Vision Loss And What It Means
In early February 2022, we published an article on Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) causes, and types. AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in the United States, and more women than men have AMD. According to the National Eye Institute, AMD risk increases with age. White Americans have the greatest likelihood of developing AMD and will account for the majority of cases in the future as well. Hispanics will see the greatest rate of increase, with a nearly six-fold rise in the number of cases from 2010 to 2050. Smokers are also at higher risk for AMD. Vision loss can cause other issues other than AMD.
Vision problems can turn daily activities such as driving or reading into impossible tasks. Damage to sensitive components of the eye, congenital abnormalities in the shape of the eye, or age-related changes can all contribute to vision loss. Since vision loss can be a gradual process, regular eye exams and vision screenings should be a part of every individual’s personal wellness routine. It is important to note that vision loss problems may manifest themselves not just from AMD but others as well,
Blurry vision is one of the first symptoms that people experience among the types of macular degeneration. This occurs because of how the eye and brain work together to enable one to see. Blurry vision is a loss in the sharpness of eyesight. Therefore, making objects appear out of focus and hazy.
Blurry vision can be common. It is a problem with any of the components of your eye such as the cornea, retina, or optic nerve which can cause sudden blurred vision. Slowly progressive blurry vision occurs due to long-term medical conditions. Sudden blurring is most often caused by a single even blurry vision and this may be caused by a wide range of issues ranging from dry eyes and eye strain to congenital or acquired focusing problems.
Chronically dry eyes may make the visual field appear blurry, as well as a refractive error in the cornea or lens known as astigmatism. In some cases, patients recovering from eye surgery may experience blurry vision. The primary causes of blurry vision are refractive errors — nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism — or presbyopia. Blurry vision can also be a symptom of more serious problems. Below are reasons why you may have blurred vision. There are approximately 17 other reasons why you may experience blurry vision (Source: Healthline.com).
A retina tear is usually an indication of a loose retina. When this occurs the retina tears away from the back of the eye and loses its blood and nerve supply. When it happens you will see flashing lights and black flecks, and then an area of absent vision. Without emergency treatment, vision in that area may be permanently lost.
Blurry or no vision in both eyes can occur when you have a stroke, and the stroke affects the part of your brain that controls vision. A stroke involving your eye may cause unclear or no vision in only one eye. You may suffer from other symptoms of a stroke, such as weakness on one side of your body or the inability to speak.
Transient Ischemic Attack
A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a stroke that lasts less than 24 hours. One of its symptoms can be an unclear vision in one or both eyes.
Wet Macular Degeneration
The center of your retina is the macula. Abnormal vessels may grow, therefore allowing blood and other fluid to leak into the macula. This is known as wet macular degeneration. It causes blurriness and vision loss in the center part of your visual field. Unlike dry macular degeneration, this type can begin suddenly and progress rapidly.
Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the drainage system within the eye when there is not clear passage. The pressure inside the eye can increase very quickly, therefore, causing redness, pain, and nausea.
This is a medical emergency and requires treatments with eyedrops to open the angle, decrease the pressure, and decrease the inflammation. Many times a laser procedure, laser iridotomy, may be necessary.
Eye strain can occur after looking at and focusing on something for a long time without a break. When it’s the result of focusing on an electronic device like a computer or cellphone, it’s sometimes a digital eye strain. Other causes include reading and driving, especially at night and in poor weather.
Conjunctivitis is also known as pink eye, and It is an infection of the outside lining of your eye. It usually occurs due to a virus but can also be bacteria or allergies.
Your cornea is the clear covering on the front of your eye. A scratch or scar can turn into a corneal abrasion. In addition to blurry vision, you may feel like there’s something in your eye.
High Blood Sugar
Very high blood sugar levels cause the lens of your eye to swell, therefore resulting in unclear vision.
Dark red blood pools inside the front of your eyeball are known as hyphema. This results from bleeding that occurs after there is an injury to the eye. It can become painful if it increases the pressure inside your eye.
The iris is the colored part of your eye. Iritis occurs when an autoimmune reaction or an infection causes the iris to become inflamed. It can occur by itself or as part of an autoimmune condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or sarcoidosis. It can also be caused by infections like herpes. It can be painful and cause sensitivity to light, also called photophobia.
Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea and occurs due to an infection. Using one pair of contacts for too long or reusing dirty contacts increases your risk for Keratitis.
The macula is the center of your retina that is responsible for your central vision. It can develop a tear or break which causes blurry vision. It usually only affects one eye.
Migraine With Aura
Often migraine attacks occur by an aura, which can cause unclear vision. You may also see wavy lines or flashing lights and have other sensory disturbances. Sometimes you may have an aura without head pain.
The optic nerve connects your eye and your brain. Optic neuritis is inflammation of the optic nerve and occurs due to an autoimmune reaction or early multiple sclerosis. Other causes are autoimmune conditions, such as lupus or an infection. Most often, it affects only one eye.
Temporal arteritis is inflammation occurring in the medium-sized arteries. The vessels around your temples can cause a throbbing headache in your forehead. It can also cause your vision to blur or disappear.
The uvea is a collection of colorful structures in the eye including the iris. An infection or autoimmune reaction can cause it to become inflamed and painful, which is called uveitis.
It is critical that you contact us immediately if you are experiencing any of these conditions.