Eye Pain and Blurry Vision: Understand the Signs

Monali Sharma
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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Eye Pain and Blurry Vision

Blurred vision and eye pain are common symptoms of eyestrain.

They typically go away after you rest your eyes.

AOA reported that almost 2 out of 3 Americans experience the symptoms of eyestrain.

Although eyestrain is not a serious concern, some other eye conditions may need medical attention.

Read this article to learn more about the different eye disorders that result in blurry vision and eye pain.

Optic Neuritis

Optic Neuritis occurs when inflammation damages the optic nerve.

The condition is usually mild, but sometimes it can be severe and exhausting to some people.

Eye pain and blurry vision in one eye are characteristics of Optic Neuritis.

It was reported that more than 90% of people suffering from this have pain around the eye that worsens with eye movement.

Loss of central visual acuity (sharpness) is a major symptom of Optic Neuritis in over 90% of patients. However, some patients also complain about peripheral vision loss.

Blurry vision is usually irregular lasting over several hours to days.

Fact:
Optic Neuritis can sometimes be asymptotic.
When appropriate clinical studies are performed, patients with no symptoms have subtle clinical and electrophysiologic evidence of Optic nerve damage.

Most cases resolve spontaneously, and acute treatment with intravenous steroids can accelerate the recovery but does not alter the visual outcome.

In such cases, Plasma Exchange Therapy can be helpful to some patients.

Scleritis

Scleritis is the infection of the Sclera, a white tissue that forms the outside wall of the eye.

However, the condition is also associated with autoimmune diseases.

It is classified into two types:

  • Anterior Scleritis
  • Posterior Scleritis

Anterior affects the front part of the eye and is a more common type. Posterior affects the back part of the eye.

It is a severe condition associated with extreme eye pain and blurred vision.

Symptoms of this eye condition may also include

  • Watery eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye pain that can extend to other parts of your face and jaw
  • Redness and swelling of the white part of the eye

Treatments for Scleritis often include steroids, anti-inflammatory pills, or eye drops.

These medicines are prescription-based and work to reduce the pain and swelling in the eye.

Warning
Scleritis can sometimes return even after the completion of treatment.
Thus it is crucial that you see your eye doctor or a specialist regularly to manage the condition.

Uveitis

Uveitis is usually referred to as a group of diseases caused by inflammation inside your eye.

The infection damages the Uvea, the middle layer of the eye, and can also affect other parts of the eye.

UveitisSource: Freila_From_Getty_Images
Eye Injury

Common symptoms of Uveitis include eye pain, blurry vision, and floaters.

Most patients get better with steroid treatment. Yet, if untreated, it can occasionally cause Cataracts and Glaucoma.

Thus speak with your doctor if the symptoms persist.

Endophthalmitis

Endophthalmitis is a bacterial or fungal infection of the internal layers of the eye.

It usually occurs after eye surgery, penetrating Ocular trauma, or corneal infection.

Symptoms of Endophthalmitis occur in about 75% of cases, including red eye, pain in the eye, and blurry vision.

It is a severe condition that can destroy vision rapidly and thus requires immediate medical attention.

The direct injection of antibiotics into the infected eye is the most important component of therapy.

Given the severity of the condition, Vitrectomy is another option to treat Endophthalmitis.

During a vitrectomy, damaged or contaminated tissues are removed, and an eye abscess is drained to clear the infection.

Symptoms often improve within several days of starting the treatment. Eye pain usually improves before vision gets better.

Eye strain

Eye strainSource: Pheelings_Media_From_Getty_Images
Eye strain

Eye strain is common but not as severe as above mentioned conditions.

It usually occurs when you do strenuous work for too long.

Common signs of eye strain are watery eyes, headache, pain, and blurry vision.

Eye pain usually goes away after giving your eyes enough rest and taking minor breaks while doing close work.

When to seek help

Sudden pain in the eye accompanied by blurred vision require immediate medical attention.

If you are experiencing any of them, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Even if the symptoms have passed out, seek medical attention.

This can help prevent further damage to the eye health or identify any underlying serious eye infection.

Takeaway

Not all pain in the eye and blurred vision need medical attention.

Eye strain is a common eye condition that causes blurry vision and eye pain, but it generally do not need any medical attention.

However, they can sometimes be signs of severe eye infections that need to be treated immediately.

If you are experiencing any of them, speak with your doctor or a specialist to prevent further complications.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean when your eyes hurt and your vision is blurry?

Eye pain and blurry vision can indicate several different things, including Optic Neuritis, Scleritis, and Uveitis. Since these conditions are serious and might affect your vision, it is better to get immediate medical attention.

Is it normal to have eye pain and blurry vision together?

Usually, eye pain and blurry vision can indicate eye strain which is a fairly common condition. But it can also mean you have serious eye infections like Uveitis and Endophthalmitis.

How can I relieve eye pain and blurry vision?

Treatment for eye pain and blurry vision depends on your eye condition. Take smaller breaks throughout your long work hours in front of a computer screen. However, seek medical attention if eye discomfort doesn’t go away.

Can eye pain and blurry vision be caused by stress?

Yes. When you are stressed, your fight-or-flight response causes your body to react. This can affect your eyes and visual system leading to eyestrain. Moreover, mental stress can affect your eyes, leading to temporary visual distortions and sometimes vision loss.

Citations:
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