Acute Disturbance/Loss of Vision

  • Gokhan GurelikEmail author
  • Huseyin Baran Ozdemir
Part of the Ocular Trauma book series (OCTRA)


Acute visual loss is an important ophthalmologic emergency that may affect patients at all ages. Diagnosis and management of acute visual loss begin with taking a careful medical history and examination. Loss of vision may affect one eye or both eyes. It can be transient or permanent. Also, visual loss can vary from blurring to complete blackness. Monocular, transient visual loss which lasts <24 h, also referred to as amaurosis fugax, is usually caused by ischemic ophthalmologic diseases such as retinal emboli, carotid artery disease, giant cell arteritis, and retinal vein occlusion. Retinal migraine, optic neuropathy, papilledema, intermittent angle closure glaucoma, spontaneous hyphema, and orbital masses can also cause monocular visual loss. Temporary visual loss can be binocular, and it is generally caused by cerebral diseases such as migraine, head trauma, seizures, and vertebrobasilar ischemia. Permanent visual loss persists >24 h and usually affects one eye. The disease which causes persistent visual loss in one eye may affect the other eye in case of specific risk factors. Retinal vascular obstructions, optic neuropathies, vitreous hemorrhage, rhegmatogenous retinal detachment, stroke, and psychogenic visual loss are the most common causes of persistent visual loss. Management of acute visual loss varies according to the diagnosis. Visual outcome and prognosis may vary depending on the cause of visual loss, patient’s risk factors, admission time to hospital, referral time, duration of diagnosis, and time to start treatment.


Acute visual loss Amaurosis fugax Transient visual loss Retinal emboli Carotid artery disease Retinal migraine Persistent visual loss Retinal artery occlusion Retinal vein occlusion Optic neuritis Giant cell arteritis Anterior optic ischemic neuropathy Vitreous hemorrhage Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment Stroke 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ophthalmology, School of MedicineGazi UniversityAnkaraTurkey

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