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Can Dry Eyes Cause Blurry Vision?

Dry eye is a very common issue people encounter throughout their lives, and it can cause a range of symptoms including watery and irritated eyes, and it can become harder to see.

Is blurry vision another symptom of dry eye? Let’s take a look and see where and why they intersect.

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Blurry Vision

Blurry vision is a relatively self-explanatory condition. It’s when one has a difficult time seeing objects clearly (either in one or both eyes). A person can experience blurry vision at a specific distance, or at every distance.

The Link Between Dry Eyes and Blurry Vision

The Link Between Dry Eyes and Blurry Vision

It’s clear that dry eyes can often lead to blurry vision. Why, though?

Several of the causes of dry eye can easily lead to blurry vision through their impact on tear quality and production, which in turn leads to irritated, tired, and itchy eyes. If you are not producing enough tears, or their composition is subpar and they evaporate too quickly, your eyes won’t be properly lubricated. The longer these symptoms are present, the harder it will be to focus and see clearly.

Not Necessarily Connected

Not Necessarily Connected

While blurry vision can be a symptom of dry eye, it can also be a sign of other, potentially more severe, eye problems. These include glaucoma, age related macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic eye disease.

Complications from LASIK surgery can also lead to blurry vision.

Blurry vision can also be a sign of serious health problems which aren’t strictly eye-related, like a stroke. If you develop symptoms like severe headaches, loss of muscle control over one side of the body, facial drooping, or difficulty speaking in addition to blurry vision, seek emergency help right away.

Additional conditions which can cause blurry vision include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Sjorgen's syndrome.

If you start rapidly developing blurry vision, seek medical advice as soon as possible, as it may indicate an emergency.

Ways to Prevent Blurry Vision

 

There are several steps you can take to try and prevent blurry vision, and to avoid dry eye.

These include:

  • Staying properly hydrated
  • Wearing sunglasses when outside on sunny days
  • Avoiding smoky or dusty areas
  • Using a humidifier in your room
  • Limiting your time spent in front of screens
  • Getting proper sleep at night (7 to 8 hours)
The Link Between Dry Eyes and Blurry Vision

What to do if You Experience Blurry Vision

If you experience blurry vision for any significant period of time, you should see an eye doctor, who will be able to best determine whether you have dry eye or another condition.

One thing you can try, however, is blinking fully and frequently for several seconds. Because blinking re-spreads the tear film across the surface of the eyes, increased blinking can temporarily relieve your blurry vision. However, depending on the cause, this is unlikely to correct the underlying problem, and seeking professional advice remains the best option.

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Common Questions

It is common to experience dry eyes and blurred vision at the same time. Blurred vision can occur when eyes become too dry due to poor tear production or tear quality. However, blurred vision does not cause dry eyes. A person with dry eyes and blurry vision should begin by treating the dry eyes. The blurred vision, if caused by poor tear production or composition should disappear once you identify and treat the cause of dry eyes, and you will be able to see clearly again. However blurry vision can also be a symptom of many other conditions and treating an underlying dry eye condition may not solve your problem if there are other conditions that are causing those symptoms.
Can Dry Eyes Cause Blurry Vision?

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