Why is one eye all blurry?
August 18, 2008 7:08 AM   Subscribe

Eye Problem Filter: My mother (age 62) woke up today with blurred vision in one eye. Over the next couple hours it changed to double vision (in one eye, not in both) and now it's getting better but still a little blurry. She has no other health problems. What's wrong?

Also: eye problems in our family also include floaters & white without pressure. She's extremely near-sighted and usually uses RGP lenses without issue. Any help/information/ideas would be much appreciated.
posted by MaddyRex to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
It could be an ocular migraine, perhaps? But it's definitely worth getting it checked at an eye doctor to make sure it's nothing more serious.
posted by cider at 7:15 AM on August 18, 2008

Is she a stomach sleeper? I have done this to myself a few times by sleeping on an arm instead of a pillow, temporarily deforming the lens of my eye. After several hours, my normally 20/15 vision had completely returned.
posted by biggity at 7:23 AM on August 18, 2008

Google is your friend.

Monocular diplopia is double vision in only one eye. The double vision continues even when the other eye is covered. The doubling does not go away when you look in different directions. Monocular diplopia can be caused by:

* Astigmatism. This is an abnormal curvature of the front surface of the cornea.

* Keratoconus. The cornea gradually becomes thin and cone-shaped.

* Pterygium. This is a thickening of the conjunctiva, the thin mucous membrane that lines the inner surface of the eyelids and the whites of the eyes. The thickening extends to the cornea, the clear part of the surface of the eye.

* Cataracts. The lens gradually becomes less transparent. Risk factors include being older than 65, having eye trauma or long-term diabetes, smoking, using steroid medications or having radiation treatments.

* A dislocated lens. The ligaments that hold the lens in place are broken, and the lens moves out of place or wiggles. This can be caused by trauma to the eye or a condition known as Marfan's syndrome.

* A mass or swelling in the eyelid. This condition can press on the front of the eye.

* Dry eye. Your eyes do not produce enough tears.

* Some retinal problems. Double vision can happen when the surface of the retina is not perfectly smooth, which can have a variety of causes.

It doesn't sound like any of these are medical emergencies, but one thing to try is rehydration drops (I don't know whether this is sold OTC or not) to fix the tear film. My wife had an eye problem similar to this and saw an opthalmologist and that's what it was. But of course it's one's eyesight we're talking about, so definitely at least get a opthalmologist appointment; you can always cancel if it gets better.
posted by crapmatic at 7:31 AM on August 18, 2008

Duh... meant to include the source of the info above.
posted by crapmatic at 7:31 AM on August 18, 2008

Get to the Emergency room NOW! Vison problems like that are a sign of STROKE.
She may not have had one but

posted by Toto_tot at 8:14 AM on August 18, 2008

Sorry here is the link for signs of Stroke
posted by Toto_tot at 8:18 AM on August 18, 2008

This is probably not the answer but I'll throw it out there anyway. My 80 year old mom woke one morning with blurred vision in one eye. Two days later it was no better so she went to a doctor and it turns out she had left a contact lens in there that had adhered to her eye. They peeled it off and she was fine.

If your mom occasionally wears contacts it might be worth checking.
posted by gfrobe at 8:18 AM on August 18, 2008

Seconding what Toto_tot said, this is nothing to mess around with. It might be nothing, but it also could be a stroke. If it is a stroke, the quicker the diagnosis the better.
posted by gudrun at 8:42 AM on August 18, 2008

What's wrong?

I dunno. Tell us when you get back from the ER.
posted by Rendus at 8:44 AM on August 18, 2008

Nthing ER. Now.
posted by meerkatty at 11:07 AM on August 18, 2008

With someone of that age, you're probably better safe than sorry, so you might as well take her to the ER. However, be wary of Internet medical advice, symptom Googling, and the like. The Internet will always lead you to determine that your symptoms indicate the worst possible thing. I had a recurring sharp pain in my upper left abdomen, and the Internet lead me to believe that it was gastric cancer since it didn't appear to be related to food. I spent a bunch of money on lots of uncomfortable tests culminating in a colonoscopy/endoscopy (*shudder*) and put myself through lots of unneeded stress before it was finally determined that I had gastritis and was prescribed a prescription antacid. So, don't blow it off, but don't be too worried that she's had a massive stroke or whatever.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:44 PM on August 18, 2008

This is a symptom of Fuchs Dystrophy. My grandmother had it... it is very painful and very serious. It is much more common in females. Make sure you do some research on this condition to test whether she has this condition or not.
posted by yoyoceramic at 3:02 PM on August 18, 2008

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