Blurry Vision When Waking Up, Why?

A lot of people complain of dull (or not so sharp) vision that makes it difficult to see things clearly in the morning.  Some causes of blurry vision in the morning are birth complications and congenital defects of visual apparatus. Other acquired causes include eyesight weakness requiring eyeglasses or lenses. You may feel vision blurring in one or both eyes. It can also be due to an acute eye illness or infection as well. You should know when medical advice should be consulted.

What Causes Blurry Vision in the Morning?

1. Dried-off Tear

Blurry vision in the morning is mostly a result of a dried-off tear on the eye surface. A lot of people start rubbing their eyes in the morning in an attempt to clear the visual field or to remove the secretions, which may help in improving the vision.

Note: The blurry vision in this case is transient and generally improves on repeated blinking. In case the symptoms continue, consult your GP as there may be an underlying problem as well. Your healthcare practitioner may advice you to visit an eye doctor.

2. Tiredness

Sometimes you feel itchiness in eyes with blurry vision in the morning, the reasons could be that you didn’t have a good night’s rest. It makes the visual apparatus of your eyes fatigued and tired, thereby presenting as blurriness of vision.

3. Oil Gland Problem

Oil gland problem causes mucus accumulation in the eye after waking up. It may lead to blepharitis which is eyelid inflammation. Water eyes and red eyes are the most common symptoms, which make your vision blurry.

The treatment for excessive mucus includes warm compression and gentle scrubbing of eyelashes before sleeping. You can also opt for antibiotics.

4. Allergies of the Eyes

Certain eye allergies can also cause blurry vision in the morning with other allergy symptoms such as redness and watering of eyes, sneezing, burning and itchy sensation etc. These symptoms can get worse if you have a known allergy to dust or mites.

5. Abnormal Blood Sugar Levels

High blood sugar level/diabetes can also cause blurry vision in the morning that is often accompanied with other symptoms like swelling of lids and lens. Low blood sugar levels can also present with blurring in addition to other symptoms like weakness, dizziness and related symptoms. If you have a fluctuating blood sugar level, the blurriness of vision will also fluctuate with time.

6. Side Effects from Medication That You Take

Some pills can also cause blurriness of vision, such as:

    • Antihistamines
    • Corticosteroids
    • Antipsychotic medicines such as chlorpromazine and thioridazine
    • Medications for treatment of breast cancer
    • Medications for erectile dysfunction
    • Anti-tuberculosis dug regimen
    • Medicationsincluding, antidepressants, beta blockers and other pills to manage cardiac conditions

6. Fuchs' Dystrophy

If your cornea swells overnight, it could be due to Fuch's corneal dystrophy, which classically presents with blurry vision in the morning and the condition improves during the day. Sensitivity to light, seeing halos, cloudy-looking cornea and reduced contrast perception are other symptoms. For treatment, you should use ointments and prescribed medications before bedtime.

7. Other Causes

Some other causes of blurry vision in the morning include:

  • Refractive eye situations- like having a need for lenses or new eyesight prescription.
  • Myopia- Nearsightedness
  • Presbyopia- lack of focusing ability
  • Macular deterioration due to aging
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Retinal detachment
  • Dry eyes
  • Conjunctivitis.
  • Stroke
  • Headache and migraines

What Others Have Experienced

  • Alcohol intake the previous night leads to blurry vision.

"When I wake up after a night of partying, I noticed that my vision was quite blurry. The functional system that controls our vision allows us to locate our eyes on position of our choice and also identifies what we are looking at. This is completely dependent on fine control of eye muscles. The accuracy of this system can get affected by use of excessive alcohol. Alcohol can also result in the dehydration of our cornea; thereby causing blurry vision in the morning until the eye re-hydrates."

  • Using eye lubricant helps a lot!

"Blurry vision in the morning is one common issue that I face a lot. Due to gnawing symptoms, I discussed it with an ophthalmologist. He suggested an eye lubricant (available as over-the-counter formulation). After using it once, the blurriness was gone. I was so amazed and happy.But make sure to see your doctor, if there is no improvement or symptoms worsen."

  • Eye injury in the past.

"I got a bad scratch in my left eye last November, which healed in few days after seeing a doctor. I resumed my normal day activities like driving and working at office, after the injury healed completely. But then I started waking up with burned and itchy eyes occasionally, along with blurry visionThe doctor estimated 6 weeks for complete healing process."

Blurry Vision in the Morning, What to Do?

Treatment is mainly aimed at improving the symptoms like using eye drops for lubrication of eyes, anti-inflammatory medicines to control inflammatory responses etc. In serious cases, surgical intervention can be employed to allow easy drainage of tears. If case of an underlying issue, the treatment should be aimed at resolving the primary issue/ illness.

For Minor and Temporary Cases

Other than medical solutions, there are some simple home based remedies that can prevent blurry vision in the morning and can reduce the intensity/ severity of visual symptoms. These are:

  • Keep your eyelids and eyes clean and keep them away from dusty, dry and windy surroundings.
  • In order to avoid eyestrain, use you laptop from a safe/ desirable distance in a well-lit room.
  • You can also use humidifier to moisten the air around you (Especially if you have dryness of eye due to allergies).
  • Include omega-3 fats in your diet.
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