Sudden blurred vision or blurry vision

(With review and feedback from CEENTA eye doctor Craig Self, MD (Statesville)

Normally, you can see clearly. Today, however, your vision has suddenly gone blurry. What might be the cause, and should you be alarmed at blurry vision?

Causes for Blurry Vision can include:

Corneal abrasion

A corneal abrasion is a scratch on the surface of the eye that causes pain, the sensation of a foreign body, tearing and blurry vision. Minor abrasions heal quickly and can be treated with lubricating drops, although they are also sometimes treated with antibiotic drops to prevent infection. More serious abrasions may require antibiotic ointment and steroids to decrease inflammation and scarring. In some cases, a special bandage contact lens must be worn to promote healing and provide pain relief. Once the corneal abrasion heals completely, the blurred vision will resolve.

Dry eye syndrome

When your eyes get too dry, your vision can blur. Dry eye is caused by an abnormal tear film brought on by decreased tear production and/or tear film evaporation. There are many causes of dry eye syndrome such as autoimmune diseases, allergies, medications, aging, and menopause. Environmental conditions such as low humidity air, fans, and prolonged video screen time can also contribute to dry eye syndrome and subsequently blurry vision. Dry eyes are treated with over-the-counter artificial tears and behavior modification, but in more serious cases may require prescription eye drops, tear duct plugs, and thermal treatments.

Eye strain

Prolonged staring at a computer screen, cell phone, tablet, or an activity that requires a lot of visual concentration like night driving, can cause eye strain. This in turn can make your vision blur. Make sure to blink regularly when you are at your computer and follow the 20-20-20 rule: after every 20 minutes staring at your computer, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds before returning to the computer screen. Moderation in general is helpful, as your blurry vision can reduce when you take time away from blue light screens or situations that lead to eye strain.

Detached retina

The retina receives light from the lens, converting it to neural signals that are transferred along the optic nerve to the brain. A detached retina is a serious condition that must be treated promptly by a retinal specialist. Common symptoms include a sudden onset of flashes in the peripheral vision, black floaters, and a black curtain shade obscuring part of the vision in one eye. Retinal detachments are painless.

High blood sugar

Diabetic patients who have sudden blurred vision may be experiencing a blood sugar spike. Prolonged high blood sugars can even cause a change in your glasses prescription. If you suspect your blood sugar is high, take a measurement to confirm, then follow the procedures you and your doctor have discussed for lowering it safely in order to mitigate your blurry vision.


Sudden blurred vision could be a sign of a stroke, either in the brain or just in the eye itself. This is a medical emergency and professional treatment should be sought at once.

Blurry vision care at CEENTA

Craig Self, MD

“Whatever the cause of your blurry vision, we at CEENTA have the expertise and know-how to diagnose and treat it,” CEENTA Ophthalmologist Craig Self, MD, said.

Don’t ignore blurry vision. Schedule an appointment with an eye doctor today.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. Would you like an appointment with Dr. Self? Call 704-295-3000. You can also schedule an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.


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