Blurred vision could be a symptom of Diabetes, Cataracts among other conditions, an optometrist has warned. 

The common eye complaint can affect one and or both of our eyes and is often a sign of an underlying medical condition.

If you're concerned about your blurry eyesight, you should know that there are various causes for a loss of focus with some being no cause for concern.

However, whether your vision declines progressively, or your eyesight turns blurry overnight, there are some cases that require immediate action.    

Roshni Patel, Optometrist and Head of Professional Services at Lenstore, has shared some causes of blurred vision and how to prevent it in the first place. 

What causes blurred vision?

Refractive error 

Refractive errors include long and short-sightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia, according to the specialist.

The expert explained that short-sight causes far vision to appear blurry and long-sight affects the focus on close objects.  

The optometrist added: "Astigmatism causes vision to appear distorted and fuzzy and usually affects both distance and near tasks.  

"Presbyopia is the age-related refractive error, that affects close vision, having an impact on everyday tasks like reading".   

Eye strain   

Over three-quarters of Brits have suffered headaches from staring at a screen, according to a Lenstore study.

The majority of respondents shared that they have felt eye strain from looking at screens for too long (83%). 

The optometrist explained that "focusing on computer screens, your phone or a book with small font for too long, can cause your eyes to strain".

The expert went on to say that this may result in blurred vision, especially in dark-light settings.   

She recommended that it's best to take regular breaks to look at things that are further away - a great approach is the 20-20-20 rule.

Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet or more away.

Midweek Herald: Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet or more away. ( Getty Images)Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet or more away. ( Getty Images) (Image: Getty Images)

Diabetes 

If you are a diabetic, you will know how important it is to keep track of your glucose levels.  

Keeping track of your glucose levels is also crucial for your eyesight since high blood sugar can damage the blood vessels in your retina.

The optometrist explained that this causes it to swell and leak and may result in the inability to see with a clear focus and detect details in objects.

This can occur in just one or both eyes, the expert added.

"Most people will notice their vision improving as their blood sugar levels regulate, but it is important to remember, once damage is done to certain retinal structures, these may not be reversible and permanent vision loss can occur," according to Roshi Patel.

The optometrist added: "Controlling blood glucose levels in diabetics is really important in order to slow or even prevent the progression of diabetic retinopathy". 

Cataracts 

A cataract is a protein build-up in the lens of your eye, turning it cloudy.

The expert explained: "As the lens is responsible for the amount of light that enters your eye, the cataract can block the light from entering, which can lead to foggy or fuzzy vision, as if a thin veil is covering your eyes.   

"Cataracts can either affect one or both eyes and tend to occur later in life.  

"The cataract can be removed through surgery, which is a routine procedure for most ophthalmologists and usually restores your vision fully". 

Midweek Herald: Roshni Patel, Optometrist and Head of Professional Services at Lenstore, has shared some causes of blurred vision and how to prevent it in the first place.  ( Getty Images)Roshni Patel, Optometrist and Head of Professional Services at Lenstore, has shared some causes of blurred vision and how to prevent it in the first place.  ( Getty Images) (Image: Getty Images)

Optic neuritis 

"Optic neuritis is the inflammation of the optic nerve, which connects the eyes to the brain, and typically follows an autoimmune reaction," according to Roshni Patel.

She added: "Blurred vision as a result of optic neuritis appears dim with reduced contrast and colours, particularly red, appear diluted or pale. The condition usually only affects one eye.  

"Optic neuritis tends to resolve over time, and once you have recovered, your eyesight should also return to normal.   

"Regardless, optic neuritis needs further investigation, so should you experience any of the above symptoms, book an appointment with your optometrist as soon as possible". 

Detached retina 

The optometrist has said that the retina is a thin tissue that lines the back of the eyes and sends images through the optical nerve to the brain, which gives us our eyesight.

"If the retina moves away from its usual position, either caused by injury or age-related health conditions, it can impact sight profoundly," according to Roshni Patel.

The expert urged Brits to look out for "the usual warning symptoms" of retinal detachments which are flashes of light and a sudden increase in floaters in the affected eye.   

She advised: "Retinal detachment should be treated immediately, otherwise it can lead to permanent vision loss.

"If you notice any symptoms, schedule an emergency appointment with your optometrist."


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How to prevent blurry eyes 

Roshni added: “If you know that one of your family members has a genetic condition or one that can be inherited, inform your optometrist of this, so they can keep an eye out for any signs.   

"Adults are recommended to schedule eye exams every two years, but should you experience sudden changes in vision, you can always arrange an emergency appointment.   

"A diet for good eye health should include fruits and vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids that can be found in certain nuts and seeds, or fish such as salmon or mackerel. You should also steer clear of smoking and increased alcohol consumption.  

"Wearing UV-protecting sunglasses when you are exposed to the sun will reduce the risks of sun damage to your eyes.”