Many people with blurry vision blame it on age or the need for a new eyeglass prescription. However, many things can lead to blurred vision, and not all are related to these two causes. What should a person know in this situation, and when should they see an eye doctor?
Many people don’t know that an eye doctor can detect signs of diabetes. What does their blood sugar have to do with blurry vision? Individuals with diabetes often experience problems with the eyes because of increased sugar levels.
Diabetic retinopathy is a condition where high blood sugar levels damage blood vessels in the retina or portion of the eye that detects light. This leads to swelling in the macula, a part of the retina. New blood vessels may grow in the eye, or the eye may begin bleeding.
Blurry vision is only one symptom of this condition. The person might also notice floating spots in their vision. In severe cases, they may permanently lose sight. Regular eye exams help to detect this problem early so blood sugar levels can be brought under control.
Blurred vision might be a sign of macular degeneration, a common cause of blindness in older adults. The macula is a small area that sits in the back of the eye. When it deteriorates, the individual loses their central vision. They can no longer look straight ahead and see clearly.
A person doesn’t lose complete sight of this condition. They can still see to either side. It’s only the central part of the vision that is affected. Millions of Americans today suffer from macular degeneration, making it the top cause of vision loss. When a person sees an eye doctor, they test for deterioration of the macula.
Macular degeneration comes in two forms. Most individuals have dry macular degeneration, which leads to small yellow deposits developing under the macula. Up to 15 percent of individuals, however, have wet macular degeneration, a condition in which abnormal blood vessels develop in the eye. The treatment varies based on what type a person has.
Pregnant women need to see their eye doctor regularly, as they are at risk of developing a condition known as preeclampsia. With this condition, the woman’s blood pressure rises drastically, and protein develops in the urine. Women who have never had high blood pressure before may suddenly develop this condition.
Preeclampsia must be treated immediately to save the woman’s life and the life of the baby. Although the woman may not have any symptoms, any blurred vision or flashing spots need to be investigated.
Other symptoms of preeclampsia include nausea and vomiting following the first trimester, low back or abdominal pain, sudden weight gain, or swelling in the face or hands. The doctor will determine the cause of the symptoms and how best to treat the woman.
Numerous other things may cause blurred vision. A stroke or migraine might lead to blurry vision, and the same holds for cataracts and refractive errors. See the eye doctor regularly to catch problems early. Doing so helps to protect your vision, overall health, and well-being.