tendency to become even more noticeable after looking at a bright image or walking to the outside from indoors.

It is estimated that around 30 percent of the population notice eye floaters, yet the impact of this common visual problem on our quality of life remains hugely underestimated.

Though floaters may be irritating, they generally become less noticeable overtime, and they should not interfere with your clarity of vision.

However, if eye floaters start to bother you or affect your quality of life your eye doctor may be able to help you.

If you have floaters, you may see:

  • Spots
  • Squiggly lines
  • Thread-like strands
  • Small shadowy shapes
  • Black or very dark spots

If eye floaters come on suddenly or change in shape or size, or you suddenly begin to see flashes in your visual field, contact your eye doctor immediately, as this may a sign of a serious retinal disease.

What causes eye floaters?

Floaters are made up of tiny pieces of protein, called collagen, that break off of the vitreous, or the jelly-like substance located in the back of the eye.

Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD)

As we age, the vitreous inside the eye begins to shrink and detach itself from the retina, this is called posterior vitreous detachment (PVD).

PVD is the most common cause of floaters and occurs when tiny fibers of collagen break away from the vitreous and join together, casting shadows onto the retina— and manifesting as floaters in your visual field.

Floaters can appear at any age, but typically begin to occur between ages 50 and 75. People who are nearsighted or who have undergone cataract surgery are more likely to experience floaters.

In rare cases, floaters can also result from:

  • Eye injury
  • Eye disease
  • Eye tumors
  • Diabetic retinopathy

Serious eye conditions that can cause floaters include:

  • Retinal detachment
  • Retinal tear
  • Bleeding in the vitreous
  • Inflamed vitreous or retina
  • Eye tumors

If you suspect you have an eye condition, contact an eye doctor near you, who can diagnose and treat the condition.

SEE RELATED: The 4 Frequent Eye Conditions

Find an eye doctor near you

When should I worry about eye floaters?

Contact your eye doctor immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms: 

  • A sudden and dramatic increase in the number of floaters
  • Flashes of light
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Progressive changes to your vision
  • Eye pain

The sooner you receive medical care, the greater your chances of protecting your vision and preventing vision loss. 

How can I get rid of floaters?

Floaters are a common occurrence and are a part of the natural aging process. If they begin to get on your nerves, believe it or not, moving your eyes up and down can make floaters disappear, at least temporarily.

Shifting your eyes up and down helps to move the eye fluid around and consequently, the collagen fibers as well.

In most cases, if floaters are not disrupting your quality of life, there is no need to treat them. 

However, if floaters begin to affect your vision clarity, your eye doctor may recommend a surgical procedure called a vitrectomy. This procedure involves removing the vitreous and replacing it with a specific saline solution.

It is important to be aware though, that while uncommon, this surgery can pose some risks to your vision, such as:

  • Retinal detachment
  • Retinal tear
  • Cataracts

If you notice floaters in your visual field, you can rest assured that in most cases, they are not a cause for concern. 

LEARN MORE:  Guide to Eye Conditions

It is always a good idea to schedule an eye exam if you experience any type of vision changes to rule out any serious eye conditions.

Keeping up with your regular eye exams is the best way to protect your eyes and to ensure a lifetime of good eye health and vision.

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Eye Floaters: Should I Worry? »

Visual impairment: main causes


Shcheglova Zoya Pavlovna


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Causes of visual impairment

Visual impairment can be caused by various reasons.

When working with papers and a computer , vision inevitably decreases somewhat towards the end of the day. This means that you are at risk of developing ophthalmic diseases. The risk increases if you have to strain your eyes all the time, if general fatigue accumulates, with stress, insomnia, lack of vitamins and malnutrition,

Against this background, refractive errors – myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism can progress. With age, retinal atrophy can occur (this is a common cause of visual impairment in people over 70). One of the most common causes of visual impairment is cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye). Another possible cause is glaucoma (a disease associated with an increase in intraocular pressure caused by excessive accumulation of eye fluid). The development of glaucoma is accompanied by pain in the eyes and the appearance of iridescent circles when looking at a light source. Visual impairment can also be caused by an eye injury.

If vision falls unevenly or only in one eye, the difference between the signals received from both eyes is significant, and the image may double. If the double vision is too strong, the brain can disable the weaker eye from seeing (amblyopia). Amblyopia
becomes an additional factor that worsens vision. Especially often amblyopia develops in children 3-7 years old.

systemic diseases can also be the cause of vision loss i. Endocrine diseases such as pituitary adenoma, Basedow’s disease, diabetes mellitus can cause visual impairment.

A sharp deterioration in vision in both eyes may be the result of disorders of the central nervous system , and a drop in vision in one eye may be due to a violation of the blood supply . Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is one of the possible causes of visual impairment.

Decreased visual function can be caused by taking certain medications. It can also be explained by poisoning and even infectious diseases (for example, botulism). In the latter case, visual impairment is only one of many severe symptoms.

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When you need a doctor’s help

In case of significant visual impairment in a short period, you should urgently contact an ophthalmologist. Also, the help of a doctor is necessary if the decrease in vision is accompanied by pain in the eye, swelling and redness of the eye.

Where to turn in Moscow in case of visual impairment?

If you notice that your vision has begun to deteriorate, contact JSC “Family Doctor”.

Experienced and qualified ophthalmologists of our polyclinics will determine the cause of visual impairment, prescribe the necessary treatment and correct visual function. If a child’s vision deteriorates, it should be shown to a pediatric ophthalmologist.

You can always choose a clinic that is conveniently close to your home or work.

Do not self-medicate. Contact our specialists who will correctly diagnose and prescribe treatment.

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Blurry image, flies before the eyes, double vision – signs of visual impairment caused by injury or disease, and not only the eye. Age and modern lifestyle also affect eye health not in the best way, but even this should not be put up with.

If your eyes begin to see poorly, you need to seek professional help, because initially slight changes in vision worsen over time and sometimes lead to blindness. Consultation with an ophthalmologist will save you from expensive treatment and serious illnesses.

What visual problems do we have?

A person notices that he can hardly distinguish between bus numbers and squints while reading small text. Only then does he realize that he began to see badly. But this is not the only sign of visual impairment. Typical changes that not everyone immediately pays attention to:

  • fuzzy, double image;
  • flies before the eyes, halo effect, light flashes;
  • brightness and color reduction;
  • photophobia;
  • strabismus.

Why does vision deteriorate?

Most of the problems are associated with age-related changes and diseases:

  1. Presbyopia occurs due to the weakening of the eye muscles and lens;
  2. Cataract occurs in the elderly;
  3. Glaucoma appears more often in hypertensive patients;
  4. Diabetic retinopathy due to high blood sugar and high blood pressure;
  5. Macular degeneration is the main culprit in blindness after 60;
  6. Retinal detachment.

Vision sometimes deteriorates as a result of taking certain medications (antihistamines and antimalarials, for example), trauma, or excessive sun exposure.