C3 - Vision Loss - Introduction
No me gusta!
The flash player was unable to start. If you have a flash blocker then try unblocking the flash content - it should be visible below.
C3 - Vision Loss
Jessica Mason MD, Stuart Swadron MD, Mel Herbert MD
Peer Reviewer Nicholas Testa, MD
* Drug doses are a guide only, always check a second source and follow local practice guidelines
Take Home Points
- Most causes of acute visual loss are serious and require emergent consultation with an ophthalmologist and/or a neurologist
- A complete neurological exam is essential in patients with acute vision loss, as it may represent a stroke syndrome
- Patients presenting with an acute onset of “flashers” and “floaters” should be evaluated for retinal detachment (RD)
In this episode of C3, we cover a particularly frightening presenting complaint: acute vision loss. It is the third in our recent series on the eye; we recently covered the painful red eye and eye trauma. Although complete or near complete blindness in one or both eyes is relatively uncommon, due to the significant impact it can have on quality of life, it always deserves an immediate evaluation and prompt specialty consultation.
In this episode, we focus on the entities that typically result in a complete blindness, either in a portion of the visual field or its entirety. This is in contrast to a myriad of other more common visual complaints, such as blurry vision (often a metabolic problem) and double vision (often a neurological problem). The differential diagnosis for both of these presentations is somewhat broader. Nonetheless, there is considerable overlap among all of these presentations and often it is only after a more complete history and examination that we are able to determine the direction of our evaluation.
After a brief list of the most critical diagnoses to identify, we explore the specific features to look for with each.