Blurry Vision and the Retina
Blurry vision can be caused by many different eye conditions, some of which result in permanent vision loss. If you notice that your vision is changing, it’s critical to talk to an ophthalmologist for an official diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.
Retinal diseases are often the cause of blurry vision. The diseases can vary in severity, affecting different parts of the retina (located in the back wall of the eye).
How the Retina Affects Your Vision
Millions of rods and cones are located within the retina. These light-sensitive cells work together to receive light and then organize the visual information to send to the brain via the optic nerve. When the system is working correctly, it allows you to understand what you are seeing.
Some retinal diseases cause minor discomfort and impact the vision. But others can result in sudden and permanent vision loss. If you notice that your eyes are going blurry or there are other changes happening, you shouldn’t delay a comprehensive eye exam with a specialist.
Why Has My Eyesight Suddenly Gone Blurry?
Mild, short-term blurriness might not be a cause for concern. For example, you might notice that your eyes are blurry after staring at a computer screen without breaks for an extended period of time. There’s nothing to worry about if your eyes quickly return to normal after taking a break from the screen.
On the other hand, you might have a retinal condition that is causing blurred vision. Here are some of the common reasons that cause a sudden change in vision:
- Retinal Detachment: Fluid under the retina causes the retina to pull away from the eyewall. This detachment results in sudden and severe symptoms. It is a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment to minimize complications and prevent permanent vision loss.
- Retinal Tear: The symptoms for a retinal tear might be similar to retinal detachment. The tissue is starting to tear away, but there isn’t a full detachment at this point.
- Diabetic Retinopathy: Blood sugar fluctuations can affect the small blood vessels within the eyes, causing leakage. As a result, the retina swells and can cause distortion or blurring of your vision.
- Stroke: One or both eyes can be affected when a stroke occurs. Also, watch for other symptoms, such as difficulty speaking, sudden numbness, weakness in the arms and legs, loss of balance, dizziness, face drooping, or a severe headache.
- Wet Macular Degeneration: This type of eye disease starts suddenly and progresses quickly. It can cause blurriness, or you might have vision loss in the middle area of your visual field.
- Head Trauma: An accident or impact on the head can cause mild traumatic brain injury, which affects the way the brain is working with the eyes. If you have a concussion, then it could result in blurry vision. Usually, this type of blurred vision is temporary.
- Eye Infections: A viral or bacterial infection in the eye can cause blurred vision. Examples include conjunctivitis (pink eye), uveitis, keratitis, and more.
- Eye Strain: When you focus on something for a long time without taking breaks, it can cause the eyes to feel fatigued. The result might be blurred vision. The most common cause of eye strain in our modern world is looking at electronic devices, such as a cell phone or computers.
- Blood Sugar Levels: High blood sugar can affect the eye lens, resulting in blurred vision. When the blood sugar goes up, it causes the eye lens to swell, which affects the way light moves into the eye.
- Migraine: A severe headache, such as a migraine, can affect your vision. There is a high likelihood that you are having a migraine when an aura accompanies the blurred vision.
Frequently Asked Questions About Retinal Conditions
Since the retina plays a vital role in your vision, it can be helpful to learn more about how this part of the eye works. Here are a few common questions about the retinal function and eye health:
Can Retina Damage Be Repaired?
The effectiveness of available treatment options depends on the underlying cause of your blurred vision. In cases of severe eye disease, it might not be possible to restore lost vision. Because you can have life-long consequences from eye disease, it’s essential to talk to an eye doctor when you notice changes in your vision.
What Happens If a Retina Is Weak?
If the retina is weak, then there is a higher risk of it tearing away from the wall and causing visual disturbances. For example, patients with a history of retinal detachment have a higher risk of recurrence since they have weak retinas.
How Does a Damaged Retina Affect Vision?
When the retina is torn or is pulling away from the eyewall, it changes the way light comes into the eye and how the messages are passed onto the brain. As a result, visual issues might include image distortion, blurred vision, dark or blurry spots, or overall poor vision.
What Are Common Symptoms of Retinal Problems?
Usually, the earliest symptoms are minor – unless you are experiencing a medical emergency such as retinal detachment. For example, you might notice eye floaters or blurred vision when you are in the early stages of a retinal condition.
As the condition progresses, you can experience other symptoms such as:
- Peripheral vision loss
- Double vision
- Distorted vision
- Dimmed vision
- Blind spots
- Flashing lights
What Other Symptoms Accompany Blurred Vision?
Pay attention to other symptoms that might be connected to your blurred vision, such as:
- Double vision
- Eye discharge
- Speech difficulties
- Sudden changes in vision
- One-sided weakness
- Eye injury
- Visual field defect (loss of vision in one area)
Tell your ophthalmologist about all of the symptoms you are experiencing. The eye doctor will use this information and a comprehensive eye exam to determine the underlying cause impacting your vision.
How Can an Ophthalmologist Treat Retinal Conditions?
The recommended treatment depends on your diagnosis and the severity if your eye condition. Comment treatment options might include:
- Laser eye surgery
- Vitrectomy (removing and replacing eye fluid)
- Injecting gas or air into the eye
- Freezing the retinal tear (cryopexy)
- Indenting the surface of the eye
- Injecting medication into the eye
- Shrinking oversized or abnormal eye vessels
Eye Care Services for Blurry Vision
The faster you get a diagnosis for your blurred vision, the more likely you will be able to protect your eyesight. The best solution is to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with a local ophthalmologist. Call us at EyesNY to schedule an exam at one of our convenient locations in the local area. Call us at (518) 791-5725.