Clear, sharp vision can help you navigate the world, from reading traffic signs to making sure you don’t miss a step in your home. Hazy vision can make you feel like someone has put a filter over your eyes and life is no longer in focus.
Hazy vision can affect your entire line of sight or just parts of your vision. This could include your peripheral vision, or how you see to the right or left of your field of vision. You can also experience hazy vision in only one eye. Other ways to describe hazy vision include clouded or dim vision.
There can be many causes of hazy vision. Some examples of common causes are:
- abrasions to the cornea
- corneal opacification (scarring)
- infectious retinitis
- macular degeneration related to age
- migraine headaches
- optic neuritis
- retinitis pigmentosa
- retinopathy, such as diabetic retinopathy
- trauma or injury to the eyes
People with diabetes can also experience hazy vision if their blood sugar levels fluctuate significantly.
You should call 911 and get immediate medical attention if your hazy vision comes on suddenly and you have any of these symptoms:
- severe headache
- difficulty speaking
- loss of muscle control on one side of your body
- facial drooping
- trouble seeing
These symptoms are similar to those of stroke.
Additional symptoms that may need immediate treatment include severe eye pain or sudden vision loss.
Other symptoms of hazy vision or vision that slowly worsens may require a visit to your primary care doctor or eye care specialist.
Your doctor will diagnose the cause of your hazy vision by first taking an inventory of your symptoms. Examples of questions they may ask include, “When did you first start noticing the hazy vision?” and “What makes the hazy vision worse/better?” Your doctor may also ask about your personal medical history as well as a family history of eye conditions.
Your doctor may want to do a physical examination of your eyes next. They may test your vision by asking you to read an eye chart. Other eye tests can include:
- intraocular pressure
- slit-lamp examination
Your doctor might want to do blood testing to determine if bacteria is in the blood or to obtain your white blood cell count if they suspect there could be an infection.
When hazy vision is the result of a decrease in blood sugar, treatments include consuming foods high in fast-acting sugars. This includes juice and candies. You can also take glucose tablets that will increase your blood sugar quickly.
Other treatments for hazy vision can depend on the condition that’s causing your symptoms. These could be eye drops, laser surgeries, or medications to control the underlying conditions.
While it’s not always possible to prevent some causes of hazy vision, taking steps to care for your eyes can help prevent lifestyle-related causes.
Here are some tips for healthy vision:
- Always wear sunglasses that provide broad-spectrum protection when you’re going out in the sun.
- Eat a diet that has eye-healthy nutrients. You can find these in dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale as well as in foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, like albacore tuna, trout, and halibut.
- Don’t smoke.
- Undergo regular comprehensive eye exams, especially if someone in your family has a history of an eye disease.
- Wash your hands before putting on or taking out your contacts to reduce infection risk.
- Wear protective eyewear when operating heavy machinery or engaging in activities like painting and home repairs.