Blurry Eyes Causes

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Is Astigmatism Causing Your Blurry Vision?

Author: Evan Langsted

If you have been diagnosed with nearsightedness or farsightedness, you may experience some blurry vision, especially when you are not wearing your glasses or contact lenses. But did you know you may also have a common condition known as astigmatism? Astigmatism can also cause blurred vision, as well as headaches and eye discomfort.

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism occurs due to an irregular corneal shape or an irregular curvature of the lens inside the eye. Either of these conditions may prevent light from focusing correctly on the retina, and blurred vision at any distance may result, since both the cornea and lens are responsible for focusing the light which enters the eye.

Astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness are known medically as refractive errors, because each of these conditions affects how the eyes "refract" or bend light.

An astigmatic eye does not have the evenly spherical shape which gives clear vision. Instead it has an oval shape or an irregularity of shape caused by a scar on the cornea or some defect in the lens. An oval shape has two curvatures:

  • A steeper curvature on its short side; and
  • A flatter curvature on its long side

A scar or other irregularity also has several curvatures. Each curvature bends incoming light differently, giving multiple images on the retina or in front of it. Blurry vision is the result.

Astigmatism Testing

Your comprehensive visual examination with a qualified ophthalmologist measures how the eyes focus light. This helps your eye doctor to determine the prescription that will help to correct your blurry vision. Some of the sophisticated diagnostics used at Bellevue Lasik and Cornea in Seattle, Washington include:

  • Visual acuity -- This is done through a phoropter, where the chin and forehead rest against the designated surfaces and you look through an aperture at the Snellen chart. The eye doctor or his assistant flips between different lenses, asking you to read the smallest line of letters you can see. This test measures your eyes' refractive error and yields a corrective prescription for glasses or contacts.
  • Keratometry -- A keratometer measures corneal curvature. A circle of light is focused on the cornea and its reflection is measured. This is a critical measurement in determining proper fit for contact lenses.
  • Corneal topography, a more sophisticated procedure, may be used to gain greater details about the shape of the cornea.

The measurements from these tests and others help your eye doctor determine if you have astigmatism, to what degree, and which treatment option will work best to help you achieve your best vision.

Diagnosing and Treating Astigmatism

Medical doctors do not know why astigmatism occurs. In some case it appears to be hereditary. In many cases it is present at birth but symptoms may not be obvious until early adulthood. Astigmatism can improve or worsen over time.

To determine if astigmatism is contributing to your blurry vision, a visit to an experienced ophthalmologist is needed for a comprehensive eye examination. If astigmatism is diagnosed, treatment may be:

  • Glasses or contact lenses to alter the way your eyes refract light.
  • Laser vision correction, such as LASIK or any of its variants. LASIK alters the cornea's shape by removing a tiny amount of corneal tissue. A highly precise laser beam vaporizes the tissue according to your detailed treatment plan.
  • Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) which is a painless, non-invasive procedure that modifies corneal shape through specially-designed rigid contact lenses.

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About the Author

Your first step in improving your vision is to contact a qualified and experienced eye surgeon such as Dr. Kent Leavitt,

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10 Responses to Blurry Eyes Causes

  1. ticktock says:

    Would sleeping with your eyes partly opened cause blurry vision when first waking up?
    My 5 year old daughter has always slept with her eyes partly opened and a lot of times, when she first wakes up and opens her eyes, her vision is blurred. Her eyes are fine after a minute and also fine during any other time of day. I’m just wondering if maybe it does that because of sleeping with her eyes open. Has anyone ever heard of this?

    • Matt L says:

      Dry eyes will cause blurry vision. The eye is normally covered by a tear film, and it is a very important part of the optical power of the eye. At night, we stop producing tears and lose this tear film. If you sleep with your eye partly open, it’ll cause some more drying and discomfort.

  2. Emma says:

    I just had Lasik done 4 weeks ago. I still am having dry eyes which causes blurry vision in my eyes.?
    I just had Lasik done 4 weeks ago. I still am having dry eyes which causes blurry vision in my eye, and it happens whenever I wake up in the morning. Has anyone encountered this problem before? What can be done do help with dry eyes?

    • Heidi says:


      I had my procedure done Dec 21, 2006 and I am in hell right now with the worst dry eye ever. My vision is blurry. My eyes are red and irritated. I have even missed work because of this.

      I wish I never got LASIK. I think I may have made the worst mistake of my life.

  3. Fallen_Angel says:

    I’m like staring at the computer the whole day and my eyes feels very tired and blurry. Eye stress perhaps?
    I sit and stare at the computer 6days a week as my job requires me to. My eyes are really tired and my visions do sometimes get blurry. This causes headache at times as well. What is the cause of this and what do i do to prevent it?

    • TicToc.... says:

      For one thing I would cut down on watching TV, which is almost the exact same thing as your computer. I would play some sports when I am off work. Your eyes will get much more of a workout, then just staring at a screen.

      I think you eyes are dry because they are not moving enough. You may also want to turn off any harsh lights around where you work. Put in a dimmer on your overhead light or change its color from white to red. This will stimulate the rods and cons moreā€¦

      Sorry for rambling, but I work in very low light conditions.

  4. Angel in Captivity says:

    What causes blurry vision on the bottom of the eyes only? No injuries or anything.?

    • tulipwheat says:

      i get this. it is often the sign of a migrane, but I don’t get the migrane part, only the eye blurryness. It looks like looking through a pane of glass while it is raining. It happens to me when I am under a lot of stress and my eye doctor told me not to worry about it since it goes awy.

  5. jekka1000 says:

    What causes blurry vision… besides bad eye sight?
    My eyes get blurry once in a while (maybe every other day) i wear contacts but i dont think that this is causing it. Has any one expierenced this before

    • Baby says:

      A number of things can cause blurry vision.

      It could simply be a change in your prescription. It could be a muscle imbalance causing eye strain.

      Health issues with the eyes can cause this, cataracts or any condition of the retina can affect your vision. Large floaters can blur patches in your vision.

      The other thing it could be is a visual migraine. This causes blurred vision for short periods of time. Some times you can get this migraine without a headache afterwards too

      You need to go to see an eye doctor or optician for a full examination to find out what the reason is for you. The list of things it could be is endless really, and only a full health examination of your eyes will be able to determine what it is.

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