Sudden vision loss or other significant changes in vision are medical emergencies, even if temporary. Many causes of sudden vision loss are serious. Prompt medical care may help prevent permanent damage. Call 9-1-1 for immediate care.
At Dignity Health, we provide compassionate and timely care for patients with sudden vision loss in Arizona. Emergency services are offered at our locations in Ahwatukee, Mesa, Glendale, Goodyear, Surprise, Gilbert, Laveen, Phoenix, and Chandler. Our online waiting service, InQuicker™, can reduce your waiting time in the ER.
Sudden Vision Loss Symptoms
Sudden vision loss can be total or partial. The typical signs and symptoms of sudden vision loss include:
- Total inability to see in one or both eyes
- Blurred vision
- Reduced visual field, such as feeling like you’re looking through a keyhole or, in contrast, that the center of your vision is blocked and you can only see the edges
- Black area obscuring part of your field of vision
Sudden vision loss is not necessarily accompanied by pain, but sudden loss of vision with pain can help your health care provider diagnose the underlying cause. Even if you don’t have pain, you should seek treatment as soon as possible.
What Causes Sudden Vision Loss?
The causes of sudden vision loss are almost always serious in nature. The most common causes of vision loss in one or both eyes are:
- Acute glaucoma (s)everely elevated intraocular pressure
- Eye injury or foreign object in the eye
- Detached retina
- Hemorrhage (b)leeding inside the eye
- Blockage of one of the arteries or veins that supply blood to the eye
- Macular hole (treatable damage to the most critical region of the retina)
- Optic nerve problems
- Inflammation of structures within the eye
Dignity Health emergency room doctors have 24-hour, on-site access to state-of-the-art digital diagnostic imaging equipment and laboratory services to help determine the cause of sudden vision loss.
Treatment & Prevention of Sudden Vision Loss
Treatment and prevention strategies for sudden vision loss include identifying the cause of the problem and treating it. Common treatments for sudden vision loss include surgery, such as repairing a detached retina, and medications, such as anti-inflammatories.
If the cause of vision loss is preventable, your doctor will advise you on how to avoid a second episode of vision loss. For example, uncontrolled diabetes can damage blood vessels and cause sudden loss of vision. Better control of diabetes with medications and lifestyle changes will help slow vision loss and blindness.
Your sight is precious, so do not wait to get medical attention if you or someone you know experiences sudden vision loss. Prompt treatment might save your eyesight. Dignity Health provides exceptional diagnosis and the latest treatment for sudden vision loss in Arizona.