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