Colds and vision problems

I have a head cold, and my vision is blurry! Yikes!

February 27, 2024
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Read on! You might find comfort in knowing that what you’re experiencing can be a normal part of dealing with a head cold. And we’ll give you some practical tips to alleviate discomfort or perhaps avoid a cold in the first place.

The Common Cold Can Majorly Impact Your Eyes.

A head cold can temporarily affect your vision, leading to slight blurriness or discomfort. This is because a head cold can cause sinus pressure and congestion, impacting the pressure in and around your eyes.

The fluctuating mucus levels in your system during a cold may cause dry, tired, and itchy eyes. The discomfort can be remedied with eye drops and a warm washcloth on your eyes.

Is the Vision Trouble Temporary?

Generally, once the cold resolves and the sinus pressure diminishes, your vision should return to its usual state. This may take a few days or weeks, depending on the severity and duration of your cold.

What Should We Be Concerned About?

Vision problems during colds

While temporary blurriness isn’t usually a cause for alarm, there are a few symptoms that should prompt you to seek medical attention:

  1. Severe pain in the eyes: If you experience significant discomfort or pain in your eyes, it could indicate a more serious issue.
  2. Signs of infection: Symptoms like eye redness, discharge, or the sensation of something in your eye could indicate an eye infection requiring treatment. Conjunctivitis (pink eye) can occur with colds or a sore throat.
  3. Prolonged vision changes: If your vision doesn’t return to normal after your cold resolves, or if you notice significant changes, it’s important to see Doctor Van Amerongen.

Five Steps You Can Take to Reduce Vision Issues:

  • Connection between vision problems and coldsStay hydrated: Drinking fluids can help thin mucus, potentially reducing sinus pressure.
  • Use a humidifier: Adding moisture to the air can help relieve congestion and sinus pressure.
  • Warm compresses: Applying a warm compress to your face can help relieve sinus pressure and congestion, indirectly improving your vision.
  • Nasal saline spray: This can help with decongestion, potentially reducing the impact on your vision.
  • Rest: Giving your body enough rest can expedite recovery from a cold, potentially minimizing the duration of vision issues.

Here are five things you can do to avoid eye infections:

  • Wash your hands often.
  • Don’t touch your eyes.
  • Change your pillowcases often.
  • Don’t share towels, washcloths, or eye makeup.
  • Wash your hands before inserting or removing contacts, and clean them properly.

If you experience serious or lingering vision problems, consult your Loveland eye care professional, Doctor Kenneth Van Amerongen, to rule out causes other than the common cold. If it is ‘just a cold,’ we can help you manage symptoms like dry eyes, irritation, or temporary vision loss so that you can start feeling better today.

Find relief. And stay healthy this cold season!

Our goal for you at Van’s Eyecare is healthy eyes and clear comfortable vision.