Blurred vision and contact lenses

Blurred people walking through a city

Most of us will have experienced blurred or blurry vision at some point. This common sensation involves a reduction in vision, not being able to focus on objects, and losing the sharp vision of outlines and details.

The causes can be varied and blurred vision can occur alongside other symptoms, such as burning, pain, watery eyes, or itching. To determine if the issue is serious and choose the correct treatment, it’s important to understand what is causing the blurriness. With the help of this guide, created by our in-house eye care professionals, you can learn more about the causes, as well as treatments, prevention methods, and when to seek medical help.

What are the symptoms of blurred vision?

Part of your entire line of sight and central vision can be affected by blurred vision. You might experience blurred peripheral vision or blurring on just the left or right side of your field of vision. It’s also possible that only one of your eyes might be affected by blurred vision, which can also be referred to as dim vision or clouded vision. Those experiencing may also see ‘floaters’ and ‘halos’.

Blurred vision causes

As we’ve said, there are many common causes of blurred vision and vision changes, including:

A woman with blurred vision trying to focus
  • Cataracts
  • Refractive errors, like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia or astigmatism
  • Dry eyes
  • Corneal opacification/scarring
  • Abrasions to the cornea
  • Injury or trauma to the eyes
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Infectious retinitis
  • Glaucoma
  • Stye
  • Chalazion
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Pink eye
  • Glaucoma
  • Keratitis

Blurriness can also be the result of a medical condition, which is not necessarily related to an eye condition or eye problems, like a stroke or a migraine. Diabetics may experience a sensation of blurriness when their blood sugar levels become unstable. Pregnancy can be another cause of blurred vision, and many pregnant people suffer from a range of vision problems, including blurred vision, as well as dry eyes, diplopia and double vision leading up to birth.

Blurred vision and contact lenses

Contact lenses are undoubtedly a more comfortable and convenient method of correcting visual defects that may be causing blurred vision than eyeglasses. However, it’s extremely important to follow the recommended routine for wearing them, as well as cleaning and storing them correctly. If a lens gets dirty, wet or damaged during wear it may result in blurriness. This is why it’s extremely important to adhere to the instructions advised by your optician, including not showering or sleeping with your lenses in, and correctly storing and disinfecting monthlies and two-weeklies overnight.

An easy way to avoid any discomfort or blurred vision when wearing contact lenses is to switch to dailies. Daily contact lenses don’t require an eye care routine and can be disposed of whenever you want, like before sleeping, swimming or showering, and replaced with a new pair afterwards. Plus, they are majorly hygienic, preventing the build up of deposits that may lead to eye infections and irritations.

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When to seek medical help

It is important to seek the advice of a healthcare professional if your vision becomes blurred and is accompanied by:

  • Severe eye pain
  • Facial drooping
  • Flashing lights
  • Difficulty seeing
  • Loss of muscle control on one side of your body
  • Struggling to speak
  • Severe headache

If your vision slowly deteriorates, you experience loss of vision or any of the other symptoms of blurred vision, you should reach out to your optometrist or eye doctor.

How is blurred vision treated?

In the case that blurred vision is caused by a decrease in blood sugar, it can help to eat foods that are rich in fast-acting sugars, like fruit juices and sweets. Glucose tablets can also be used to increase blood sugar in a flash.

Depending on the actual cause of the blurred vision, other treatments can range from eye drops and medications to laser eye surgeries.

How is blurred vision prevented?

Sometimes, blurred vision can simply not be prevented, however, you can adopt certain practices to look after your eyes, lowering the risk of causes related to lifestyle:

  • Schedule regular eye tests and contact lens check-ups to keep track of your prescription and eye health.
  • Incorporate foods that are good for your eyes into your diet, including leafy greens, fresh fish and fruit, and avoid high blood pressure and high blood sugar.
  • Opt for UV contact lenses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, paired with good quality sunglasses.
  • Avoid smoking or drinking heavily to lower your risk of developing eye diseases down the line.
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds with clean, warm water and dry them with a lint-free towel before putting on or taking out your contact lenses to avoid nasty eye infections.
  • Avoid sleeping with contact lenses, unless advised by your optician and if you’ve chosen a longer wearing pattern, store them in a multi-purpose solution.
  • Swimming with contact lenses or showering with contact lenses is not advised, as bacteria from the water can become trapped in your eyes, possibly causing an eye infection or eye conditions down the line.
  • Follow the wearing pattern and eye care routine that your optician has recommended.
  • Choose protective goggles when swimming, skiing, playing extreme sports or doing any DIY activities.