What are the Most Common Causes of Blurred Vision in One Eye?

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  • Written By: Misty Wiser
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2019
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Blurred vision in one eye is a serious medical symptom and should always be evaluated by a medical professional. When the optic nerve cannot process images as they are seen, it causes blurred vision. This is often caused by a build-up of pressure within the eye or a clouding of the lens of the eye. Problems with vision in one eye may be caused by an ocular migraine or diabetes; any headache with blurred vision may be a symptom of a stroke, however, and the individual should be examined by a medical professional immediately.

Cataracts are the most common cause of blurred vision among the elderly. The eye becomes clouded from a breakdown of the proteins that form the lens. Objects become blurry and a halo may appear around lights. Some people report a decrease in the intensity of colors and difficulty seeing at night as well.

Glaucoma is an eye disease caused by a build-up of pressure within the eye and can cause blurred vision. The pressure damages the ocular nerve, resulting in visual changes. Medical professionals will usually recommend a series of eye drops to reduce the amount of fluid in the eye and reducing the pressure. Sometimes, laser treatment can be performed to release the fluid by creating new outflow channels.


Headaches accompanied by visual changes are not unusual. Migraine sufferers often report auras or floaters in their fields of vision before a migraine attack. Blurred vision in one eye can occur as part of a migraine phenomenon called an ocular migraine. The main symptom of this condition is changes in the vision of one eye that lasts for a few hours, but typically, there is no headache.

Diabetics are at a particular risk for vision problems due to uncontrolled blood sugar levels. Diabetic retinopathy can begin with blurred vision and floaters across the visual field. Additional fragile blood vessels can grow in the retina, distorting the images processed by the optic nerve. A build-up of scar tissue from the rupture of these small blood vessels can cause the retina to detach, possibly leading to blindness. Diabetic retinopathy often is treated by laser surgery in an outpatient setting; recognizing the symptoms early can save the vision of those affected by this disease.

Vision changes with a sudden headache may be a sign of a stroke. If the blurry vision happens at the same time as muscle weakness, tingling in the extremities, dizziness, or a sudden inability to articulate, immediate attention by medical personnel is critical. Blurred vision in one eye is always a matter for a medical attention, as it may be a sign of a serious illness.


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