Blurry Vision Treatment in Baltimore
Also serving Pikesville, Owings Mills, Glen Burnie, & Rosedale
Do you have a blurry field of vision? Although blurry vision is a fairly common problem, sometimes it is an indication of another underlying medical condition that is affecting your eye health.
Causes of Blurred Vision
There are a number of potential causes of blurry vision, most notably the following:
- Retinal Detachment– Warning symptoms include floaters, flashes or a “falling curtain” of vision loss, but sometimes a retinal detachment can occur completely asymptomatically! What happens is the retina, the innermost layer of the eye, detaches from the eye’s wall, leading to permanent vision loss unless a procedure or surgery is performed.
- Macular degeneration – AMD or ARMD is an age-related degeneration of the macula, a structure located centrally in the eye’s retina where almost all of our vision comes from.
- Floaters –These small particles drift across your field of vision. While floaters are usually benign, they can indicate a more serious issue like a retinal tear or detachment.
- Diabetes, diabetic retinopathy and/or diabetic macular edema – Diabetes can cause a variety of health problems, including eye disease such as diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macula edema. This disease causes damage to the retina due to blood vessel damage resulting in retinal bleeding and swelling and severe vision loss. Often, patients need laser therapy, injections and/or eye surgery.
- Myopia – Also called nearsightedness, this condition occurs when incoming light focuses in front of the retina. This misdirection of light causes distant objects to appear blurry.
- Tumors – Like any other body part, the eyes are subject to cancer and tumors.
- Inflammation – Inflammatory diseases can affect every part of the eye. The front of the eye can be affected by a disease like Sjogren’s syndrome, where destruction of your eyelid tear glands’ ability to produce tears leads to severe dry eye. Inflammation can also occur in the vitreous, or jelly, of the eye and even in the retina.
- Glaucoma – Marked by a gradual increase of pressure in the eyes, glaucoma typically leads to optic nerve damage and vision loss. Glaucoma is strongly associated with blindness. Most of the time this is a painless process and the damage occurs unnoticed to the point where it may be irreparable!
- Cataracts – A cataract is the clouding of an eye lens, leading to a reduction in vision. In addition to blurry vision, someone with cataracts might report seeing halos, faded colors, and sensitivity to light. In some severe cases, cataracts can lead to blindness.
- Presbyopia– Presbyopia is common among adults starting around the age of 40. People have difficulty seeing and reading objects up close.
- Eye infection or injury – An eye condition can be benign or severe depending on the infection or injury.
- Optic neuritis – This is an inflammation of the eye’s optic nerve.
- Headaches or migraines – Headaches can cause visual problems like light sensitivity, spots, and zigzag patterns.
Treatment for Blurred Vision
The treatment for blurry vision depends on the cause of the problem. When meeting with you, the doctors at the Elman Retina Group will be able to identify what is causing your blurry vision, and recommend the most suitable medical or surgical solution(s).
Glaucoma cannot be cured, but it can often be managed through the use of eyedrops or medication. If the drops or medications fail to control intraocular pressure, laser or incisional surgery may be recommended to improve the way fluid exits the eye.
Cataracts must be treated surgically. The eye’s natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens implant to restore clear vision at a single fixed distance or multiple distances.
Treatment for diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema depends on the type and severity of the disease. Common treatments include a laser procedure to seal leaking blood vessels, injections of anti-VEGF medication into the eye to decrease swelling in the macula region of the retina, and, if severe enough, surgery via a “vitrectomy” may be warranted.
Myopia can be treated with glasses or contact lenses. Refractive surgery can also treat myopia by permanently reshaping the cornea so light entering the eye can properly focus on the retina.
Blurry vision due to presbyopia can be improved by wearing reading glasses. Other options for presbyopia include laser eye surgery or the implantation of special corneal inlays that help focus light entering the eye.
Like glaucoma, macular degeneration cannot be cured. Studies have indicated that taking supplements with the AREDS2 formula (which includes eye-healthy vitamins and antioxidants) may help to delay the progression of early AMD to advanced AMD and prevent vision lost to the disease. In cases of advanced AMD, where abnormal blood vessels develop under the retina, anti-VEGF medications can be injected into the eye to curb the growth of these leaky vessels.
Floaters causing blurry vision may go away on their own without treatment. Large or prominent floaters that cause blurry vision may be treated with vitrectomy to remove the vitreous, or laser treatment to break up the floaters so they become less noticeable.
Optic neuritis often goes away on its own, but often steroid medications are used to reduce inflammation and long-term damage.
Retinal detachment must be treated quickly with a procedure such as pneumatic retinopexy, scleral buckle and/or vitrectomy. The goal is to restore the retina to its normal position along the back wall of the eye.
Dry eye disease can be managed through the use of artificial eyedrops. Tiny plugs can be inserted into the tear ducts to conserve the tear film. Or, in cases of dry eye caused by meibomian gland dysfunction, the glands must be gently unplugged and expressed to restore the normal secretion of oils to the tear film.
Treating ocular trauma or eye injuries depends on the nature of the injury and the structures affected.
Am I a Good Candidate to Fix Blurry Vision?
You may be a good candidate for treatment if you:
- Have had blurry vision since birth or have developed blurry vision over time
- Find that blurry vision interferes with your day-to-day tasks like reading or driving
- Have met with a doctor to identify the source of the problem
Blurry Vision FAQs
How does glaucoma affect vision?
Glaucoma develops when excess pressure within the eye begins to damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve is vital to your sense of sight, transmitting visual data from the eye to the brain. Without a properly functioning optic nerve, blindness results.
By the time you notice glaucoma-related changes to your vision, it is usually too late. One type of glaucoma does announce its presence with a few early symptoms, however. Patients with “angle-closure” glaucoma report blurry vision, rainbow halos around bright lights, eye pain and often nausea.
What happens when diabetes leads to diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy can have serious consequences. The same high levels of sugar within the blood that cause damage throughout the body can cause swelling in the walls of blood vessels in or near the eye. This can lead to blood leaking into optic structures. At some point, the blood vessels may stop functioning.
Conversely, the condition can also lead to the development of new blood vessels. This happens in later stages of diabetic retinopathy. These new vessels are not healthy, nor a welcome development. They are prone to leaking, clouding the eye’s vitreous fluid with blood. They can lead to buildup of scar tissue, which may result in a detached retina. Left untreated, diabetic retinopathy will not only interfere with vision, but lead to the loss of sight.
What is retinal detachment?
As noted above, diabetic retinopathy can sometimes lead to retinal detachment. It can also happen when a retinal tear occurs, and fluid accumulates under the retina. If fluid buildup is substantial, the retina becomes unmoored from the back of the eye, resulting in a loss of eyesight if the condition is not treated without delay.
How does dry eye cause blurry vision?
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca, commonly known as dry eye syndrome, is triggered when normal functioning of the meibomian glands is lost. At advanced states, it can damage the cornea.
These glands secrete oil, which is an essential component of the moisture which covers, protects and lubricates the eye. Other elements of this layer of moisture include water and mucus. Without oil, water on the surface of the eye quickly evaporates, resulting in chronic dryness. In addition to possible blurry vision, symptoms can include pain, redness, an itchy or burning sensation and excessive sensitivity to light.
Should cataracts be removed before a patient notices blurry vision?
Although it is now possible to remove cataracts at very early stages, the trusted professionals of Elman Retina Group recommend a conservative approach. If a patient has normal vision, and doesn’t experience some of the activity-limiting symptoms such as blurry vision, trouble reading or glare during nighttime driving, there is no need to remove the cataract quickly.
It is also true that patients should not ignore cataracts. At advanced stages, surgical removal is more difficult. Elevated eye pressure or inflammation can also result if cataracts are left untreated far beyond the optimal “ripe” stage.
Contact the Elman Retina Group
The Elman Retina Group is an eye care facility serving Rosedale, Glen Burnie, and Pikesville, Maryland. We are staffed with compassionate and qualified physicians who can treat a variety of eye conditions, including blurry vision. Contact one of our offices today to request an appointment for a thorough eye examination.