Causes of Sudden Blurred Vision

by IVL

The onset of sudden blurred vision can be alarming. There are several reasons you might experience blurry vision that seem to come out of nowhere. Sometimes it is a harmless symptom, but more than likely it is the sign of a more serious medical condition.

Sudden blurred vision, what you need to know

Non-emergency Reasons For Blurred Vision


If you go to bed with eyes that are a little itchy and watery then wake up with blurry vision and crusty mucus in your eyelashes, you most likely have a minor eye infection known as conjunctivitis or pink eye. It’s very common in children because they touch their face and eyes frequently, and they don’t wash their hands thoroughly or regularly.  This can spread easily when kids are in close proximity to one another like at school.

If you get pink eye, gently clear away the mucous and crust over your eyes with a warm damp washcloth. This will help clear your vision. Then call your doctor for a prescription of antibiotic eye drops.  After a few drops your eyes should begin to clear. Be sure to administer the entire dose of drops to both eyes (even if only one is infected) for as long as directed by your doctor.  Make sure to not touch the applicator to your eye, as this could easily spread it from the infected eye to the non-infected eye.

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This usually happens when you quickly rise from a prone or sitting position, and it seems like a black haze is settling over your eyes.  This is most likely caused by a temporary drop in blood pressure called Orthostatic Hypotension. It causes vision to blur or blacken to a narrow point of vision or a momentary complete loss of vision.  It’s also called a head rush and can be accompanied by dizziness.  The best thing to do when it occurs is to gently sit down or to hold on to something stable until the feeling passes.  If it happens frequently, have your blood pressure checked.

Ocular Migraines or Migraine Headaches

Ocular migraines are a temporary visual disturbance that can cause sudden blurred vision, then temporary loss of vision completely in both eyes.  They are most common among people who suffer migraine headaches.  They can be alarming, but do not result in any damage to the eye or cause permanent vision loss.

Medical Emergency Blurred Vision

Retina Detachment

Sudden, blurry vision and excessive eye floaters that appear with flashes of light are symptoms of a detached retina.  This is a serious condition and you should seek medical attention immediately to avoid permanent damage to the eye and permanent vision loss.

Head Injury

Any blow to the head that causes blurred vision is serious and you should seek medical attention immediately.  A concussion is a serious brain injury and often causes blurred vision.

Stoke or Brain Hemorrhage

If you have sudden blurred vision along with other stroke symptoms like loss of sensation in one or both limbs, the inability to speak or slurred speech, dizziness or nausea, call 911 and get to the hospital immediately. These symptoms could also be the result of a brain hemorrhage and require emergency medical care.

Corneal Abrasion

Damage to the eye from a blow or foreign object can scratch the cornea and caused sudden blurred vision. You should seek treatment right away to prevent infection and causing permanent vision loss. 


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