Causes of Blurred Vision and Eye Irritation
Blurred vision and irritated eyes are two of the most common complaints that eye doctors hear. Because irritated eyes may be dry, eye irritation and blurred vision often go hand-in-hand. Here are some of the most common reasons for irritation, blurred vision, and related symptoms.
Your eyes will often be your first indication that seasonal allergies have arrived–or that you are having a reaction to your new pet’s dander. Allergy-related eye symptoms may include itchy, irritated, watery, swollen, or red eyes; these symptoms may be accompanied by nasal allergy symptoms. Often, over-the-counter allergy eye drops or oral antihistamines are all that you need to get relief. Cool compresses may also soothe itching.
Environmental irritants and foreign objects
Besides pets and seasonal allergies such as pollen, potential irritants include tobacco smoke and chlorinated pool water–in fact, some people even react to the air around indoor pools. Foreign objects such as sand and sawdust can also irritate your eyes. In the case of foreign objects in your eyes, rinsing with water or preservative-free saline may help; if you can’t remove an irritant easily, see your local eye doctor. Never attempt to remove an object that seems stuck.
Improper contact lens care
Contact lenses are easy to wear and easy to care for, but you do have to care for them–if you don’t, they can end up irritating your eyes or even cause an infection. You should avoid wearing your contact lenses when your eyes are already irritated or red. To avoid contact lens-related problems, follow your eye doctor’s instructions carefully in caring for, cleaning and especially replacing your lenses.
Certain infections can cause your eyes to become irritated and your vision to become blurry as a result. Pink eye, for example, is a form of conjunctivitis caused a virus. Pink eye usually causes your eyes to become red, itchy and/or watery; they may also develop a sticky discharge or crust over them when you sleep.
Pink eye often spreads from one eye to the other, and other people can catch it, too. See your eye doctor to treat symptoms of pink eye and prevent it from spreading.
There are certain medical conditions that can cause dry, irritated eyes and blurry vision such as rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome.
Dry eyes can also be caused by blepharitis, a chronic condition involving inflammation of the eyelids. Symptoms can include the perpetual feeling of having something in your eye, crusted-over eyelids or lashes, flakes at the base of your eyelashes, itching, and redness. Your doctor may prescribe medications for blepharitis, chronic dry eyes, and other conditions.
In fighting eye irritation, prevention is your most powerful ally. You can avoid most of these problems by taking simple steps such as replacing your eye makeup often, not sharing makeup, using protective eyewear around machinery, avoiding cigarette smoke, washing your hands before handling your contact lenses, and using a humidifier if the air in your home is often dry.
Finally, see your eye doctor as soon as possible if you notice any vision problems or other eye symptoms to get the problem diagnosed early and treated effectively.