Visual Disturbances

You have had a disturbance in your vision. This may be caused by various conditions, such as:

  • Migraines. Migraine headaches are often preceded by a disturbance in vision. Blind spots or light flashes are followed by a headache. This type of visual disturbance is temporary. It does not damage the eye.

  • Glaucoma. This is caused by increased pressure in the eye. Symptoms include haziness, blurred vision, or seeing rainbow colored circles when looking at bright lights. Partial or complete visual loss can occur. You may or may not experience eye pain. Visual loss may be gradual or sudden and is irreversible. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness.

  • Retina problems. Vision will be reduced if the retina becomes detached or if there is a circulation problem as with diabetes, high blood pressure, or a mini-stroke. Symptoms include seeing "floaters," flashes of light, or shadows, as if a curtain has fallen over your eye.

  • Optic nerve problems. The main nerve in your eye can be damaged by redness, soreness, and swelling (inflammation), poor circulation, drugs, and toxins.

It is very important to have a complete exam done by a specialist to determine the exact cause of your eye problem. The specialist may recommend medicines or surgery, depending on the cause of the problem. This can help prevent further loss of vision or reduce the risk of having a stroke. Contact the caregiver to whom you have been referred and arrange for follow-up care right away.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • Your vision gets worse.

  • You develop severe headaches.

  • You have any weakness or numbness in the face, arms, or legs.

  • You have any trouble speaking or walking.