Cloudy Vision vs. Blurry Vision

Describing a vision issue is challenging for many patients. It’s hard to find the right words to express precisely what you’re experiencing. At times, this leads some patients to use the terms “cloudy” and “blurry” interchangeably. After all, they both denote a reduction in visual acuity, so it’s common to assume their meanings are similar.  

However, cloud vision and blurry vision are two very different situations. If you are wondering what they have in common and what sets them apart, here’s a close look at what cloudy vision and blurry vision involve.  

Cloudy Vision  

In the simplest terms, cloudy vision is when it seems like you are observing everything through a fog. It makes everything you look at seem like it is shrouded in a haze. At times, it could seem similar to looking at the world through dirty glasses lenses or a fogged car windshield.  

When you have cloudy vision, it may also feel like there’s a film on your eyes. It may seem like you could potentially blink or wipe away that film, restoring your vision, but that doesn’t always work.  

Cloudy vision can be caused by a variety of conditions, with cataracts being the most common. When you have cataracts, your eye’s lens loses transparency, creating cloudy vision. Other potential causes include:  

  • Corneal damage  
  • Diabetes  
  • Infection  
  • Macular degeneration  
  • Optic nerve disease  

Improper contact lens care can also lead to cloudy vision. If the lens isn’t thoroughly cleaned, residue may impact visual acuity, just as it can through smudged lenses on glasses.  

Blurry Vision  

In the most basic sense, blurry vision is when you look at an object and it doesn’t appear to be in focus. It isn’t unlike when you take a picture with a camera. Before you adjust the lens, the object you are trying to capture doesn’t seem crisp. Then, once you adjust the camera’s lens, it becomes clear.  

Usually, when your vision is blurry, certain actions may make the item seem clearer. Squinting may bring it into better focus, similar to how a camera lens adjustment can.  

Many conditions can cause blurry vision. Near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and astigmatism are the most common and are usually correctable with prescription lenses. Other factors can also lead to blurry vision, including:  

  • Cataracts  
  • Corneal abrasions, opacification, or scarring  
  • Infection  
  • Low blood sugar  
  • Macular degeneration  
  • Migraine  
  • Optic neuritis  
  • Retinopathy  
  • Stroke  

In some cases, blurry vision is temporary. However, it can also require intervention and could potentially be permanent, depending on the cause.  

If you are experiencing vision changes, including cloudy or blurry vision, it’s wise to see an eye doctor as soon as possible. That way, they can determine the cause of your issue, ensuring you are treated promptly and correctly. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today. Our team will listen to your concerns and identify the ideal course of action, ensuring your eyes can remain healthy, and your vision issues are addressed appropriately.  

Recognize the Signs of Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment is a serious condition that should always be treated as an emergency. Without quick intervention, permanent vision loss is possible. In the worst-case scenario, when left untreated, it can even cause blindness in the affected eye.  

By recognizing the signs of retinal detachment, you can take immediate action if you experience the symptoms. Here’s a look at what the condition is, who is at risk, and the symptoms that can occur.  

What is Retinal Detachment?  

A retinal detachment is a condition where the retina – a thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye – pulls out of its normal position. Retinal cells end up moving away from blood vessels, reducing or cutting off their access to nutrients and oxygen. As time passes, these cells get damaged and die off, resulting in potentially permanent vision loss.  

Who’s at Risk of Retinal Detachment?  

Technically, everyone is at risk of retinal detachment simply because they have a retina. However, certain segments of the population are more likely to develop the condition, including individuals with:  

  • Severe nearsightedness  
  • Previous eye injury  
  • Previous cataract surgery  
  • Diabetic retinopathy  
  • Lattice degeneration  
  • Posterior vitreous detachment  
  • A family history of retinal detachment  

What Are the Symptoms of Retinal Detachment?  

While a retinal detachment sounds like it would be painful, it isn’t. Usually, those affected don’t feel anything happening at all. As a result, identifying the warning signs of a retinal detachment in progress is critical.  

Some of the symptoms of retinal detachment include:  

  • Blurred vision  
  • Flashes of light  
  • Reduced peripheral vision  
  • Shadow or “curtain” over your field of vision  
  • Sudden, significant increase in the number of floaters (small specks that appear to float across your field of vision)  
  • Changes in visual perception, typically straight lines starting to appear curved  

What to Do If You Suspect a Retinal Detachment  

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with a retinal detachment, seek medical help immediately. A retinal detachment is an emergency, and any delay could increase your chances of severe and irreversible damage or blindness. The faster you act, the more likely the detachment can be halted or repaired, preserving or restoring your vision.  

Once you arrive at your ophthalmologist’s office, they will examine your eyes with special instruments to look for retinal detachment. If they find evidence one is occurring, they may recommend several treatments approaches, including:  

  • Thermal or Cryopexy Repair  
  • Pneumatic Retinopexy  
  • Scleral Buckle  
  • Vitrectomy  

It’s important to understand that retinal detachments won’t repair on their own. Action by a medical professional is required if you want to preserve or restore your vision. With quick action, retina procedures are predominately successful. However, it could take time for your vision to return, and, in severe retinal detachment cases, some of the damage may be permanent.  

If you believe you are experiencing retinal detachment, contact your ophthalmologist immediately. Additionally, make sure to attend your regular eye care appointments, ensuring your eye doctor can look for signs of retinal detachment or other conditions that may be going unnoticed. If you haven’t visited your eye care specialist recently, schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.  

Eye exam patient having their eyes checked out