Optometrist Questions Vision Impairment and Blindness

Why is my vision blurry only sometimes?

Lately I've been noticing that I get blurry vision after I've been looking at something for a while. It can be close up or far away, it doesn't seem to matter. Why would this be happening? How can I stop it?

11 Answers

Intermittent vision disruption is almost always due to dry eye. Try artificial tears, or have a comprehensive eye exam to determine best therapy.

Robert C. Layman, O.D.
This can occur if your eyes are dry. I would recommend artificial tears four times a day and warm compresses twice a day in both eyes and see if any stability in vision occurs.
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This is typically due to the eyes drying excessively. However, some systemic diseases such as diabetes can cause this as well.
Hello, thanks for the question. I would recommend that you have an eye examination to make sure you don't need spectacles, or any other visual/non visual aid. In the meantime, don't stress about it.
Hi there,
There can be many reasons for the slight blur in both distance and near. Because we don’t know everything that is happening in terms of when the occurrences have been happening it’s best to have a comprehensive exam to evaluate everything.

Sincerely,
Dr C Li
Intermittent blur is most commonly caused by your eyes getting dry. Your eyes have to have a good, clean, tear film over them in order for you to see your best. When you are reading, on the computer or watching TV, you don't tend to blink as often as normal and your eyes can dry out. The environment can also cause excess ocular dryness as well. You can use some OTC artificial tears to help keep your eyes lubricated.
Fluctuation of vision throughout the day, and at various distances, is often the hallmark of dry eye or ocular surface disease. In this scenario, the tear film which wets the surface of the eye (and creates a smooth focusing surface) is not functioning correctly. This could be due to too-quick evaporation, which leaves dried-out splotches on the cornea or simply not enough fluid to lubricate the cornea in the first place. This condition can be managed through many different types of treatments, inclusive of eye drops, warm compresses, supplements and occasionally, prescription medications.

Alternatively, fluctuating vision could be associated with more serious, systemic conditions such as diabetes and/or other vascular anomalies.

Regardless of the underlying cause, I would consult a local eye care provider to ensure that you are receiving the most appropriate solution.
It sounds like your focusing is adjusting when you look from near to far. This can be a sign of a prescription change needed in your glasses, or if you don't have glasses, you may need them. Usually, this is not due to a health concern within the eye, but you should have a comprehensive vision exam with dilation to evaluate your eye health and your need for glasses to improve this focus. This usually will not stop on its own.
Some people have difficulty focusing at different distances. It could also be due to astigmatism, which is where the surface of your eye, the cornea is not round and smooth like a ball. With astigmatism you can still see things but they may not be in focus/clear. If it has been a while it may be time to see an eye doctor to see why the vision is the way it is. When we are younger our eyes can compensate for a lot and as we get older it cannot do as much, which could also be why things bother you now when it did not in the past.
Depending on the condition that is causing this issue you may or may not be able to stop it. Sometimes it may be time to get a glasses prescription if that is what it takes.
Usually blurriness comes from staring at the computer screen all day at work or reading for prolonged period of time or doing anything that requires the accommodative system to work . Take frequent breaks from the computer screen and also make a conscious effort to blink . With each blink reflex , tears and meibomian secretions are made that help in lubricatung ghe eyes .
Also get your eyes checked for possible cataracts or macular problems.
Usually that means you have ocular surface problems such as dry eye. If you are concentrating on something, you tend to blink less and the vision will become hazy/blurry/distorted over time. Once you move on to something else and you start resuming your normal habits, the vision will gradually go back to normal. Spending excess time in the wind, driving long distances, extensive computer use can all "crash" the vision. It is not uncommon for a person with 20/20 vision normally to drop to 20/80 or worse in these situations.
Melissa Oltz, O.D., F.A.A.O.