Blurred Vision

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Blurred vision refers to a lack of sharpness of vision resulting in the inability to see fine detail. Blurred vision may result from abnormalities present at birth such as near- or farsightedness that require corrective lenses (glasses) or it may signal the presence of eye disease. Blurred vision can also be a symptom of numerous conditions that do not directly involve the eye, such as migraine or stroke. A number of medications may also lead to temporary blurring of vision as a side effect.

Patients may experience the related symptoms of Tunnel Vision, Headache, and/or Vision Loss.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/28/2012

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REFERENCE:

Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

Causes of Blurred Vision
    • Astigmatism Astigmatism is an eye condition in which the cornea is abnormally curved and causes out-of-focus vision. Symptoms of astigmatism...learn more »
      In This Article
      Astigmatism Article
      • Astigmatism introduction
      • What is the definition of astigmatism?
      • What are the different types of astigmatism?
      • What causes astigmatism?
      • Who is at risk for astigmatism?
      • What are symptoms of astigmatism?
      • What are signs of astigmatism?
      • What tests are used to diagnose astigmatism?
      • What is the treatment for astigmatism?
      • What is the prognosis for astigmatism?
      • Can astigmatism be prevented?
    • Brain Tumor A brain tumor can be either benign (non cancerous) or malignant (cancerous), primary, or secondary. Causes and risk factors...learn more »
      In This Article
      Brain Tumor Article
      • Brain tumor facts*
      • What is the brain?
      • What are the tumor grades and types?
      • Tumor grade
      • Types of primary brain tumors
      • What are the risk factors for brain tumors?
      • What are the symptoms of a brain tumor?
      • How are brain tumors diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for a brain tumor?
      • What type of surgery is available for brain tumors?
      • Radiation therapy for brain tumors
      • Chemotherapy for brain tumors
      • What about a second opinion for brain tumor treatment?
      • Nutrition during brain tumor treatment
      • What supportive care is available for patients and caregivers?
      • What about rehabilitation after brain tumor treatment?
      • What about follow-up care after brain tumor treatment?
      • Sources of support
      • Taking part in cancer research
    • Cataracts A cataract is an eye disease that causes the eye's lens to become cloudy and opaque with decreased vision. Causes of cataracts...learn more »
      In This Article
      Cataracts Article
      • Facts about cataracts
      • What is a cataract?
      • What are the different types of cataracts?
      • What are causes of cataracts?
      • What are risk factors for cataracts?
      • What are the symptoms of cataracts?
      • What are the signs of cataracts?
      • How are cataracts diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for cataracts?
      • What are the different types of cataract surgery, and what risks are involved?
      • What are complications of cataracts?
      • What is the prognosis of cataracts?
      • Can cataracts be prevented?
      • Where can people get more information on cataracts?
    • Corneal Ulcer A corneal ulcer is an open sore on the cornea. Infection is a common cause of corneal ulcer. Symptoms and signs of corneal ulcer...learn more »
      In This Article
      Corneal Ulcer Article
      • Corneal ulcer facts
      • What is a corneal ulcer?
      • What does a corneal ulcer look like?
      • What are the causes of a corneal ulcer?
      • What are corneal ulcer symptoms?
      • What are corneal ulcer signs?
      • How is a corneal ulcer diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for a corneal ulcer?
      • What is the healing time for a corneal ulcer?
      • Can corneal ulcers be prevented?
    • Diabetes and Eye Problems Diabetes and eye problems are generally caused by high blood sugar levels over an extended period of time. Types of eye problems...learn more »
      In This Article
      Diabetes and Eye Problems Article
      • Eye problems and diabetes introduction
      • Cataracts and diabetes
      • Glaucoma and diabetes
      • Diabetic retinopathy
      • Preventing eye problems with diabetes
      • When to contact your doctor about eye problems in diabetes
    • Dry Eyes Dry eyes are caused by an imbalance in the tear-flow system of the eye, but also can be caused by the drying out of the tear...learn more »
      In This Article
      Dry Eyes Article
      • Dry eye syndrome facts
      • What is dry eye syndrome?
      • What causes dry eye syndrome?
      • What is the impact of dry eye syndrome?
      • What are dry eye syndrome symptoms and signs?
      • What are the complications of dry eye syndrome?
      • What are the risk factors for dry eye syndrome?
      • What is the treatment for dry eye syndrome?
      • Can self-care treatments and remedies help alleviate dry eyes?
      • What is the medical treatment for dry eye syndrome?
      • What medications are used to treat dry eye syndrome?
      • Can surgery treat dry eye syndrome?
      • What other therapies are used to treat dry eye syndrome?
    • Eye Care Many common eye disorders resolve without treatment and some may be managed with over-the-counter (OTC) products. It's important...learn more »
      In This Article
      Eye Care Article
      • Eye care introduction
      • What is the structure of the eye?
      • Which common disorders of the eye can (sometimes) be self-treated?
      • What common eye conditions usually require treatment by a doctor?
      • What types of OTC eye care products are there?
      • What inactive ingredients are contained in OTC eye care products?
    • Face Blindness (Prosopagnosia) Face blindness (prosopagnosia) is a condition that causes the inability to recognize faces. Face blindness may be caused by...learn more »
      In This Article
      Face Blindness (Prosopagnosia) Article
      • Prosopagnosia facts*
      • What is prosopagnosia?
      • Is there any treatment?
      • What is the prognosis?
      • What research is being done?
    • Farsightedness Farsightedness makes it difficult to focus on objects that are close up. The condition runs in families and occurs because light...learn more »
      In This Article
      Farsightedness Article
      • Introduction to farsightedness
      • What causes farsightedness?
      • What are the symptoms of farsightedness?
      • How is farsightedness diagnosed?
      • How is farsightedness corrected?
    • Glaucoma Glaucoma is a common eye condition in which the fluid pressure inside the eye rises because of slowed fluid drainage from the...learn more »
      In This Article
      Glaucoma Article
      • Glaucoma facts
      • What is glaucoma?
      • How common is glaucoma?
      • What causes glaucoma?
      • What are glaucoma risk factors?
      • What are the different types of glaucoma?
      • What are glaucoma symptoms and signs?
      • How is glaucoma diagnosed?
      • How often should someone be checked (screened) for glaucoma?
      • What is the treatment for glaucoma?
      • Glaucoma medications (eyedrops)
      • Glaucoma surgery or laser
      • Can glaucoma be prevented?
      • What is in the future for glaucoma?
    • Iritis Iritis is inflammation of the iris, the colored portion of the eye. Symptoms include a red, painful eye, blurry vision, and light...learn more »
      In This Article
      Iritis Article
      • Iritis facts
      • What is iritis?
      • What causes iritis?
      • What are symptoms and signs of iritis?
      • How is iritis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for iritis?
      • How long does iritis last?
      • What are complications of iritis?
      • What is the prognosis for iritis?
      • What research is being done for iritis?
      • Where can I find out more information about iritis?
    • Keratitis Keratitis is inflammation of the cornea. Symptoms and signs include pain, tearing, blurred vision, eye redness, watery eyes, or...learn more »
      In This Article
      Keratitis Article
      • Keratitis facts
      • What is keratitis?
      • What are the causes of keratitis?
      • What are the different types of keratitis?
      • What are the risk factors for keratitis?
      • What are symptoms and signs of keratitis?
      • How is keratitis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for keratitis?
      • What are the possible complications of keratitis?
      • Can keratitis be prevented?
    • Keratoconus Keratoconus is a condition in which the cornea bulges outward like a cone. The cause of the condition is unknown, but genetics...learn more »
      In This Article
      Keratoconus Article
      • Introduction to keratoconus
      • What causes keratoconus?
      • Can keratoconus damage vision?
      • How is keratoconus diagnosed?
      • How is keratoconus treated?
      • Will surgery correct keratoconus?
    • Macular Degeneration Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that gradually destroys the central vision. In people over 60, AMD is a...learn more »
      In This Article
      Macular Degeneration Article
      • Macular degeneration facts
      • What is macular degeneration?
      • What is the retina?
      • What is the macula?
      • What is age-related macular degeneration (AMD)?
      • What is wet age-related macular degeneration?
      • What are retinal drusen?
      • What is dry age-related macular degeneration?
      • What causes macular degeneration?
      • What are risk factors for macular degeneration?
      • What are macular degeneration symptoms?
      • What are signs of macular degeneration?
      • How is macular degeneration diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for wet macular degeneration?
      • What is the treatment for dry macular degeneration?
      • What are complications of macular degeneration?
      • What is the prognosis for macular degeneration?
      • Can macular degeneration be prevented?
      • What research is being done on macular degeneration?
    • Migraine Headache Migraine headaches are severe headaches that are accompanies to sensitivity to light, sounds, and smells. They are often...learn more »
      In This Article
      Migraine Headache Article
      • What is a migraine?
      • What are the risk factors for migraine?
      • What causes migraines?
      • What triggers migraines?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of migraines?
      • How are migraines diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for migraines?
      • What self-care treatment measures work for migraines?
      • How are migraines managed during pregnancy?
      • How are migraines managed in children?
      • What is the prognosis for migraines?
      • Can migraines be prevented?
    • Myopia Myopia, or nearsightedness, makes it difficult to focus on objects that are far away. The condition runs in families and occurs...learn more »
      In This Article
      Myopia Article
      • Introduction to Myopia
      • What causes Myopia?
      • What are the symptoms of Myopia?
      • How is Myopia diagnosed?
      • How is Myopia treated?
    • Optic Neuritis Optic neuritis is inflammation of the optic nerve, the structure that connects the eye to the brain. The precise cause of optic...learn more »
      In This Article
      Optic Neuritis Article
      • Optic neuritis facts
      • What is optic neuritis?
      • What causes optic neuritis?
      • What are symptoms of optic neuritis?
      • What are signs of optic neuritis?
      • How is optic neuritis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for optic neuritis?
      • What is the prognosis for optic neuritis?
      • Where can I find more information on optic neuritis?
    • Polymyalgia Rheumatica Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a disorder of the muscles and joints that causes pain and stiffness in the arms, neck, shoulders,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Polymyalgia Rheumatica Article
      • Polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis facts
      • What is polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • What causes polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • What are symptoms and signs of polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • How is polymyalgia rheumatica diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) for patients with polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • Can polymyalgia be prevented?
      • What are complications of polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • What is giant cell arteritis?
      • What causes giant cell arteritis?
      • What are symptoms of giant cell arteritis?
      • How is giant cell arteritis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for giant cell arteritis?
      • What is the prognosis for patients with giant cell arteritis?
      • Can giant cell arteritis be prevented?
      • What are complications of giant cell arteritis?
    • Presbyopia Presbyopia is the age-related loss of the ability to focus on objects that are close up. The condition generally affects people...learn more »
      In This Article
      Presbyopia Article
      • Introduction to presbyopia
      • What are the symptoms of presbyopia?
      • How is presbyopia diagnosed?
      • How is presbyopia treated?
    • Retinal Detachment Retinal detachment is the separation of the retina from its attachments to the underlying eye tissue. Symptoms of retinal...learn more »
      In This Article
      Retinal Detachment Article
      • Retinal detachment facts
      • What is the retina?
      • What is a retinal detachment?
      • What are retinal detachment symptoms and signs?
      • What are retinal detachment causes and risk factors?
      • Which diseases of the eyes predispose to the development of a retinal detachment?
      • How does cataract surgery lead to a retinal detachment?
      • What other factors are associated with a retinal detachment?
      • Why is it mandatory to treat retinal detachments?
      • What is the treatment for retinal detachment?
      • What are complications of surgery for a retinal detachment, and what is recovery like after retinal detachment surgery?
      • What are the results of surgery for a retinal detachment?
    • Scleritis Scleritis is inflammation of the white part of the eye. It may be caused by a serious underlying condition, such as an autoimmune...learn more »
      In This Article
      Scleritis Article
      • Scleritis facts
      • What is scleritis?
      • What is the sclera?
      • What causes scleritis?
      • What are risk factors for scleritis?
      • What are symptoms of scleritis?
      • What are signs of scleritis?
      • How is scleritis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for scleritis?
      • What are the complications of scleritis?
      • What is the prognosis for scleritis?
      • Can scleritis be prevented?
      • What research is being done on scleritis?
    • Stroke A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding...learn more »
      In This Article
      Stroke Article
      • Stroke facts
      • What is a stroke?
      • What are the different types of stroke?
      • What are the warning signs of a stroke?
      • What are the symptoms of a stroke?
      • How is a stroke diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for stroke?
      • What is the prognosis for stroke?
      • Is recovery after a stroke possible?
      • What is stroke rehabilitation?
      • Can strokes be prevented?
    • Toxoplasmosis Toxoplasmosis (toxo) is a parasitic infection that causes flulike symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle aches and pains that...learn more »
      In This Article
      Toxoplasmosis Article
      • Toxoplasmosis facts
      • What is toxoplasmosis?
      • What is the cause of toxoplasmosis?
      • What factors increase the risk of acquiring toxo?
      • What are the usual symptoms of toxoplasmosis?
      • Why do some people develop severe problems from toxo?
      • Can toxoplasmosis develop into a more serious illness in babies?
      • What is meant by a baby developing "a more severe case of toxo"?
      • How is toxo diagnosed in the lab?
      • How can toxoplasmosis be prevented?
      • Am I able to keep my cat?
      • Once infected with toxo, is my cat always able to spread the infection to me?
      • What is the treatment for toxoplasmosis?
      • What is the prognosis for toxoplasmosis?
    • Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA, Mini-Stroke) When a portion of the brain loses blood supply, through a blood clot or embolus, a transient ischemic attack (TIA, mini-stroke)...learn more »
      In This Article
      Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA, Mini-Stroke) Article
      • Transient ischemic attack (TIA) facts
      • What is a transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
      • What are the causes of transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
      • What are the risk factors for transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
      • What are the symptoms of transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
      • How is transient ischemic attack (TIA) diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
      • What is the prognosis for transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
    • Uveitis Uveitis is inflammation of the eye. Symptoms include blurred vision, eye pain, eye redness, photophobia, and floaters. Treatment...learn more »
      In This Article
      Uveitis Article
      • What is uveitis?
      • What causes uveitis?
      • What are symptoms of uveitis?
      • What are the signs of uveitis?
      • What are the different types of uveitis?
      • What other medical conditions are associated with uveitis?
      • How is uveitis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for uveitis?
      • What is the prognosis for uveitis?
      • What are the complications of uveitis?
      • Can uveitis be prevented?
Other Causes of Blurred Vision
  • Bleeding Into the Eye
  • Convergence Insufficiency
  • Corneal Abrasion
  • Eye Infection
  • Foreign Body in the Eye
  • Incorrect Eyeglass Prescription
  • Lens Dislocation
  • Medications
  • Trauma to the Eye or Head



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