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Is Sudden Dimming of Vision Common in Adults?

Is Sudden Dimming of Vision Common in Adults?

As you get older, it’s not uncommon for your vision to be clear one day and blurry the next. But is it normal to have sudden dimming of vision? 

Let’s find out. 

Is sudden dimming of vision common in adults?

Sudden dimming of vision isn’t standard in adults or children, but it can happen. Think of this symptom as having grey areas in your vision or dark patches that make it hard to see. Usually, it happens due to harm to the optic nerve or retina. 

Your optic nerve links your eyes to your brain, helping you perceive images. If your nerve puffs up or is harmed in any way, your vision may be affected, and optic neuritis is quick to follow. 

What does optic neuritis mean? It’s a leading cause of sudden dimming of vision, which happens when your optic nerve undergoes inflammation. Research shows that women ages 20 to 50 may have a higher chance of developing this condition. 

In addition to having darkened vision, some visuals may appear out of focus, and colors might be less apparent. Sometimes, you might also have discomfort behind your eye. If you experience any of these symptoms, especially in combination, we recommend contacting your optometrist

Retinal problems can also cause dim vision. Your retina works with your optic nerve in the process of transforming light into visuals, making it essential for your eyesight. 

The center of your eye contains vitreous, which goes on your retina. On occasion, vitreous can float through your eye, making you see darkened materials of various sizes. If you ever notice a greater abundance of these shapes, along with random patches of light, you might have retinal detachment.  


You may have a greater likelihood of getting a detached retina if you experience any of the following eye issues:

  • Myopia (a refractive error)
  • Other retinal problems
  • Prior retinal detachment in the opposite eye


Having a recent surgery for an eye disease, such as cataracts, may also elevate your chances of retinal detachment. In addition, cataracts themselves can lead to sudden dimming of vision in adults.

Cataracts often occur due to getting older. They can make your vision cloudy in one eye or both eyes, which can make things challenging to see at different distances. It can also become harder to make out details during the late hours of the day, and you might not have the same color perception abilities you used to. 

Being around UV light for too long without the right eyewear, having diabetes mellitus, and lacking antioxidants in your diet all may increase your odds of getting cataracts. Contact your eye doctor today if you think you’re at risk. 

Can you get dim vision in one eye?

Yes, you can get dim vision in one eye. Cataracts, optic neuritis, and retinal detachment can affect a single eye or both eyes. 

If you’re experiencing any dim vision, in either eye, we recommend writing down any other symptoms you may have and speaking with your eye doctor right away. They’ll likely advise you to come in for a comprehensive eye exam. 

Summary: Is it normal for adults to have sudden dimming of vision?

While sudden dimming of vision isn’t typical in adults, it does happen on occasion. Usually, this symptom indicates an urgent eye concern, such as:

  • Cataracts
  • Optic neuritis
  • Retinal detachment 

If you ever have darkened vision, it’s best to consult an eye doctor. This symptom can occur in either or both of your eyes, and it can affect your vision over time. By having an optical evaluation, you can get the treatment you need at a fast timeline. 


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