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Waking up with Blurry Vision

“Dr. Johan Tran, lately my vision has become blurred early in the morning, just right after I get up. I wouldn’t notice the blurred vision if I haven’t had the habit of checking emails and SMS messages in the morning. The blurred vision lasted~ 10- 15 min then my eyes got clearer. Is there anything I should worry about? 6 years ago I had developed a macula hole in my left eye, got if fixed (now I can see but can’t read from the L eye), and now have my eyes checked yearly by a retina specialist. I’m a little paranoid!! Please let me know what you think, and thank you very much for your help.”

Thank you for asking,

Vision involves different layers and levels, from anterior to posterior: lids, cornea, pupil, lens, vitreous, retina, optic nerve, visual cortex, then binocular function,…Your case sounds like an anterior surface issue.

1. Mucus in eyes. During sleep, mucus accumulates on the cornea and does not get wiped off by the non-blinking resting lids (think of dirty car windshields without cleaning fluid and without wiper blades’ action).

2. Dry eyes. Tears are produced less during sleep. Dried cornea loses its refraction property.

3. Swelling of the eye (edema). Fluids accumulate in the cornea and alter its function.

Treatment: Eye lubricants (1-2 drops upon waking up, every 1-2 min) until vision is restored. Routine daily applications of eye moisturizers (many times/day) will help maintaining eye health (just like hand washes or skin lotion keep your hands or skin healthy). Any over-the-counter eye lubricant will also help: Blink Tears, Refresh, Soothe, Retaine, Systane,,..

If your eye condition does not improve or seems to worsen, or if new symptoms arise, then you should see an eye doctor.


Johan Tran, Ph.D., O.D., Board Certified