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 eyecarecenter’s guide to common causes of blurry vision in one eye.

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 people¹.

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 eyecarecenter 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 vision² 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.

Less Common Causes of Blurry Vision

Wet or Macular Degeneration Disease

Mostly seen in older individuals, macular degeneration is a disease that affects the vision in the middle of your eye. The dry version, in which some light-sensitive cells gradually break down, usually occurs first and is slow developing. It can result in blurry central vision or make seeing in dim-lit areas more difficult.

Between 10% to 15%³ of dry macular degeneration cases develop into wet macular degeneration. Wet macular degeneration causes the blood vessels in your eye to leak. This can cause blurry central vision in one eye and potentially even permanent vision loss.

It’s estimated that about 11 million people⁴ in the U.S. are diagnosed with wet or dry macular degeneration.

For more information, read our guide to macular degeneration.

Less Common: Detached Retina

The retina is the light-sensitive internal tissue lining the back of your eye. It’s possible for the retina to detach⁵ spontaneously from its normal position. This can lead to blurry vision in one eye.

Those more likely to suffer from a spontaneously detached retina are:

  • Ocular degenerative condition

  • Chronic inflammation

  • Uncontrolled diabetes

  • Retinal surgery

  • Family history

  • Trauma

Early symptoms of a detaching retina are flashes and floaters, which are small objects that obstruct your ability to see clearly. They are caused by the natural shrinking of the gel-like fluid in your eye.

If these risk factors or symptoms apply to you, immediately seek help from a healthcare professional.

Common Medical Emergency: Stroke

In the United States, someone suffers from a stroke every 40 seconds⁶. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to your brain becomes blocked. This can cause many physical symptoms, along with vision problems.

A stroke is a medical emergency. If you are experiencing sudden weakness, confusion, trouble walking, or blurry vision, please call 911 for immediate help. This is a life-threatening condition that needs medical attention.

Less Common Medical Emergency: Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Angle-closure is one of the less common forms of glaucoma⁷. It’s caused by blocked drainage canals in the eye, resulting in blurry vision or vision loss.

In addition to blurry vision, other symptoms can include nausea, severe head pain, and eye pain. Seek medical attention if you believe you are experiencing angle-closure glaucoma, as this condition needs immediate medical attention to treat.

Medical Emergencies That Can Cause Blurry Vision

Spontaneous Detached Retina

The retina is a light-sensitive internal tissue lining the back of your eye. The retina can detach⁵ 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.


In the United States someone suffers from a stroke every 40 seconds⁶. 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

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

This less common type of glaucoma⁷ 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.

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 eyecarecenter location near you.