Dry Eye Disease (DED) can affect your vision even if your eyes are not necessarily feeling “dry” or irritated. Have you ever had the sensation where your eyes become blurry when you are reading or watching a movie and then you blink a few times and it clears up? That is because the surface of your eye was drying out and when you blinked, you produced tears that were distributed across the surface of the eye to smooth out that surface. Tears can evaporate off the surface of the eye if we do not blink enough and this can cause the vision to be blurry.
The tear film is one of the strongest components of our eyes that help us to see. If the tear film is not perfectly smooth and healthy, our vision can be affected and can become blurry. Think of being out on a shallow lake on a perfect sunny day where the surface of the water is very smooth – you can almost see the bottom of the lake and what’s underneath the surface. Now imagine being out on that same shallow lake on a windy day when the surface of the water is very choppy – you can no longer see anything under the water. This is similar to what happens with our tear film and our vision. We need our tear film to be healthy and distributed smoothly over the surface of the eye in order for our vision to be at its best. DED can be caused by an unhealthy tear film, irregular tear film, decreased production of tears, or increased evaporation of tears which is why it leads to blurred vision.
Blinking more frequently, or instilling lubricant eye drops, can help temporarily fix the blurred vision. For a more permanent solution, please schedule an appointment with your eyecare physician or with our Dry Eye Specialist to review all treatment options.