It's frightening to wake up and discover that you can no longer see out of one or both of your eyes. Once you understand what's causing your sudden vision loss, you can pursue a course of treatment. Here are a few of the most common causes of sudden vision loss.
1. Retinal Vein Occlusion
Your body has veins that carry blood away from the retina. Retinal vein occlusion occurs when these blood vessels are blocked.
These blood vessels can be blocked due to a blood clot or build up within the arteries from fat and cholesterol. Since this blockage hinders the flow of blood, the retina is unable to transmit the necessary nerve signals to the brain for proper image transmission.
There's no treatment option to remove the blockage. However, there's usually an underlying condition that's contributing to the retinal vein occlusion, like high blood pressure, a blood thickening problem, or glaucoma. Getting this underlying problem under control will help prevent future blockages from forming.
While many people regain their vision, their vision may not be as strong as it used to be.
2. Trauma to the Eye
Another common cause of sudden vision loss is trauma to the eye. This is known as ocular trauma and it can cause permanent vision changes. Ocular trauma is often caused by the following:
- Automobile accidents
- Flying debris
- Wounds to the general face and head area
Even if trauma isn't directly to the eye, it can still damage the ocular region. For example, many people who suffer from head injuries suffer from vision loss. If you suspect ocular trauma is the cause of your sudden vision loss, it's important to seek physician care as soon as possible.
Physician care will remove any debris or chemicals that may still be in the eye. A physician can also evaluate your situation and determine the best course of treatment to restore and preserve your vision.
3. Detachment of the Retina
The retina is the portion of your eye that receives images and transmits them to the brain for the brain to decode. If the retina detaches from your eye, it can't send the information required for you to see. If left untreated, a detached retina can lead to permanent vision loss.
Even though you won't feel pain when your retina detaches, you might notice that you see flashes of light, floaters, and shadows in your field of vision. It's essential to see an eye doctor if you notice any sudden vision changes. Treatment for a detached retina usually consists of surgery or manipulation of the retina.