Cloudy vision: 3 Signs You Need To Worry

Las Vegas woman pondering difference between blurry and cloudy vision


Our eyes are what allow us to see the world around us, and losing that vision is a frightening prospect. While most vision problems are easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses, cloudy vision is a more serious concern. Cloudy eyes are a condition that can develop from several causes including aging, eye injury, and disease, but can also be a sign of an underlying health condition. This is why it’s important to be aware of early warning signs, so you can get treatment as soon as you notice changes in your vision.

Cloudy Vision vs. Blurry Vision – Discerning The Difference

Although blurry and cloudy vision sounds similar, the difference between them is subtle, yet easily recognizable and an important distinction to make when identifying vision changes.

What Is Cloudy Vision?

Cloudy vision is a condition in which the clear lens of your eye becomes hazy or grainy, similar to looking through an old pair of sunglasses. You may feel like you’re looking through a milky fog, or as if you’re seeing the world through a veil. Cloudy eyes are usually painless, and the change can be gradual or sudden. It can also affect one or both eyes. 

What Is Blurry Vision?

Blurry vision refers to a loss of sharpness or clarity in your eyesight. It’s more difficult to discern shapes and objects, and you may notice a distortion in your field of vision. Objects are going to look out of focus, and hard lines may become soft. Like cloudy eyes, blurry vision can be caused by different factors, but it’s often temporary or easily correctable with prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses.

How Can You Tell The Difference Between Them?

The easiest way to tell the difference between cloudy vision vs. blurry vision is by how it affects your eyesight. With blurry vision, all objects in your field of vision may look out of focus, but you can usually see shapes and colors clearly.  If you squint and focus on an object and your vision becomes sharper, then this is a tell-tale sign that you just have blurry vision. In contrast, with cloudy vision, squinting doesn’t help make objects seem any clearer, and you may experience faded or muted colors. 

The Development of Cloudy Vision – The Early Warning Signs

As mentioned above, some of the common causes of cloudy vision are underlying health conditions, so it’s important to pay attention to any changes in your vision. If you notice that objects are muted, faded, or your vision is foggy, and you have the 3 following signs, seek medical attention. 

  1. If the Cloudy Vision Lasts More Than 1-2 Days. 
    If you have cloudy vision that lasts more than a day or two, this may be a sign of an underlying health condition. For example, cataracts or glaucoma can cause cloudy vision that doesn’t go away on its own. If your vision hasn’t improved after a few days, or it worsens, then see a doctor immediately.
  1. Cloudy Eyes Accompanied by Double Vision. 
    Cloudy eyes can also be accompanied by double vision, particularly if they’re caused by an injury or infection. Seek medical attention if you begin seeing double, and it doesn’t subside. 
  1. A lasting Grittiness in Your Eye With Cloudy Vision.
    Finally, if you notice a grit-like feeling like sand in your eyes along with vision that is foggy/hazy/cloudy, this could be a sign of an eye infection.  If you also have red and irritated eyes, you may have a condition called keratitis, which can occur from lens irritation, or using the wrong type of contact lenses.

If you develop sudden cloudy vision, this is also cause for concern, as it could be a sign of an ocular emergency. Abrupt changes like extreme glare, halos around lights, severe eye pain, seeing flashing lights or floaters, in addition to cloudy eyes, also are a sign to seek immediate medical attention.

The Importance of Seeing an Ophthalmologist For Cloudy Eyes 

Whether you develop cloudy eyes gradually or suddenly, it’s important to see an ophthalmologist for a proper diagnosis and treatment, as undiagnosed medical conditions can lead to permanent vision loss. 

Common Underlying Medical Conditions

Some of the most common health conditions that can cause cloudy vision include: 

  • Cataracts – this is where the lens of your eye becomes cloudy.
  • Fuchs’ Dystrophy – this is a disease that affects the cornea. 
  • Wet/Dry Macular Degeneration – this is when the middle portion of the retina degrades, causing vision loss.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy – diabetes can cause the blood vessels in the retina to become damaged, causing cloudy vision. 
  • Eye Trauma – any type of injury to the eye can cause cloudy eyes.
  • Infections/Inflammation – infections can cause clouded vision, and inflammation can cause sudden cloudy vision as well.

Concerned About Cloudy Vision? 

If you are concerned about cloudy vision, it is important to seek medical attention right away. Whether your cloudy eyes are caused by an underlying health condition or a more temporary issue, our team at Brimhall Eye Center in Las Vegas can help. Our expert ophthalmologists specialize in treating and diagnosing all types of eye problems, including cloudy vision. To learn more about our services and to schedule an appointment with us, contact us today. We look forward to helping you see clearly again!

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