Blurred vision and fog in front of your eyes? Know the main causes

Blurred vision and fog in front of your eyes? Know the main causes
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Blurred or foggy vision is a typical sign of cataracts, but it's not the only cause. There are more.

Blurred and foggy vision is a typical symptom of cataracts. But as you can guess, cataracts are not the only cause. There are several. Some are minor and short-term, and others are long-term with the risk of more serious visual impairment.

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Any visual impairment means a more or less significant limitation in quality of life. We use our eyes and vision to obtain up to 80 percent of all information from the world around us.

Some problems cause sudden but short-term problems. Others happen quietly. We don't even know about them for several years, but they still have tragic consequences.

Problem number 1 = cataracts

The degenerative process of the lens of the eye is a typical example. We know it as the aforementioned cataract. This disorder of the transparency of the eye's lens is caused by its clouding.

It is the most common cause of vision loss in developing countries.
It most commonly affects the elderly over 60 years of age.
It affects a significant majority of people over 75 years of age, in at least one eye.
There is also a congenital form that is diagnosed in newborns or young children.

Lens opacification is a long-term process that usually affects both eyes. It is not the rule that it affects both eyes equally and symmetrically.

The causes and risk factors are diverse, such as:

  • older age
  • female gender
  • genetic predisposition
  • family history and heredity
  • sun exposure
  • glaucoma - glaucoma
  • high blood pressure
  • eye injuries and eye surgery
  • long-term use of medications, corticosteroids and other
  • inappropriate lifestyle
  • smoking
  • alcoholism
  • drugs

One of the first signs may be a feeling of fogginess, similar to having your vision obscured by a curtain or looking through a mist.

It takes place over a long period of time and often the person is unaware of it. It can be asymptomatic.

Although the initial stage of this disease does not cause problems, later on blurred vision occurs. Neglect can lead to complete restriction of the passage of light rays on the retina.

Its characteristic manifestations include:

  • a decrease in visual acuity and blurring
  • blurring of vision, a feeling of fog, a veil in front of the eyes
  • impaired vision in darkness and at night
  • double vision
  • reduced colour saturation, fading, lower contrast
  • spots in the field of vision
  • limitation of the visual field
  • higher light requirements for reading
  • increase in diopters / need for thicker glasses
  • Increased sensitivity to light, impact of light rays on face, difficulty in driving
  • clouding of the lens that is visible externally / discolouration (lens is grey, pale)

Cataract, as cataracts are professionally known, cannot be cured by medication. However, its surgical solution is simple. And it is the diagnosis and the availability of an effective solution that is the guiding factor in its management.

A comprehensive article on cataracts will help you complete this brief information.

2. the best known cause = glaucoma

Glaucoma has a label like glaucoma, however, the clouding of the lens does not occur in this case.

It is a risk factor leading to cataracts, for example.

The cause is increased intraocular pressure, which affects the optic nerve over a prolonged period of time. It is a long-term and progressive disease that can result in complete visual impairment, reduced visual function and even blindness.

It is caused by a combination of several negative factors. The reason for the primary form is unknown.

The risk factors and causes include:

  • increased intraocular pressure
  • high age
  • female gender
  • race, more so in blacks and Hispanics
  • vascular disease + optic nerve circulation disorder (low or high blood pressure, thrombosis)
  • diabetes mellitus - diabetes
  • genetic predisposition
  • family history and heredity
  • refractive errors of the eye
  • anatomical conditions of the eye
  • migraine
  • and others

Even glaucoma can go on for a long time without symptoms (asymptomatic). Subsequently, in the late stage, problems such as blurred vision, decreased visual acuity, difficulty seeing in twilight, eye and head pain, and nausea are associated.

The more serious condition is acute glaucoma attack. It is classified as an acute condition and is characterised by intense eye and head pain, nausea and vomiting.

One would not expect health problems such as abdominal pain, sweating, or decreased heart rate (bradycardia) with an eye problem.

For more information, read the article Glaucoma or glaucoma: What are its causes, symptoms and treatment?

3. A dry eye problem that is acute but not immediately serious

The dry eye syndrome is actual. People stare at displays, monitors, concentrate. The eye is less washed by the tear film. The surface of the eye dries out.

In addition, air conditioning or space conditioning at work, in shopping malls, cars or homes contribute to it. Plus heating and dry air during winter.

While eye-wash disorder is the leading cause, it is not the only one. Other external and internal factors also contribute.

Sources of occurrence and risk factors are:

  • older age
  • hormones, head in women during menopause
  • other diseases such as diabetes, rheumatic diseases, lupus, scleroderma
  • chronic inflammation of the eye, eyelid
  • certain eye drops
  • wearing eye lenses
  • eye injuries
  • eye surgery
  • bathing in chlorinated water
  • frequent rubbing of the eyes
  • smoking and alcoholism
  • reduced fluid intake
  • dusty environment
  • stress and mental overload
  • vitamin A and omega 3 fatty acid deficiencies

Are you familiar with the term office eye syndrome?
Do you work long hours behind a monitor or look at your mobile phone or TV?
Be aware of poor monitor positioning.
Focusing on the content you are watching also causes reduced blinking frequency, and this can also be caused by long periods of reading, but also by driving.

And what are the symptoms?

  • dry eye sensation, like sand in the eye
  • eye pain and fatigue, also due to increased accommodation (the ability to adjust the lens)
  • burning, scratching, itching in the eyes
  • increased sensitivity to light
  • feeling of heavy eyes
  • swelling of the eyelids
  • redness of the eyes, conjunctiva
  • excessive tearing or lack of tearing
  • hazy and blurred vision

And what about its course?

It is preceded by a period of exposure to risk factors. The period of time is individual for each person, but the onset of problems can be acute.

You enter an air-conditioned space or one that is too warm with dry air. Dusty, cold weather can also be a problem.

Trouble can come on in an instant, suddenly, acutely.

After a full day in the office behind a computer monitor, you may experience burning/cutting eyes, sand behind your eyelids, blurred vision, and eyestrain.

The world in front of your eyes may be blurry, veiled.
Your eyes feel tired and your eyelids feel heavy.

Artificial tears (drops, eye ointments) are the first basic step. On top of that, a series of regimens.

For more information, please also visit our article pages:
Dry eye syndrome: Burning and tired eyes? Can dry eye be cured by drops?
Do you know aboutcomputer vision syndrome or digital eye fatigue?
What is Sjogren's (sicca) syndrome? Symptoms, treatment, diet

4. Refractive errors of the eye and eye fatigue

Next in order are refractive errors of the eye. They are among the very common problems. They affect every age group, from young children to the elderly.

They have a variety of causes, ranging from the anatomical conditions of the eye and its structures, which are involved in refraction and the impact of light rays on the retina. Old age vision is also an example. This is the result of long-term degenerative processes that cannot be reversed by any human effort.

What is it, you ask?

Refraction. Refraction has to do with the passage of light rays through the eye, its structure on the retina.

A natural, normal-seeing eye is referred to as emmetropic. It's a condition where the light rays converge and hit the retina as precisely as possible.

Refractive errors are also referred to as ametropia. It is a condition where the light rays do not converge enough to accurately hit the retina.

Thus, an accurate image is formed after the light rays are concentrated either in front of or behind the retina.

These are referred to as:

  1. myopia = sharp image formed in front of the retina
  2. hyperopia - hypermetropia/hyperopia = a sharp image is produced behind the retina

Causes stem from the incorrect position of the elements of the optical system of the eye, the error in the curvature of these elements, the incorrect dimension of the eye ball (anteroposterior dimension), refractive index anomalies or the absence of refractive elements, among others.

In this case, the retina does not receive a sharp and precise image, but an image that may be blurred and hazy. The extent of the visual disturbance naturally depends on the extent of the error.

In addition to a blurred or unclear image, a person may also experience other difficulties. Examples include eye fatigue and headaches.

Eye pain and fatigue is the result of increased accommodative effort (trying to constantly focus/focus the image).

The brain, in cooperation with the accommodative muscles, tries to sharpen the image. This excessive muscle work causes pain and fatigue. This condition is also known professionally as accommodative asthenopia = visual fatigue.

Visual fatigue is mainly caused by prolonged strain on the eyes when working at short distances, but also by farsightedness, astigmatism or mild squinting.

Refractive errors in one place:

  1. Nearsightedness: the origin of myopia + how does impaired distance vision appear?
  2. Farsightedness, hyperopia: Why does impaired near vision occur?
  3. Myopia, amblyopia in children: why does it occur?
  4. What is astigmatism, what are its symptoms and treatment (in adults and children)?
  5. What is presbyopia?

5. Some other causes

Of course, there are more causes of fog before the eyes...

Apart from those mentioned, there are many other reasons that can cause this unpleasant condition. They stem from eye diseases, but also from general diseases hidden outside the eye.

A number of conditions and risk causes can be an example:

  • optic neuritis - optic neuritis
  • damage to the cornea (front of the eye), corneal ulcer, herpes of the eye
  • inflammation - of the conjunctiva (conjunctivitis), iris (iritis), cornea (keratitis), white of the eye (scleritis), uveitis (inflammation affecting the choroid of the eye), inflammation in which the vitreous becomes cloudy, and various eye infections
  • keratoconus
  • macular degeneration and age-related macular degeneration, macular hole
  • retinal detachment
  • vitreous haemorrhage
  • foreign body in the eye
  • incorrectly corrected refractive error of the eye
  • improper lens hygiene
  • trauma to the eye
  • eye surgery
  • barley grain and wolf grain
  • migraine and ocular migraine, migraine with aura
  • stroke / transient ischaemic attack (transient brain haemorrhage)
  • increased intracranial pressure (pressure inside the skull, with pressure on the brain and optic nerve)
  • high blood pressure
  • low blood pressure - recurrent dizziness and feeling faint with blurred vision to blackness before the eyes
  • multiple sclerosis - multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • diabetes with complications such as diabetic retinopathy with diabetic macular edema
  • rheumatic diseases
  • brain tumour, eye tumour
  • delirium
  • improper use of certain eye drops
  • toxoplasmosis
  • meningioma
  • systemic vasculitis and vascular diseases
  • methanol poisoning
  • alcoholism and smoking
  • temporary hormonal changes during pregnancy, pre-eclampsia

Other symptoms

Blurred vision does not occur alone, but other difficulties may be associated with it.

Examples include photophobia, i.e. light-blindness (increased sensitivity to light and illumination of the face by light), eye and head pain, redness of the eyes, double vision, floating spots when looking at a pale background, but also increased tearing or discharge from the eye.

+ many other health problems depending on the triggering cause.

What is the diagnosis and treatment?

Diagnosis is based on the medical history. This is the information that the doctor receives from the person affected by the vision problem itself. Apart from the eye symptoms, it is important to mention other physical ailments, if any.

Next, the visual acuity of the eye is examined by several methods (ophthalmoscopy, tonometry, slit lamp examination, etc.). These special examinations are carried out by an ophthalmologist.

Depending on the presumed cause, imaging methods such as CT, MRI, neurological, internal and other examinations are added. Blood sampling and laboratory tests are also performed.

The treatment for all these causes is not uniform and each problem requires a specific solution.

When should professional help be sought?

In some cases, problems occur quickly but also subside quickly. If they recur or are significant in nature, an examination is necessary.

Warning signs that should not be ignored:

  • Sudden visual disturbance, loss of field of vision, loss of acuity, double vision.
  • sudden loss of vision in one eye
  • intense eye pain
  • sudden onset and intense headache, possibly the first headache in older age, change in character and intensity
  • disorientation
  • sudden dizziness and vertigo for the first time in life
  • trauma to the eye
  • symptoms of stroke, impaired limb mobility/sensitivity, speech impairment, mouth drop, unconsciousness
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