Blurry Vision After Surgery: Causes, Recovery, More (2023)

Blurry vision can be a common side effect of eye surgeries. In fact, any operation on or around your eyes may result in temporary vision changes, including blurry vision.

Other potential vision concerns depend on the type of surgery you’ve had, as well as the type of anesthesia used.

Cataract surgery

Cataracts are caused by proteins that can change or break down inside your eye. When this happens, the proteins can stick together and form whitish, yellow, or brown clumps that cover the natural lens of your eye. These clumps impair your vision by making things look fuzzy or cloudy.

Cataracts take years to develop and are most common in older adults.

Cataract surgery typically happens in an operating room. It is generally a quick, safe procedure with a high success rate.

You will typically receive local anesthesia during cataract surgery. This numbs the nerves around your eye so you do not feel any pain or discomfort.

During the procedure, a doctor will remove the cloudy natural lens of your eye. They will replace it with a clear, artificial lens implant called an intraocular lens.

Blurry vision is common immediately after cataract surgery. It typically clears up within 2 to 3 days. In some instances, though, it can take a week or more for blurry vision to go away.

In addition to blurry vision, it’s not unusual to experience some sensitivity to light immediately after the surgery. More severe complications are rare.


A vitrectomy is an eye surgery that removes your eye’s vitreous humor. This is a gel-like substance that fills the back chamber of your eye.

You may need to have the vitreous removed if you have concerns related to your retina. The retina is a collection of cells at the back of your eye that sends visual signals to your brain to help it interpret images.

A vitrectomy is done in an operating room. You will typically receive a longer-acting local anesthetic around your eye.

After a surgeon removes the vitreous, they will replace it with a saline solution or bubble. Over time, your body will produce more of the natural fluid, filling the eye chamber once again.

If there are no complications, most people leave the hospital within a few hours of having a vitrectomy.

Blurry vision after a vitrectomy is possible and may last for 2 to 3 days. However, blurry vision may last longer if you have both a vitrectomy and retina surgery.

After the procedure, some people also experience a sandy or scratchy feeling in the eye. This is likely to clear up within a few days. The surgeon may prescribe eye drops to help with healing.

Eyelid surgery

Blepharoplasty is eyelid surgery that corrects drooping eyelids.

Typically, you will receive a local anesthetic instead of general anesthesia. That means recovery from eyelid surgery is relatively quick.

During this procedure, a surgeon will remove fat, muscle, or excess skin from your eyelid. They will then stitch the eyelid back together to prevent it from drooping.

You’ll likely go home within a few hours of the surgery. However, short-term side effects like blurry vision and sensitivity to light are possible. These typically resolve within a couple of days.

LASIK or PRK surgery

Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is a common eye surgery used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

As with many eye surgeries, local anesthetic is commonly used, and you’re able to go home in a few hours.

During the operation, a surgeon will use lasers and small blades to reshape the corneas of your eyes. This will allow your eyes to focus light properly and should result in improved vision. It typically eliminates the need for corrective lenses like glasses or contacts.

Some people may feel a gritty or sandy texture in their eyes after the surgery. Dry eye, which can cause blurry vision, is also fairly common after LASIK surgery.

Blurred vision may last several days but will typically resolve on its own. You will need antibiotic and steroid eye drops for proper healing. Eye drops can also help lubricate your eyes while they heal.

Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) laser surgery is an older procedure that’s similar to LASIK. It is also used to help correct vision by reshaping cornea tissue.

With PRK, a surgeon will fully remove the top layer of the cornea tissue. They will then use a laser to reshape irregular corneal tissue.

Recovery is similar to LASIK, but blurred vision may last longer as the surface of the eye continues to heal.

Retinal detachment surgery

If your retina pulls away from the tissues in your eye, you may experience immediate vision issues, including:

  • blurred vision
  • partial vision loss
  • sudden flashes of light in your field of vision

Retinal detachment is a medical emergency. It should be treated quickly to help reduce the risk of permanent vision loss.

Surgery can repair a detached retina. Most often, this surgery can be performed under local anesthesia that’s injected around the eye.

Recovery, however, may take more time. You will likely experience short-term side effects like watery eyes and blurry vision for several days after surgery. Regular vision may not return for 2 to 4 weeks.

Some people may need additional surgeries to fully correct vision issues after retinal detachment.

Corneal transplant

Corneal transplant, or keratoplasty, is necessary if your eye’s cornea becomes damaged or diseased. During this operation, a surgeon will replace the cornea with donated corneal tissue. Once healed, the new tissue should restore vision.

Recovering from a corneal transplant can take several months. Most short-term side effects, including blurry vision, can last for a few weeks or longer.

A doctor may request that you wear a protective shield or eye pad for several days to help the tissue heal. Once it’s removed, side effects like blurred vision may occur as your eyes readjust.

Your doctor will likely prescribe medicated eye drops to help reduce side effects. Glasses and contact lenses may be needed for clear vision in the long term.

It’s not just eye surgeries that can cause blurry vision. A study from 2002 suggests that blurry vision can occur after several other types of surgery, especially those requiring general anesthesia.

Blurry vision is most common after cardiac and spinal fusion surgeries. It may occur after head and neck surgeries and some orthopedic procedures, too.

Certain conditions increase the likelihood of blurry vision after these surgeries. These conditions include:

  • narrowing of the large arteries in the neck
  • a history of stroke
  • preexisting diseases of the eye

Blurry vision after surgery is also more common in older adults.

In the 2002 study, 7 of the 28 people who reported blurry vision 3 days after a surgical procedure eventually needed new corrective lenses or changes to their eyeglass prescriptions because the blurry vision never went away.

That group represented about 1 percent of the 671 people in the study. However, 96 percent of the total participants had returned to presurgery vision within 3 days.

For most people, blurry vision after surgery goes away within a few days. That’s the case for surgery on your eyes as well as other types of surgery. However, full recovery from surgery can often take weeks or months.

During the recovery period, it’s important that you follow your doctor’s orders. This will give you the best chance of healing properly and avoiding long-term side effects.

To speed up your recovery and reduce the risk of complications:

  • Use medications or eyedrops exactly as prescribed by a doctor.
  • Wear protective eye shields when instructed, including at night while you sleep.
  • Don’t rub or push on your eyes.
  • Avoid strenuous activities, like lifting or pushing, for several weeks after surgery. These activities can increase the pressure in your eyes.
  • Wear sunglasses in bright rooms or outdoors to reduce light sensitivity.
  • Avoid using products that might irritate your eyes, such as soap, makeup, cleansers, or creams.
  • Avoid dusting or cleaning for a few days after surgery. The fine particles stirred up may irritate your eyes.
  • Do not fly, dive, or spend time at higher elevations without clearing it with your doctor. The increased pressure could impact your recovery.

Your doctor will request follow-up appointments after your surgery to monitor your progress and to ensure you don’t have any complications. Be sure to go to all of these follow-up appointments.

Before your surgery, the doctor should tell you how long you can expect side effects to last. If your blurry vision continues beyond this time frame, contact the doctor. Recovery will look different for each person, but long-lasting side effects are not typical.

Consult with your doctor if you notice any of the following signs after surgery:

  • extremely dry eyes that don’t get better with lubricated eye drops
  • ongoing light sensitivity
  • new eye floaters
  • inflamed or painful eyes
  • eye redness, with or without pain

It’s expected that you might have these symptoms immediately after eye surgery. However, they should not last more than a few days. When in doubt, contact your doctor.

Blurry vision can be common after surgery, especially surgery involving your eyes. Blurry vision may also happen after other types of surgery, especially if it involves your spine or heart.

However, blurry vision is usually a short-term side effect. Long-term blurry vision or changes to your vision that require corrective lenses are rare.

It’s important that you follow all your doctor’s post-operation instructions. This will help you have the best chance of fully healing and avoiding complications.


How long does it take for blurry vision to go away after surgery? ›

In most cases, blurry vision lasts for 24 to 48 hours after surgery. Some people may have blurry or altered vision for up to a week. If your blurry vision lasts any longer than that, you should talk with your doctor.

Can blurry vision get better over time? ›

If you're not taking proper care of your eyes now, it's unlikely they will improve with age. But there are some things that you can start committing to doing right now to help improve your eyesight as you age into your golden years.

Why is my vision still blurry after surgery? ›

Despite the benefits of a numbed surgical experience, anesthesia can result in some unintended side effects. One such residual effect can be blurred vision - a side effect not caused directly by the drug, but often by an abrasion of the cornea, the outermost layer of the eye.

Can blurred vision go back to normal? ›

Most people will experience blurred vision at some point during their lifetime. In many cases, it will be temporary and will resolve itself without the need for any significant treatment. However, some people will need assistance to restore the clarity of their sight.

How can I improve my vision after surgery? ›

Corrective lenses can be surgically inserted in the eye (intraocular lenses) to improve vision. This is routinely done as part of cataract surgery (in which the old, cloudy natural lens is removed). It may also be an alternative to LASIK for older adults who may need cataract surgery in the future.

How long does it take to restore vision? ›

In most cases, you should see a stable improvement within four to eight weeks after the treatment. In the case of progressive vision deterioration (e.g., glaucoma), Fedorov Therapy is able to significantly slow down the progression of the condition or even stop it. The resulting improvement is typically stable.

Why is my eyesight getting better? ›

If you have poor eyesight, a sudden improvement could be a warning sign of diabetes, the UK's Daily Express reports. High blood sugar causes fluid levels in the eyes to change, and these fluctuations can impact eyesight. So if your eyesight suddenly seems to be getting better, you should consult a doctor.

How can I stop my vision from being blurry? ›

How is blurred vision prevented?
  1. Always wear sunglasses that provide broad-spectrum protection when you're going out in the sun.
  2. Eat a diet rich in eye-healthy nutrients. ...
  3. Don't smoke.
  4. Undergo regular comprehensive eye exams, especially if someone in your family has a history of an eye disease.

What medication is used for blurry vision? ›

VUITY® (pilocarpine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution) 1.25% is a prescription eye drop used to treat age-related blurry near vision (presbyopia) in adults.

Why is my vision blurry only sometimes? ›

It's usually caused by refractive errors like farsightedness or nearsightedness. It can also be an indication that something is going on that needs addressed by a medical professional. Many conditions can cause blurry vision.

What foods help repair eyesight? ›

Carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, eggs, and green leafy vegetables. Salmon, sardines, flax seeds, soybeans, and walnuts.

Can medications cause blurred vision? ›

Medications can have a variety of effects on your eyes, ranging from minor, temporary issues such as blurred vision to permanent damage. Learn which drugs cause the most problems — and what to watch for if you have risk factors.

Can surgery mess with your vision? ›

Postoperative vision loss (POVL) during non-ocular procedures is a devastating complication following surgery under general anesthesia. There is significant variation in the reported incidence of POVL ranging from 0.056 to 1.3% (1).

How can I restore my vision naturally and fast? ›

Food for sight

Many of the vitamins and antioxidants that improve eyesight naturally are found in common foods, including: Carrots, kale, spinach, and collard greens (vitamin A and lutein) Liver (vitamin A), including cod liver oil. Swiss chard, zucchini, and brussel sprouts (lutein)

Can you regain vision naturally? ›

The truth is that many types of vision loss are permanent. Once the eye has been damaged, then treatment options are limited to restore vision. But some types of vision loss could be improved naturally, and you can also take a proactive approach in protecting your eyes to prevent vision loss in the future.

How long will it take for my vision to improve? ›

First Few Months

Though some patients attain fully restored vision within the first month, the majority of individuals achieve improved eyesight within two or three months. At this point, your doctor can provide you with a new prescription for your glasses or contacts for the best results.

How do you reset your vision? ›

Eye Strain Fix #1: Reset Your Vision

“Resetting our eyes from close-up to far off gives them a rest and helps reset our focus,” says Dr. Veteto. The Mayo Clinic recommends the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes spent at a computer or device, turn your eyes toward something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds.

Can vision loss come back? ›

About 15% of people with visual field loss will regain their vision completely. Another 30% will regain some of their visual field. Around 50% of people with visual field loss will experience the loss permanently.

Why does my eyesight get better and worse? ›

It is completely normal for prescription needs to change with age. The lens of your eye also hardens with age, which can lead to age-related farsightedness, called presbyopia. As the lens becomes more rigid, focusing on the retina directly is more difficult.

Which vitamin is good for eyesight? ›

Vitamin A and vision make potent allies. Carrots contain lots of beta carotene and Vitamin A, which can contribute to your eyes' health and may provide a fantastic source of eye vitamins for macular degeneration and cataracts. Good sources of Vitamin A and rhodopsin are also abundant in carrots.

Can dehydration cause blurry vision? ›

Eye strain such as tired eyes, blurred vision, headaches and double vision can also be caused by dehydration and result when the eye is not properly lubricated. Drinking plenty of water will help flush out salt in the body and properly hydrate your eyes to help reduce eyestrain.

Can high blood pressure cause blurry vision? ›

HBP can harm your eyesight in many ways

Blood vessel damage (retinopathy): A lack of blood flow to the retina leads to blurred vision or the complete loss of sight. People with diabetes and high blood pressure are at an even greater risk for developing this condition.

Is there any tablet to improve eyesight? ›

Healthvit Eyevitan | 20+ Vitamins for Eye Care | Bilberry 60mg, Lutein 4mg & Zeaxanthin for Enhance Vision, Reduce Eye Strain and Overall Eye Health | Blue Light, Glare Sensitivity & Digital Guard Formula – 60 Tablets.

What can cause blurred vision to come and go? ›

What are the causes of blurred vision?
  • refractive errors, such as near-sightedness, far-sightedness, or astigmatism.
  • abrasions to the cornea.
  • age-related macular degeneration.
  • cataracts.
  • corneal opacification, or scarring.
  • infectious retinitis.
  • migraine.
  • optic neuritis.

Can stress cause blurry vision? ›

Mental stress can affect your eyes, and lead to visual distortions and even vision loss. Fortunately, most stress-related vision problems are temporary and will disappear as soon as you begin to relax.

Can anxiety cause blurred vision? ›

When we are severely stressed and anxious, high levels of adrenaline in the body can cause pressure on the eyes, resulting in blurred vision. People with long-term anxiety can suffer from eye strain throughout the day on a regular basis. Anxiety causes the body to become highly sensitised to any slight movement.

Which juice is good for nerves? ›

Berries, peaches, cherries, red grapes, oranges and watermelon, among others, are loaded with antioxidants, which help to decrease inflammation and reduce nerve damage. Plus, grapes, blueberries and cranberries have been found to be full of a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called resveratrol.

Do bananas improve eyesight? ›

Bananas are also a source of vitamin A which is also crucial for eye health. Vitamin A protects the cornea, which is essential for good vision.

What blood pressure medications can cause blurred vision? ›

Meds That Might Affect Vision
  • Alpha-blockers (for high blood pressure and enlarged prostate): Alfuzosin (Uroxatral and generic) and tamsulosin (Flomax and generic) ...
  • Antibiotics: Ciprofloxacin (Cipro and generic)
Jan 11, 2017

Can blurred vision be cured naturally? ›

Healthy Diet

Changing your diet by adding eye health-promoting food is also a natural way to treat dry eyes and blurry vision. Start taking omega-3 fatty acids through omega-3 supplements or by increasing your intake of fish, walnuts, or flax seeds.

Does Tylenol affect vision? ›

Check the label to see if a medicine contains acetaminophen or APAP. This medicine may cause blurred vision or impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert and able to see clearly.

Why am I still blurry 3 weeks after LASIK? ›

However, you may still experience blurry vision or vision fluctuations from time to time as you heal. Your eyes are adjusting to the newly reshaped cornea. They need time to get used to functioning in a new way. It will take anywhere from three to six months for your eyes to fully heal.

Can your vision get worse after eye surgery? ›

No, your vision generally doesn't deteriorate after cataract surgery unless other problems arise, such as macular degeneration or glaucoma. In cataract surgery, the eye doctor (ophthalmologist) removes the clouded lens from your eye and replaces it with a clear, artificial lens.

How long does it take for blurry vision to go away after LASIK? ›

While you will see better the day after surgery, your vision may be a bit blurry or hazy immediately afterward. These temporary vision difficulties usually clear up after the first few weeks. However, it can take about 2 – 3 months before your vision fully stabilizes and your eyes completely heal.

Why is my vision blurry a month after LASIK? ›

Answer: Blurred vision that clears with use of artificial tears is generally caused by dry eyes. Dry eyes can last for six months after LASIK and in rare cases longer.

Is it normal to have blurry vision 6 months after LASIK? ›

Dry Eyes: Creating the LASIK flap will temporarily disrupt nerves that supply the cornea. These nerves usually regenerate in the first 3-6 months after LASIK. During this time, the eyes tend to be dry and this can cause vision to be blurred or to fluctuate.

What are the symptoms of blurred vision? ›

If you have blurred vision, the things you see will not look sharp and clear. You may experience blurred vision in both eyes or just in one eye, depending on what is causing it. Sometimes everything you look at will be blurry, while sometimes just part of your field of vision will be blurred.

What happens to the eye after surgery? ›

During the first few months after surgery, your vision may fluctuate. It may take up to three to six months for your vision to stabilize after surgery. Glare, haloes, difficulty driving at night, and other visual symptoms may also persist during this stabilization period.

Why is my vision getting worse? ›

As you get older, particularly around the age of 40-50, your eyesight ability may decline for close-up tasks such as reading. This is because the crystalline lens in your eye becomes less flexible, which makes it harder to focus on close-up objects.

Do dry eyes cause blurry vision? ›

If you have a severe case of dry eyes or you don't seek treatment, you're at risk for serious complications. One of the first problems may be blurry vision as loss of the tear film hampers the cornea's ability to focus light on the lens.

How long does it take for cornea to return its normal shape? ›

If you wear rigid contacts, your vision will usually vary for a while as your corneas change shape. Although the cornea usually returns to its natural state within three weeks, this process may take longer, and you will need to remain contact lens free until your vision and cornea stabilize.

What is corneal haze? ›

Corneal haze represents subepithelial corneal fibrosis, a manifestation of a pathological healing process. It occurs as a result of an epithelial-stromal lesion involving a break in the epithelial barrier.


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