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Can Dry Eyes Cause Blurry Vision?

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Have you ever experienced that annoying feeling of dryness accompanied by difficulty focusing your eyes? 

You’re not alone! Dry eye disease can cause dry eyes and blurry vision. However, there are ways to help alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms associated with dry eyes. Visit your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam and discover ways to keep your peepers happy with dry eye therapy and a customized treatment plan. 

All About Dry Eyes

Your eyes have a natural protective layer of tears called the tear film, which keeps them moist, comfortable, and lubricated. The tear film is comprised of 3 layers:

  1. The watery layer: Hydrates and protects the eyes from bacteria and foreign debris.
  2. The oily layer: Prevents tears from evaporating and gives the eyes a smooth surface.
  3. The mucous layer: Helps tears stick to your eyes. 

Sometimes your eyes can produce fewer tears or poor quality tears from an imbalanced tear film, leading to dryness, discomfort, and the following symptoms:

  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • Eye pain
  • Foreign body feeling in your eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurred vision

Various factors can disrupt this delicate balance in your tear film, such as:

Dry Eyes & Blurry Vision 

Dry eyes can lead to blurry vision. And dry eyes and blurry vision can occur together in dry eye disease. 

When the eyes lack sufficient moisture, the eye’s surface becomes irregular, affecting how light enters and focuses on the retina (the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye), resulting in blurred or distorted vision. This blurry vision can make reading, driving, or other everyday tasks difficult.

Blurry vision and dry eye disease can make words in a book or on a screen look hazy or cause you to squint more frequently to see clearly. As the dryness persists, your vision may blur, causing you to blink repeatedly to regain clarity. 

Treatment for Dry Eyes & Blurry Vision

Several effective treatments, from simple lifestyle changes to medical interventions, can help alleviate dry eye symptoms. 

Artificial Tears & Lubricating Eye Drops

One of the most common and easily accessible treatments for dry eyes and blurry vision is artificial tears. These over-the-counter drops can provide temporary relief by restoring moisture to the tear film. 

If they don’t relieve your dry eye symptoms, your eye doctor may prescribe medicated eye drops, such as Restasis. These drops help lubricate the eye’s surface, reduce dryness, and improve vision clarity.


Blephex is a quick, in-office treatment. It removes accumulated biofilm around the eyelids, thus helping your eyes produce more quality tears.

Warm Compresses

In some cases, the root cause of dry eyes lies in meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). MDG occurs when the glands responsible for producing the oily layer of tears become clogged. A warm compress applied to closed eyelids can help soften the oil and improve its flow. 

Punctal Plugs

Punctal plugs offer a long-lasting solution for moderate to severe dry eyes. These tiny devices are inserted into the tear ducts to block tear drainage, preserving natural tears on the eye’s surface.

A woman in a headscarf drinking water.

Lifestyle Changes

Sometimes, simple lifestyle changes can significantly impact dry eye symptoms, such as:

  • Drinking adequate water
  • Quitting smoking
  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Limiting screen time and taking regular breaks
  • Using a humidifier
  • Avoiding smoke, wind, and air conditioning
  • Wearing wraparound sunglasses when outdoors
  • Blinking frequently

When to See Your Eye Doctor

While regular eye exams are essential for catching dry eyes early, some specific signs and symptoms of this condition should prompt you to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor:

  • Discharge from your eye that can indicate an infection
  • Watering that you can’t stop or control
  • Headache, nausea, or fever with blurry vision or eye pain
  • Consistent difficulty seeing things at a distance or close up
  • Persistent eye discomfort or eye pain

Relief for Dry Eyes & Blurry Vision in Edmonton

Chronic dry eyes can present with blurry vision. Don’t ignore or overlook signs or symptoms indicating an underlying issue. 

To ensure ocular health and clear, comfortable vision, incorporate healthy habits like taking regular breaks from screens, staying hydrated, and using artificial tears when needed. Book an appointment with Total Focus Optometry if your dry eyes persist or worsen. Our team can discuss possible treatment options that work best for you to help provide relief.

Written by Dr. Craig M

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