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What is blurred vision?

When you have blurred vision, your eyesight is less sharp and objects, images and words seem to be out of focus.

Who is affected by blurred vision?

Anyone can be affected by blurred vision. It could be a sign of getting older and/or needing new glasses, tiredness, or too much sun. But there are many other causes and it could be one of the symptoms of a range of conditions including:

Blurred vision can also be a symptom of non-optical conditions such as a diabetes, a stroke and preeclampsia (a condition caused by high blood pressure in pregnancy).

What are the symptoms of blurred vision?

Blurred vision is hazy and unfocussed, as though you were looking through an oily film and you feel you need to rub your eyes to get things back into focus.

It can affect your entire field of vision or your peripheral vision (the edges of your vision), and can occur in one eye or both. You may not realise that you have blurred vision in one eye until you do something that requires shutting your other eye – for example, doing your make up. This is because your brain provides compensation.

How do you treat blurred vision?

As blurred vision has many possible causes, the treatment will depend on the condition. If the blurring is recurring or ongoing, you should book an eye examination with your optometrist. They will investigate the cause and recommend suitable treatment, or refer you to an appropriate specialist.

If you think it may be one of the symptoms of a serious medical condition such as stroke or pre-eclampsia, you should seek urgent medical help.