Blog Hero

Can Dry Eyes Cause Blurry Vision?

Book Appointment
A professional-looking woman rubbing her eye while working in front of her laptop.

In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we often overlook the well-being of our eyes. For example, dry eye is a prevalent condition that can affect your eye health and vision. 

In addition to the discomfort and irritation that dry eyes can cause because of insufficient and poor-quality tears, some people may also experience blurry vision. When you experience dry eye symptoms or vision changes, it’s important to book an eye exam

When you visit us, we can help you determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and recommend treatments that can provide relief. 

What Is Dry Eye?

Dry eye disease is a condition that can develop when your eyes don’t produce enough tears or your tears evaporate too quickly to keep your eyes hydrated. It can cause a range of symptoms and has a variety of potential underlying causes.

Your eyes have a natural tear film made of oil, water, and mucous that’s essential for maintaining the health of your eyes’ surface and providing clear and comfortable vision. When something causes an imbalance in your tear film, you can experience symptoms like burning sensations and blurry vision. 

What Causes Dry Eye?

Your overall health and lifestyle can both play a role in dry eye symptoms. Some of the common underlying issues that lead to dry eyes include:

  • Environmental factors: Dry or windy climates and exposure to forced air from air conditioning or heating systems can contribute to the evaporation of tears.
  • Prolonged screen time: Staring at screens for long periods of time can cause digital eye strain, reduce your blink rate, and lead to fewer tears in your eyes. 
  • Age: Tear production can decrease as we get older. 
  • Medical conditions: Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and some thyroid disorders can also contribute to dry eyes. 
  • Medication: Certain medications, such as antihistamines and decongestants, may reduce tear production.
  • Contact lens wear: Prolonged use of contact lenses can disrupt your tear film. 

Symptoms of Dry Eye

Recognizing the symptoms of dry eye disease is crucial for early intervention. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Eye irritation
  • Stinging and burning sensations
  • A gritty or sandy sensation in the eyes
  • Eye redness
  • Eye pain
  • Light sensitivity
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurred vision

How Do Dry Eyes Cause Blurry Vision?

The connection between dry eyes and blurry vision lies in the role tears play in maintaining a smooth and clear surface for your cornea, the transparent front part of the eye. 

When the quantity or quality of your tears changes, your tear film can become unstable and irregular, disrupting light as it enters the eye. As a result, you can experience blurry vision, especially when you try to focus on objects, read, or engage in other activities that rely on vision. 

Prolonged blurry vision can lead to eye strain and fatigue, too. Squinting or straining to see clearly can further exacerbate the discomfort as well, creating a cycle that can negatively impact your overall eye health and quality of life.

Some people also experience excessive tear production from dry eyes, leading to watery eyes. Those excess tears are created by a natural reflex of the eyes meant to help compensate for dryness and irritation. However, reflex tears are often poor quality and can also cause blurry vision when they build up. 

A woman putting eye drops into her eye

Treatment for Dry Eyes

During a comprehensive eye exam, we can diagnose dry eye disease and recommend treatments based on your needs. Dry eye therapy can address the underlying cause of your symptoms and help you feel relief. 

The treatment options available for dry eyes include:

  • Artificial tears: Over-the-counter eye drops that lubricate the eyes can provide temporary dry eye relief. These can be especially helpful for people with mild dry eyes or those whose symptoms are caused by environmental factors.
  • Prescription medications: We may recommend prescription medication to help reduce inflammation and improve tear production for people with chronic dry eyes.
  • Lifestyle modifications: Some lifestyle changes can help you manage dry eyes, such as taking breaks during prolonged screen time, using a humidifier to add moisture to the air, and staying hydrated.
  • Punctal plugs: In more severe cases where other treatments are not enough to provide relief, punctal plugs can be inserted into your tear ducts to block drainage and help keep tears on the surface of your eyes for longer.

There are many options for dry eye therapy. It’s important to find the right treatment for your eyes and the cause of your symptoms. When you visit us for an eye exam, we’ll help you explore all your options.

When to See Your Eye Doctor for Blurry Vision & Dry Eyes

If you experience persistent dry eyes and blurry vision despite trying to manage this condition at home, you should visit your eye doctor. We can help you determine the underlying cause of your dry eyes and provide appropriate treatment. 

Sometimes, another condition may be causing blurry vision, and these conditions need to be diagnosed and treated as well. Finding the cause of blurry vision early is important for helping you see clearly again and maintain your long-term eye health.

Dry Eye Therapy in London, Ontario

As our lives become increasingly digital and our environments more challenging for our eyes, being mindful of the symptoms of dry eyes and seeking timely treatment can become more important for maintaining your vision and comfort. 

If you experience dry eye symptoms or changes in your vision, book an appointment with us. At White Oaks Optometry, we’re ready to help you manage dry eyes, blurry vision, and many other eye conditions. 

Written by White Oaks Optometry

More Articles By White Oaks Optometry
instagram facebook facebook2 pinterest twitter google-plus google linkedin2 yelp youtube phone location calendar share2 link star-full star star-half chevron-right chevron-left chevron-down chevron-up envelope fax