Condition: Loss of vision 2016-10-28T15:56:48+00:00

Loss of vision

Condition

Loss of vision can be categorised  as follows:

Sudden painful loss of vision

This is sudden loss of vision accompanied by eye pain or headache and should be examined immediately, as it may be due to a site-threatening illness.

The causes of this condition range from inflammation of the retinal arteries and migraine to a pituitary tumour or optic neuritis.

Sudden painless loss of vision

If visual loss occurs abruptly but without pain, the cause is often linked to ischemia – an blockage of the blood vessels that supply the eye. Retinal detachment or age-related macular degeneration can also cause these symptoms.

Gradual loss of vision

When vision loss is gradual, causes often vary and may be due to serious underlying conditions such as cataract, chronic glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy.

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Examination

A full visual field test and ophthalmic examination is performed to determine the underlying cause of the loss of vision. Depending on the type of vision loss, different treatments are required. In the case of neurological symptoms, an MRI may be required to complete the diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends on the cause of the vision loss:

Sudden painful loss

  • Giant cell arteritis (GCA) – High dose steroids with hospital administration
  • Optic Neuritis – Steroid therapy
  • Intracranial Hypertension – medication, diet changes or possibly surgery

Sudden painless loss

  • Retinal Detachment – Laser surgery, possibly with vitrectomy
  • Cerebrovascular Accident – medication with possible surgery
  • Vitreous Haemorrhage – Surgery depnding on the type of condition

Gradual loss

FAQs

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