Sudden Blindness

Causes of Sudden Blindness

Sudden blindness, also known medically as “acute blindness,” can be quite terrifying and is nothing to overlook even if sight returns after a short period.  A blindness, which comes on unexpectedly and without explanation, is a sign of a serious underlying condition and you and your loved ones should treat it as an emergency on the same order as a heart attack.  The causes of this condition can range from damage to the eye to a stroke.  If left untreated, the sufferer could die.  

 

If you or someone you love has a bout of sudden blindness, GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM IMMEDIATELY!  DELAY COULD BE FATAL OR COULD LEAD TO PERMANENT BLINDNESS!

With that said, let us continue to a description of the most likely causes of such a condition:

Eye Injury

Of course, the first and mostly likely cause of blindness is an injury to the eye.  If you have had a foreign object enter your eye, you probably know about it and know that you will need to see a doctor.

Glaucoma

Although glaucoma typically takes holds slowly over the course of years rather than days, there is a slightly rarer form of glaucoma that tends to affect those who suffer from far-sightedness and that may cause sudden blindness.  This kind of glaucoma involves a barrier that keeps the natural fluids of the iris from escaping and leads to inflammation.  Blindness occurs when the inflammation impinges on the optic nerve pinching off sight.  If not treated immediately, the damage can be so severe that the victim remains blind even afterward getting it treated.

The best prognosis occurs when the patient seeks medical help as soon as they notice any kind of difference to his or her vision.

Detachment of the Retina

Another condition that can lead to sudden blindness is when your retina (the lens at the back of your eye that actually captures the light) tears loose from the rest of your eyelid, allowing fluids to seep into the crevice.  This condition can lead to optical damage and blindness if the sufferer does not get the proper medical help as soon as possible.

Detachment can occur for several reasons, with injury being common but not necessarily primary.  Those who are near sighted and in their 30’s or 40’s are the most vulnerable populations for this condition.

Hypertension

Because of the mind-body connection, hypertension can also cause the individual to go suddenly blind.  Typically, when this happens the sufferer is undergoing some sort of severe, tension-inducing situation.

Stroke

Sudden blindness is sometimes one of the very first symptoms at the beginning of a stroke.  In some cases, the blood clot that is causing the stroke will pinch the optic nerves causing strange visual sensations such as flashing lights or other effects.  Sometimes the patient will lose the ability to see altogether however.

 

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death for Americans and can do serious damage if not treated in time.  Thus, this is yet another reason to seek help as soon as you notice any strange changes to your vision.

Uveitus

Another rare condition that causes sudden blindness is uveitus, the inflammation of the middle section of the eye.  The reason for this inflammation is not fully known.

These are just some of the possible causes of sudden blindness.  As you can see there is a great deal of variation in the causes, but the course of action you should take is the same: get to an emergency room as soon as you can.