Amaurosis Fugax Definition, Causes & More

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By somerset
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Reviewed: dr. vanta
Article Sources Article Sources
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Medical Expert Medical Expert

Amaurosis fugax describes transient vision loss in one or both eyes, when vision is lost for a temporary period under 24 hours, usually lasting a few seconds to few minutes. This is caused by a lack of blood flow to the retina.1‘Amaurosis Fugax: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.’ MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000784.htm.

Amaurosis fugax is not itself a disease, but a symptom of other conditions. It is often one of the first signs of a stroke, so individuals experiencing vision loss should always seek out medical care immediately, even if no other symptoms are present during the loss of vision. While some causes, like migraines, are relatively benign, other causes are more serious.

1. Blood Clot in the Veins

The formation of blood clots that reduce or halt the flow of blood to the retinal veins is referred to as retinal vein occlusion. These blood clots can cause permanent damage to the eye and even blindness if left untreated. There are two types of these clots: If they occur in a large vein, it’s a central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO), while clots in smaller veins are branch retinal vein occlusions (BRVO).3‘Mending Vision in Patients with Eye Vein Clots.’ National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 22 Apr. 2016, www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/mending-vision-patients-eye-vein-clots.

Laser therapy and injections can both be used to treat BRVOs, but there are currently limited options available for CRVOs. However, initial trials of injections show positive signs for CRVOs.

Amaurosis Fugax

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