Causes of Blurry Vision in One Eye

Have you been experiencing blurry vision in only one eye? This is a common condition and in many cases isn't a medical emergency. However, it is important to always have any vision problems examined by an eye doctor. Persistent or sudden blurry vision may be a warning sign of a life-threatening condition.

So, how do you know when it’s time to see your eye doctor? Continue reading The EyeDoctors Optometrist's guide to common causes of blurry vision in one eye.

Medical Emergencies

Corneal Abrasion or Scratch

The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped covering in the front of the eye. It can be easy to scratch while doing your everyday routine, such as putting in contact lenses or rubbing your eyes.

This scratch is called a corneal abrasion, which leads to eye pain and blurry vision. If you believe you have a corneal abrasion¹, see your eye doctor. If left untreated, corneal abrasions can lead to eye infections.

Retinal Detachment

The retina is a light-sensitive internal tissue lining the back of your eye. The retina can detach² spontaneously from its normal position, which can lead to blurry vision in one eye.

Flashes and floaters are a common early symptom of a detaching retina, but this condition can happen spontaneously without symptoms. Those at higher risk for developing this condition are those who experience:

  • High levels of trauma

  • Ocular degenerative conditions

  • Uncontrolled diabetes

  • Chronic inflammation

  • Recent retinal surgery

  • Family history of this condition

If you are experiencing symptoms of a detached retina, seek medical help immediately.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

This less common type of glaucoma³ is also a medical emergency. It’s caused by blocked drainage canals in the eye. In addition to blurry vision, other symptoms include nausea and severe head and eye pain. Seek quick medical attention at an emergency room or from an eye doctor.


In the United States someone suffers from a stroke every 40 seconds⁴. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to your brain is blocked. In addition to other physical symptoms, a stroke can cause blurry vision or vision loss in one or both eyes.

A stroke is a medical emergency. If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the symptoms of a stroke, call 911 for immediate medical assistance. Common symptoms of a stroke are:

  • Weakness or numbness on one side of the body

  • Confusion

  • Trouble walking

  • Blurry vision

Most Common Causes of Blurry Vision

Changes in Vision Over Time

It’s common to experience changes in your vision as you age. If your vision becomes blurry, it might mean you’re developing nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.

Astigmatism is caused by the shape of the cornea or lens of the eye becoming irregularly shaped. This condition causes difficulties seeing both near and far but can be treated with prescription glasses.

The most common forms of vision loss are being nearsighted or farsighted. Nearsighted means you can see close objects clearly but have a difficult time seeing objects at a distance. Farsightedness is the opposite, causing difficulties seeing close objects.

If you notice you have blurry vision, schedule an eye exam at your local eyecarecenter. You may need to start wearing glasses or contacts.

Dry Eye

Dry eye is caused by your eyes not producing enough tears to stay moisturized. This is a common condition, that affects around 16 million people⁵.

To treat this condition, purchase eye drops formulated for wetting or producing artificial tears. They are commonly sold as over the counter and provide fast relief.

The best way to manage your dry eye condition is by scheduling an appointment with your eye doctor. They can provide customized treatment options that help effectively manage this condition. Find a The EyeDoctors Optometrists center near you.

Sight Loss Due to Medications

The next time you experience blurry vision, be sure to evaluate the medications you may be taking.  Some common medications that can affect vision⁶ include antihistamines, antimalarials, corticosteroids, and antipsychotics.

Those with glaucoma or diabetes are at higher risk of having a medication with vision affecting side effects. Ask your doctor or a pharmacist if a medication you are using can cause blurry vision.

Wet or Dry Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a disease that affects the vision in the middle of your eye. This condition becomes more common with age. About 11 million people⁷ in the United States have been diagnosed with wet or dry macular degeneration.

The dry version, in which the eye’s light-sensitive cells gradually break down, usually occurs first. It causes blurry central vision or difficulties seeing in low-light environments.

It’s estimated that 10% to 15%⁸ of dry macular degeneration cases will develop into wet macular degeneration. This condition is caused by blood vessels in the eye leaking. This causes blurry central vision in one eye and can even lead to permanent vision loss.

Blurry Vision Problems

Schedule an Eye Exam Today

No matter the cause of your vision loss, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor. This can help prevent the development of more harmful conditions. To schedule an eye exam, find an The EyeDoctors Optometrists location near you.