Why is my vision blurry when I wake up?
Getting up in the morning is hard enough for some of us. It’s even worse when you open your eyes and everything is blurry for a few minutes before coming into focus.
While morning blurriness upon waking is something many people suffer from, feeling like you’ve just been pulled headfirst out of a block of carbonite a la Han Solo isn’t an ideal first impression of a brand new day.
So, why is your vision blurry when you wake up? Could it be the symptom of a more serious problem?
In this article, we’ll examine what causes blurry vision and what you can do to help negate it. Hopefully, your eyes are sharp, because we’re diving straight in.
In this article
- 🌫️Why is my vision blurry when I wake up? The causes of blurred vision
- 🤓 Horus X’s advice to limit the impact of blurred vision
- 🧑⚕️ When you should consult a doctor for blurred vision
Why is my vision blurry when I wake up? The causes
Blurred vision or blurry eye is when there is a reduction or even loss of visual sharpness, causing objects and people to appear blurry and hazy.
It's a bit like seeing through a veil, or through the lens of a camera that isn't in focus. But it’s not your wedding day, it’s just an ordinary Tuesday and you’re fed up of wishing you had Arkham’s detective mode sight.
Luckily, usually a quick blink or rub of your eyes helps clear your vision and sharpen it back up again. But why does it blur in the first place?
The causes of blurred vision
- 🌵 Dry eyes: Dry eye is a much more common problem than most people might expect. Simply, our eyes don’t really respect us and therefore often don’t produce as many tears as they should. As tears moisturize and protect, having none at all is bad news. The problem can be more pronounced in the morning because your eyelids are tightly closed all night and the chances of bursting into tears about Joel’s fate in The Last of Us 2 is much lower at night. Luckily, if you’re concerned about dry eyes there’s natural remedies you can try first and foremost before consulting an eye doctor.
- 🤧 Allergies: If you suffer from swollen, dry, watery or itchy eyes, you could be allergic to dust mites, deal with the charming and wonderful effects of hay fever, or even be allergic to your cat. In which case, your only option is to leave. The house is your cat’s now.
- 🛌Poor sleeping posture: Do you sleep on your stomach like a baby? Well, you might sleep like a baby but you won’t wake up with the crystal-clear vision of one. Sleeping on your face causes your eyes to lose their elasticity resulting in blurred vision upon waking. Luckily the solution is simple: your sleep quality will improve if you snooze on your back like an adult!
- 🍹 Alcohol: Some of us enjoy a tipple; but apart from the lingering headache and feelings of regret upon waking, it can also actually cause blurred vision. That’s because, as we all know, alcohol dehydrates you and your body soaks up remaining moisture to help you not feel like you’ve gone 12 rounds in Tekken the next day.
- 🥵 Dehydration: It’s not just alcohol that causes dehydration. If you don’t drink enough water your eyes become drier and more sensitive, leading to excessive tearing and therefore blurred vision when you wake up.
- 👁️🗨️Sleeping with contact lenses in: All lenses’ wearers have fallen asleep without remembering to remove the gift of sight beforehand, at some point. But when you do, it can lead to irritated, red and dehydrated eyes upon waking up – the perfect combination for blurry vision! Plus, as an extra added bonus you run the risk of eye infection too – lucky you!
- 💊 Taking certain medications: Antihistamines, sleeping pills or certain cold and hypertension medications have, among other side effects, a reduction in the amount of tear secretion. Unfortunately, this can be enough to cause blurred vision if you take them just before sleeping.
- 💉 Diabetes and variations in blood sugar: Fluctuations in blood sugar levels can lead to blurred vision and other symptoms like dizziness, or feeling weak. If you suffer from these, be extra careful, blurred vision when you’re diabetic can be a sign of something more serious. It’s important to get in touch with your GP as high blood pressure can lead to serious vision (and other) problems like diabetic retinopathy.
- 👁️ Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): AMD is an eye disease caused by the degradation of the retina’s cells, leading to loss of vision and blindness. Some symptoms of AMD include blurred vision, floating spots in the eyes, a sensation of glare, and deformation of objects. If these symptoms apply to you, then we highly recommend visiting an eye doctor ASAP.
- 👀 Eye fatigue: Tired eyes and eye fatigue occur when your eyes have been overstressed. Over stressing your eyes can be caused by gaming or staring at any screen with blue light for too long (causing digital eye strain or, as it’s also known, computer vision syndrome); or even just a particularly intense period of concentration chatting with friends. Fortunately, there are ways to help your eye fatigue.
These are the main reasons your vision is blurry when you wake up. So, now let’s look at the best ways to regain clear vision fast in the mornings so you can look as good as your breakfast does.
Horus X’s tips for waking up with clear, sharp vision
Adopting some of these healthy habits can help reduce blurry vision upon waking:
- 💦 Drink lots of water: Staying hydrated is your best friend in the fight against blurry vision. Adopting a balanced nutritious diet with fruits and vegetables and foods rich in vitamins A and C (citrus fruits, carrots, and broccoli), zinc and omega 3 (nuts, seeds, fish like salmon and mackerel) can also help keep you hydrated and reduce blurred vision.
- 🍻 Avoid alcohol before bed: Make that last pint water. You might not look as cool, but you’ll feel better than your friends come morning!
- 🧹 Dust off your room and wash your bedding frequently: Shoving your cat or dog off your bed would be a big help too, but let’s be honest, we all know you’re not going to do that. Instead keep on top of your cleaning to help reduce dust particles that can dry out your eyes and cause blurred vision.
- 🥏 Remove your contact lenses before going to sleep: cleaning them every day if you wear reusable contact lenses is also essential as the lens can get dirty and you’ll end up with debris in your eye. Doing so will help you avoid low vision when waking, and infections like conjunctivitis. Plus, if you wear makeup make sure you’re also taking that off every night before bed to avoid eye irritation and bad skin.
- 💤 Sleep on your back to limit compression and eye swelling.
- 😴 Get 7-8 hours sleep per night, minimum. Yes, Zelda is waiting for you, but she will also be waiting for you tomorrow, so think about your eyes instead. They too have a right to rest, so go to bed!
- 🧘Try to relax and destress before bed: Stress can cause a spike in blood pressure, which is bad for your eyes. Cuddling with a pet is always a therapeutic way to calm down before sleep and is a good form of eye care.
- ☕ Rest your eyes: if you spend a lot of time working, playing or just scrolling, don't hesitate to take breaks to rest your little eyes. You can also try giving yourself an eye massage, and we strongly recommend limiting screentime before bed as this will have a significant impact on your eyes.
- 💧 Use artificial tears or eye drops if you suffer from dry eyes. This will help them retain moisture overnight.
- 👓 Protect yourself against blue light: It should come as no surprise, but we’re passionate about protecting your eyes from the dangers of blue light. One of the best ways to do that, limit eye fatigue and improve blurred vision is by wearing blue light blocking glasses; particularly at night. We also recommend slipping on a pair of gaming glasses for those trying to finish FF16, and always wearing sunglasses when outdoors.
Blurred vision isn’t always a big deal. If you find your crystal clear vision returning after rubbing your eyes or blinking then you have nothing to worry about. Except finding Korok seeds.
But if your blurred vision is persistent and difficult to clear, it’s possible there’s something more serious going on underneath. It’s essential in those cases to contact an eye doctor and get your eye health checked out.
When blurred vision is a cause for concern
If you’re under the age of 40, and therefore allegedly young; persistent blurred vision or even watery eyes may be a cause for concern. It can be caused by any number of maladies but more frequently points to an issue with near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism.
For those aged 40-45, it could be a symptom that you’re suffering from something like presbyopia which is referred to as a refractive error, that makes it harder to see things up close. Like text, the details in your jewelry, or Harry Potters’ scar.
If your blurred vision comes accompanied by headaches, nausea, fatigue or motor difficulties, an eye examination and a neurological examination should be carried out as soon as possible in order to identify the cause of the problem and to receive appropriate care.
In short, if blurred vision persists after waking up or occurs randomly or inexplicably, we strongly recommend getting in touch with your regular doctor. That way they can rule out any serious eye-related health problems like glaucoma, hypertension or diabetes.
What eye exams should I have?
If you’re experiencing frequent, persistent blur without the symptoms mentioned above then instead of your regular doctor we recommend your first stop being your eye doctors, or ophthalmologist. They can carry out a complete eye exam to help narrow down what’s causing the problem.
We also recommend getting an eye exam every year in general because you only have one set of eyes and should take care of them.
If you are experiencing blur with other symptoms, when visiting the doctor, you should request a blood sugar check as this can help eliminate diabetes as a source of the blur. At the same time, you could also ask to get your blood pressure checked to eliminate hypertension.
Finally, in the most serious of cases, blurred vision can occur due to a stroke or concussion, so if something doesn’t seem quite right, get your doctor on the phone immediately.
Why is my vision blurry when I wake up? Final thoughts
As we’ve covered, blurred vision is generally nothing serious and not a cause for alarm.
If it’s cleared instantly by blinking or rubbing your eyes, then maybe you’ve just been staring at Sonic the Hedgehog too long.
To keep your eyes in tip top condition, however, we still recommend referring to our list of tips and tricks above that help maintain your eye health.
If these little accommodations don’t seem to have any impact and you still experience persistent blurred vision, then it’s crucial you visit a doctor and ophthalmologist to help identify any underlying issues you may have.