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Complete Emergency Care for Blurred Vision


A wide range of problems can cause blurred vision. Blurred vision is the loss of sharpness in your eyesight, causing objects to appear out of focus. It can come on suddenly or happen gradually over time.

Vision changes require professional medical attention. Serious underlying medical conditions can cause sudden vision changes, even if the change is temporary. If you’re experiencing sudden blurred vision, seek immediate medical care or call 9-1-1.

At Dignity Health, our expert team is ready to provide trusted emergency care for all causes of blurred vision in the Bay Area. Don’t want to wait at the hospital? Visit our Online Waiting Room to select your estimated arrival time to one of our ERs.

Symptoms Related to Blurred Vision

You may also experience the following symptoms with sudden blurry vision:

  • Eye redness
  • Dilated pupil
  • Double vision
  • Droopy eyelid
  • Halos around lights
  • Headache, possibly severe
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Problems speaking or understanding speech
  • Pulsations that you can feel or hear
  • Sensation of having a foreign body in the eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Stiff neck
  • Weakness on one side of the body or face

Keeping a record of all your symptoms can help your doctor make a diagnosis. Remember that these symptoms could be signs of a serious or even life-threatening condition, so see a doctor at Dignity Health right away. 

What Causes Blurred Vision?

Farsightedness and nearsightedness (refractive error) are the most common causes of blurred vision. Under these circumstances, blurred vision is not a medical emergency. 

Dangerous causes of blurred vision include:

  • Acute angle-closure glaucoma, which can lead to permanent vision loss
  • Brain bleeding (hemorrhage)
  • Chemical injury
  • Encephalitis, or inflammation in the brain often caused by infection 
  • Hydrocephaly, or elevated spinal fluid pressure
  • Ocular trauma, or injury to the eye or surrounding area
  • Optic neuritis, or inflammation of the optic nerve
  • Severe high blood pressure
  • Stroke and TIAs (transient ischemic attack)
  • Temporal arteritis, or inflamed blood vessel around the temple 
  • Tumors of the optic nerve, brain, and orbit

In certain cases, you may need emergency care from an ophthalmologist. The underlying cause of your blurred vision will guide your personalized treatment plan. Trust our doctors to explain what’s causing your sudden blurry vision and provide personal care throughout your treatment and recovery.

Dignity Health offers emergency care for blurred vision in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.