Friday, June 3, 2011

Sudden Change in vision?

A change in your vision can happen in the blink of an eye. That is no pun, no joke, it is a serious matter to be dealt with as an emergency.

My blindness was caused by blood clots, until December 2001 I did not know of antiphospholipid anti-body syndrome (APS). APS is an auto immune disorder which is related to Lupus, it manifests itself as a long term propensity to form blood clots. My first was at work in the UK I was shelving stock in Tesco when suddenly I had a severe pain in my right eye, blurring of vision in that eye and a severe headache. Sadly I ignored it, for several weeks, when I did see my doctor he immediately saw it as an emergency, but I had waited too long and lost my vision in the right eye almost completely.

The clot had moved into the central retinal vein and blocked the blood supply to the retina. By the time the pain had occured it was already almost too late to react. The pain was the blood pressure rising in the eye and by then retinal nerve cells were dying.

The danger is that the pressure also blowsup blood vessels which distort like stretched balloons. This damage causes other bodily reactions, new blood vessels grow to replace the damaged ones. This in turn produces high internal pressure in the eye leading to reduced blood flow risking further clots.

If you have the symptom of rapidly blurring vision at any time, seek immediate medical attention. Time is of the essence, waiting is much too costly in terms of long term vision damage. Also insist that your doctor looks for the reasons for the vision problem. Disorders such as APS are more common than one might think, some reports put the numbers of sufferers at 1 in 500, most of whom are undiagnosed, being undiagnosed risks repeat blood clots in the other eye, or death by stroke or heart attack.

Many doctors only look for signs of diabetes, which can also cause sudden blindness along with the use of some medicines such as Viagra or some asthma drugs. Make sure your doctor is aware of all your treatments and medications as well as looking for non-diabetic causes such as APS or Sickle Cell for the loss of vision.

A central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) is not the end of the world, it will however mean a change in your life. Once it happens there is only a small chance of returning to pre-CRVO vision levels, treatment must be quickly sought and received. If you can see a doctor in minutes it is all the better at most 24 hours will cause some permanent damage, longer and permanent damage is almost assured.

The article below may be purchased from Amazon.com via my affiliate link:

Central retinal vein occlusion in sickle cell disease.(Case Report): An article from: Southern Medical Journal