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Sudden Blurry Vision In One Eye: Causes And More

All About Sudden Cloudy vision or Blurry Vision in One Eye: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment » 

Causes ︱Symptoms ︱Treatment

Sudden blurry vision in one eye

Sudden blurry vision in one eye or cloudy vision in one eye is a partial or complete loss of vision in only one eye. Blurred vision in one eye happens due to various conditions, which may be either due to mild ocular conditions or due to vision-threatening diseases.

When the sudden cloudy vision in one eye results from harmless causes, such as discharge, due to crying or rubbing, it resolves quickly. But, if it is happening due to serious ocular causes such as optic nerve damage or retinal problems, it takes time to recover vision.

Sometimes, blurry vision in one eye or both eyes is caused by a refractive error such as myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism, which can be corrected with prescribed eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Sudden blurred vision can be temporary or chronic. You have to fully understand the underlying causes to properly manage sudden blurry vision in one eye or both eyes. Today, we will describe major causes of sudden foggy vision in one eye as well as symptoms and treatment.

What causes sudden blurry vision in one eye?

Refractive errors

Common refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism prevent the eye from making a focused, sharp image in the retina and hence cause sudden cloudy vision in one eye or most commonly in both eyes.

If the amount of refractive error is more in one eye compared to another eye, it’s called anisometropia. In the case of anisometropia, there will be more blurry vision in one eye than in another eye.

Cataracts

The cataract is an inevitable experience in everyone’s lives. The development of cataracts in both eyes may happen at a different time. So, there will be gradual or sudden blurry vision in one eye (the affected eye) earlier compared to the next eye. This cloudy vision in one eye or both eyes is the major cause of avoidable blindness in the world.

Eye infection

Infection in any part of the eye causes sudden blurry vision in the affected eye. The infection of eyelids, conjunctiva, or cornea is characterized by discharge, watering, and redness. Similarly, contact lens-induced eye infections are growing day by day with the increased number of contact lens wearers.

You should pay attention not to wear contact lenses while sleeping, swimming, and taking a bath. Contact lenses and contact lens cases should be properly cleaned to reduce the risk of eye infection and sudden blurred vision in one eye or both eyes.

Glaucoma

Also known as “the sneak thief of sight”, open-angle glaucoma is one of the main causes of gradual visual field loss and blindness. It shows no noticeable signs until a significant loss of vision in one eye or both eyes occurs.

On the other hand, acute angle-closure glaucoma causes sudden cloudy vision in one eye or both eyes. It can lead to blindness in the affected eye if treatment is not started promptly. So, regular eye examinations are crucial to detecting glaucoma and the progression of this disease.

Keratoconus

It is a corneal disorder characterized by anterior or posterior bulging and thinning of the cornea (the anterior-most transparent later of the eye). The light passing through this irregular cornea is scattered and deflected and causing blurred or distorted vision.

It often starts in the teens and early twenties and can progress unnoticed unless you go to an optometrist. It is a major cause of unilateral blurry vision and blindness.

Uveitis

It is the inflammation of the middle layer of the eye, between the sclera and retina. Due to this inflammatory condition, the media through which light passes from the cornea to the retina get hazy. Thus, there will be a sudden blurry vision in one eye or the affected eye (s).

Use of mydriatic drops (pupil dilating eye drops)

The mydriatic eye drops are used by your eye doctor to dilate the pupil for easier examination of the inner eye structures. these drops contain chemical compounds that cause the intraocular muscles to relax.

The most common drops that cause pupil mydriasis are atropine, homatropine, tropicamide, and cyclopentolate. In addition to this function, atropine is also used in the treatment of the lazy eye.

So, pharmacological sudden blurry vision in one eye can be reversed without additional treatment.

Retinal diseases

Diabetic retinopathy

Uncontrolled blood sugar level causes diabetes and it affects all parts of the body, including the eye. The changes that occur in the retina due to diabetes are known as diabetic retinopathy. It is the most common cause of internal bleeding in the retina which causes sudden blurry vision in one eye and most commonly in both eyes.

Hypertensive retinopathy

Another main systemic disease that affects the eyes is high blood pressure. The changes in the retina due to increased blood pressure is called hypertensive retinopathy. There will be thinning of the blood vessels that affect blood flow in the retina hence causes gradual or sudden cloudy vision in one eye or both eyes.

Age-related macular degeneration

It is a degenerative disorder of the eye that affects the central part of the retina, the macula. There will be a mostly gradual and painless blurry vision in the affected eye, mostly bilateral. It causes central scotoma which makes it difficult for daily activities although there might be the good peripheral vision.

Preeclampsia

If there is sudden or chronic high blood pressure during pregnancy, the increased pressure affects many important organs of the body, including the eye. The important ocular effect that is common in preeclampsia is serous retinal detachment or exudative retinal detachment. If the detachment extends up to the macula, there will be a sudden blurry vision in one eye which is affected. There might be bilateral blurry vision as well. It causes high sensitivity to light, headache, fatigue, and nausea.

Optic nerve diseases

Optic neuritis

Optic neuritis causes sudden cloudy vision in one eye or both eyes, and pain in the eyes. It’s often caused by multiple sclerosis. There will be visual field loss and episodes of a sudden blackout. This ocular condition requires immediate medical intervention to prevent further vision loss.

Other optic nerve disorders that may cause sudden blurry vision in one eye or both eyes are optic nerve compression commonly seen in pituitary macroadenoma and other brain tissue disorders along the visual pathway. Certain medications used in the treatment of tuberculosis also cause visual field loss and sudden cloudy vision in one eye.

Migraine: blurred vision and headache

Migraine affects about 10 percent of people worldwide. A migraine begins at puberty and mostly affects those aged between 35 and 45 years. It is more common in women, usually by a factor of about 2:1, because of hormonal influences.

Apart from being painful, a migraine also causes blurry vision in one eye or both eyes with or without accompanying flashes of light (aura). It is the major cause of blurred vision in one eye and headache.

Symptoms of sudden blurred vision 

  • Cloudy vision
  • Double vision
  • Eye pain
  • Watering
  • Squinting
  • Headache
  • Discharge
  • Redness
  • Dry eye
  • Photophobia
  • Poor night vision
  • Floaters and flashes

Treatment of sudden blurry vision in one eye

There are many underlying causes behind sudden blurry vision. So, do not act on it yourself without getting professional counsel. Visit your eye doctor immediately to prevent further loss of vision. Your eye doctor will do different tests to determine the cause of sudden cloudy vision in the affected eye.

Visual acuity test, slit-lamp examination, refraction test, intraocular pressure measurement (tonometry), and other diagnostic tests will be performed. Then your eye doctor may prescribe you eyeglasses, therapy, or medicines with proper counseling regarding the disorder of the eye. You may need to see other physicians as well if your condition is not directly caused by an eye problem.


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