MSD Manual

Please confirm that you are not located inside the Russian Federation

honeypot link
Quick Facts

Sudden Vision Loss

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision May 2021| Content last modified May 2021
Click here for the Professional Version
Get the full details

What is sudden vision loss?

Sudden vision loss is when you lose some or all of your vision quickly. The loss can happen within a few minutes or over a few days. Vision loss differs from blurry vision Blurry Vision Blurry vision is when you don't see as clearly or sharply as you once did. It's the most common vision problem. Blurry vision is different from loss of vision. Loss of vision means you become... read more . Blurry vision is when you don't see as clearly as you once did.

  • The vision loss may be in one or both eyes

  • The vision loss may affect the whole eye or just part of the eye

  • You may also have eye pain, depending on what's causing your sudden vision loss

Sudden vision loss is an emergency—go to the hospital right away.

What causes sudden vision loss?

Most common causes:

Less common causes:

Some problems cause total vision loss. The same problems may cause only partial vision loss if they affect only part of your eye.

When should I see a doctor?

Go to the hospital right away if you have sudden vision loss. Most of the time, the cause is serious.

What will happen at my doctor visit?

Doctors will ask about your symptoms and health history.

Doctors will:

  • Check your vision with an eye chart

  • Check how your eyes react to light

  • See whether your eyes can follow a moving object

  • Put some liquid drops in your eye (you may have a burning feeling that lasts a few seconds)

  • Look into your eye using a special magnifying light (the light is very bright)

  • Measure the pressure in your eye (there are many ways to do this, but none of them hurt)

  • Check whether you can see colors

They may also check other parts of your body, such as your skin or nervous system.

What tests will I need?

How do doctors treat sudden vision loss?

Doctors will treat the problem that's causing your vision loss.

In some cases, treatment won't bring back your vision, but getting treatment quickly can help protect the vision in your other eye.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
Click here for the Professional Version

OTHER TOPICS IN THIS CHAPTER

Others also read
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID

Test your knowledge

Anemia of Chronic Disease
Anemia is often caused by chronic disease, defined as any disease lasting 3 or more months. Autoimmune disorders, in which the body attacks its own tissues, are a common cause of this type of anemia. Which of the following autoimmune disorders most often causes anemia?
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID

Also of Interest

Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
TOP