It is normal for most people to experience gradual changes in their vision over years or even months. These changes can be so gradual that you might not realize they are happening, such is the case with cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration. This makes it very important that you have an eye exam each year. However, sudden blurry vision can be disconcerting.
The reasons behind blurriness could be as simple as seasonal allergies, an eye infection, migraine, eyestrain, or it is simply time for an updated contacts or glasses prescription. But other reasons can be sign of a serious illness or eye condition. When sudden blurriness occurs and is not resolved by simply blinking your eyes, it is always a good idea to immediately contact your eye doctor to rule out a serious or life-threatening condition.
Life-Threatening Conditions that Could Cause Blurry Vision
Sudden blurriness could be a sign that you are having a stroke if it is accompanied by additional symptoms, including:
- Slurred speech or difficulty speaking
- Numbness or weakness on one side of your body
- Loss of balance
- Face drooping
You must call 911 immediately if you experience any of these stroke warning signs that accompany blurred vision.
If you are pregnant, sudden vision changes could be a sign of preeclampsia, which is a dangerous condition that includes extremely high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine. Contact your doctor immediately because this condition can be life-threatening to both you and your baby.
Sudden changes in vision, such as blurriness could be a sign of a brain tumor that is causing pressure in the skull. Usually, additional symptoms that might be present include:
- Constant headache
- Nausea and vomiting
- Changes in personality
If you are experiencing these symptoms with blurry vision, it is a good idea to contact your doctor to rule out any life threatening conditions.
Serious Health Issues that Could Cause Blurry Vision
Not all sudden changes in vision are life-threatening, but they could be a sign of life-changing conditions that could threaten your vision and health, including:
- Diabetes – having this condition increases your risk of diabetic retinopathy that can lead to permanent vision loss; and blurry eyesight is a common symptom
- Multiple sclerosis – blurry vision is often an early symptom of MS; it is caused by inflammation of the optic nerve.
- Parkinson’s disease – blurry eyesight is not an early sign of this disease; it usually develops as Parkinson’s becomes worse.