Astigmatism - symptoms, causes & treatments Astigmatism - symptoms, causes & treatments
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Blurred Vision

Blurred vision could be caused by many different conditions, so it’s best to get your blurry eyesight checked out by an expert.

Blurred vision can take a number of different forms. At its least extreme, blurry vision can include mild blurring of objects at a distance or close up. On the other hand, blurry eyesight can be so severe that it affects your ability to get about and look after yourself.

Causes of blurred vision

There are many different eye problems and conditions that can cause blurred vision. These include:

Refractive errors

To understand how refractive errors cause blurred vision, it first helps to understand how the eye works.

Refractive errors that cause blurred vision include:

  • Long sightedness: causes blurred vision when viewing objects close up, such as when reading a book or using a computer.
  • Short sightedness: causes blurred vision when viewing objects at a distance, such as when watching television or driving.
  • Astigmatism: causes blurred vision when viewing objects at any distance, from reading and computer use, to driving and watching television.


Cataracts are a clouding of the lens in your eye. At first, any blurred eyesight may be almost imperceptible. However, cataracts can eventually result in severe blurred vision that has a major impact on your independence.

If you have had a cataract removed and your blurry vision re-occurs, posterior capsule opacity – also known as a ‘secondary cataract’ – may be the cause.

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition associated with diabetes. High blood sugar levels cause damage to the retina (the focusing surface at the back of the eye). The final stage of diabetic retinopathy, known as macular oedema, can cause blurred vision.

Epiretinal membrane

An epiretinal membrane is a thin, fibrous layer that forms over the retina (the focusing surface at the back of the eye). It acts like a film that partially blocks the light entering your eye, which results in blurred vision.


Keratoconus is an eye disease that results in a conically shaped cornea (the clear front ‘window’ of your eye). Because the cornea does much of the eye’s focusing, the irregular shape can cause blurred vision.

Macular degeneration and macular holes

The macula is the central part of the retina at the back of your eye. It allows you to see detail, colour, and things directly in front of you. Macular degeneration and macular holes damage the macula, causing central vision to become blurred.

Retinal detachment

A detached retina is a serious medical emergency that can cause sudden blurred vision. It may also cause a number of other symptoms, such as flashes and floaters, and sudden blindness.

Retinal vein occlusion

If the blood vessels that feed the retina (the focusing surface at the back of the eye) become blocked, it is known as a retinal vein occlusion. This can cause sudden blurred vision, and also sudden blindness.


A pterygium is a benign growth that occurs on the surface of the eye. Sometimes, a pterygium can grow onto the cornea. If this occurs, it can alter the shape of the cornea, causing blurred vision.

Vitreous haemorrhage

If blood leaks into the vitreous ‘gel’ that fills your eye, it can block the light that enters your eye, causing blurred vision. Vitreous haemorrhage can be caused by trauma or injury, or it may be a result of an eye condition, such as diabetic retinopathy.

Eye infection, inflammation or injury

Many people suffer blurry vision as a result of an eye infection or injury. Eyelid and eyelash problems can sometimes cause blurred vision, as can the common eye infection conjunctivitis.

Treating blurry vision

Treatment for your blurry vision will depend entirely on what’s causing it. Refractive errors – such as long sightedness, short sightedness and astigmatism – can now be permanently corrected in most people, thanks to iLASIK – the world’s most advanced laser eye surgery.

If you suffer from blurred vision, the best thing to do is contact Eye Institute. Our eye specialists can give you a full diagnosis and will recommend the best treatment for you.

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