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jonsblond's avatar

Have you experienced sudden vision loss?

Asked by jonsblond (38527 points ) August 16th, 2014

I lost vision in my right eye for a few minutes yesterday. I get migraines with aura, and this has happened to me once before.

I experience visual disturbances at least once weekly, but I’ve only experienced sudden vision loss twice. It is such a terrifying experience. My greatest pleasures come from visual perceptions. I fear I may lose my eyesight one day. Macular degeneration runs in the family.

Can you tell me about your experience and share how you coped. What caused the sudden vision loss? Are you afraid of repeated occurrences?

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14 Answers

filmfann's avatar

In 1999 I had a cough attack, following running to my car in the rain. After coughing, I was completely blind in both eyes. That lasted about 15 seconds or so, but it was terrifying because I was driving on the freeway in the rain. Doctors said my eyes had gone into spasm, due to a sudden drop in blood pressure, and we later determined that to be caused by a caffine allergy.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

My heart goes out to you. Losing one’s sight, even if from one eye and only temporarily, is scary.

Please make an appointment with a doctor. The symptoms described sound like there can be some other factors that are contributing to the temporarily loss of sight in one eye. Let the doctor know of your family history of Macular Degeneration.

pleiades's avatar

@filmfann That’s happened to me before but I can’t remember where or when… very swiftly and slow vision coming back

El_Cadejo's avatar

I started losing vision in my right eye over the course of a few days before. It was pretty scary. Went to the doctors and turned out I just had an infection. After 2 days of medication (which sucked, cause I had to literally put a neosporin consistency substance on my eyeball) it was back to normal.

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DrasticDreamer's avatar

I just recently had very strange visual disturbances in my left eye, followed by an extremely fast onset migraine that was horrible. I was terrified when it started happening, enough to almost have a panic attack (it was in the shape of a C and eventually took up the entire top, corner, and bottom of the left side on my eye, with black and white zigzag moving lines), so I immediately started researching online. When I realized that some people with migraines (I’ve had them since I was little) simply experience this on a regular basis, I calmed down somewhat. However, the most I’ve had in terms of visual disturbances prior to this experience were just little white flashes of light.

To be on the safe side, I just had an appointment with my doctor and she’s sending me to an ophthalmologist since I only had one, and haven’t had more since then. She wants to make sure everything is normal, since sometimes it can be indicative of more serious problems. I’m slightly nervous, but to get myself through it, I’m telling myself it’s most likely because of my migraines.

I’m sorry you’re going through this. Have you considered making an appointment with your doctor?

dxs's avatar

Every once in a while I’ll get this weird phenomenon where I can’t really see straight. White fan-like things will appear all over my sight, so I can’t focus on anything. It lasts for a while, even after eating and drinking. I hate it so much because it happens at inconvenient times like when I’m at school, so I have to try and use my peripheral vision to see and even that isn’t good enough. I just end up waiting it out, but I definitely have fears of it happening. I don’t know what causes it.

janbb's avatar

My cousin had a detached retina and described it as a curtain descending over his eye, but that didn’t go away until he had surgery.

Dutchess_III's avatar

When I was younger these brightly colored geometric shapes started closing in on my eyesight. They were all primary colors, all different shapes and they just kept closing in and closing in. I went and sat on the floor where my small children were playing and imprinted that on my mind, thinking that might be the last thing I would ever see. (Yes, I can still see them clearly in my mind.) It was really, really scary….but then they slowly retreated.
I asked my Dr. about it. He asked if I had a headache afterward. I said, “Well, kind of a tiny one. I’m not prone to headaches.”
He said what I experienced is usually followed by a migraine.

talljasperman's avatar

When I stand up too fast I lose my vision and pass out.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I had a headacheless migraine once, in the 90s. I panicked, because I had never had a migraine, and didn’t know it could occur without pain. My peripheral vision just sort of blurred out, from the edge inward. I went to see my GP right away, and she explained what it was; symptoms were fairly classic. I was incredibly relieved, because I thought it must be a stroke or something. She said it might recur, or might not. It never did.

@Dutchess_III I’m not prone to headaches, either. Interesting.

JLeslie's avatar

It’s never happened to me, but I know I would be freaked out and terrified for it to happen again. Sudden blindness can happen from a hereditary disease, diabetes, detached retina, just to name a few. One of the sudden blindness inherited diseases (I can’t remember the name) the person still has some peripheral vision. Glaucoma the opposite happens and the peripheral vision starts to narrow.

Since you have an explanation of the migraines I guess the question in my mind is, is there any need to treat it, or is there no risk of permanent loss of sight? I have no idea, I don’t know anything about vision loss related to migraines.

chinchin31's avatar

Nope.. but I seriously think you should consider going for a brain x-ray. Get it checked out.

I had a flat mate that suffered something like this and it turned out he had a brain tumour.

bomyne's avatar

I have, once… about… 6 years ago now, i think… I had just woken up about 10 minutes before when everything went dark, as if someone had turned off the TV. It lasted for bout 5 minutes. I saw the eye doctor the next day and he says my vision is 20/20… and the GP couldn’t explain it either. 6 years on and it hasn’t happened again.

It was scary at the time, but the worst part is that no one could explain why it happened. I have to admit though… Until your post, i wasn’t afraid of a recurrence but now I’m a little wary.

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