a dog is running in a grassy field.

Cataracts, Astigmatism and Presbyopia

Experiencing blurry vision? There are several different things that can cause blurriness up close or far away. This article will discuss causes of blurriness that don’t go away.  

A cataract is the clouding of the natural lens. The lens is responsible for focusing the light that enters the eye on the retina. Cataracts often develop slowly. Vision can often be affected without someone even realizing it. Worldwide, cataracts are the number 1 cause of preventable blindness. The way to correct a cataract is with cataract surgery. Cataract surgery removes the natural lens and replaces it with an artificial lens. The artificial lens will last the rest of your life and can correct any glasses prescription you may have.

Astigmatism is an imperfection in the curve of the cornea or lens. An eye without astigmatism is a curve that is equal in all directions. The cornea and lens both focus the light that enters the eye onto the retina. If that curve is not smooth or even the light rays cannot refract properly onto the retina. Uncorrected astigmatism can cause blurriness with near or distance vision. Both corneal and lenticular astigmatism, from the cornea or lens respectively, can be corrected with glasses or contacts.   Additionally, astigmatism can be also corrected with cataract surgery. When the natural lens is removed an artificial lens replaces it. The artificial lenses can have the astigmatism correction. Also there are surgical procedures or laser treatment that can be done within cataract surgery to decrease the amount of astigmatism after surgery.

Presbyopia is the normal loss of the ability to focus at near that comes with age. Most people notice the effects of presbyopia around age 40. Presbyopia occurs from the aging of the natural lens inside the eye. The lens becomes harder and less elastic over time. Ways to correct for presbyopia include reading glasses, bifocals, multifocal contact lenses or monovision contact lenses (where one eye sees most clearly at distance and the other eye sees most clearly at near). Additionally cataract surgery can correct for presbyopia as well. When the natural lens is removed an artifical lens replaces it. The artificial lenses can have multifocal correction in them allowing for clear distance, intermediate and near vision. If someone has been stable in monovision contact lenses monovision correction is possible with cataract surgery as well.

Cataracts, astigmatism and presbyopia can all cause continuous blurred vision. Blurriness can also be a sign of something that could threaten your sight. So if you are experiencing any blurriness it is important to get it checked out by an eye doctor. Call Kelly Eye Center for an exam at 919-282-1100 if you are experiencing blurry vision!