Temporary Visual Loss – Amaurosis Fugax

Temporary Visual Loss - Amaurosis Fugax
Temporary Visual Loss - Amaurosis Fugax

Overview Of Temporary Visual Loss – Amaurosis Fugax

Temporary visual loss – Amaurosis Fugax is also commonly used with the term amaurosis fugax. Amaurosis fugax is a temporary loss of vision in one or both eyes due to a lack of blood flow to the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eyeball.

Commonly Associated With

Transient monocular blindness; Transient monocular visual loss; TMVL; Transient monocular visual loss; Transient binocular visual loss; TBVL; Temporary visual loss – amaurosis fugax

Causes Of Temporary Visual Loss – Amaurosis Fugax

Amaurosis fugax is not itself a disease. Instead, it is a sign of other disorders. Amaurosis fugax can occur from different causes. One cause is when a blood clot or a piece of plaque blocks an artery in the eye. The blood clot or plaque usually travels from a larger artery, such as the carotid artery in the neck or an artery in the heart, to an artery in the eye.

Plaque is a hard substance that forms when fat, cholesterol and other substances build up in the walls of arteries.

Risk factors include:

Amaurosis fugax can also occur because of other disorders such as:

Symptoms Of Temporary Visual Loss – Amaurosis Fugax

Symptoms include the sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes. This usually lasts for a few seconds to several minutes. Afterward, vision returns to normal. Some people describe the loss of vision as a gray or black shade coming down over the eye.

Exams & Tests

The health care provider will perform a complete eye and nervous system exam. In some cases, an eye exam will reveal a bright spot where the clot is blocking the retinal artery.

Tests that may be done include:

Treatment Of Temporary Visual Loss – Amaurosis Fugax

Treatment of amaurosis fugax depends on its cause. When amaurosis fugax is due to a blood clot or plaque, the concern is to prevent a stroke.

The following can help prevent a stroke:

  • Avoid fatty foods and follow a healthy, low-fat diet. DO NOT drink more than 1 to 2 alcoholic drinks a day.
  • Exercise regularly: 30 minutes a day if you are not overweight; 60 to 90 minutes a day if you are overweight.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Most people should aim for a blood pressure below 120 to 130/80 mm Hg. If you have diabetes or have had a stroke, your doctor may tell you to aim for lower blood pressure.
  • If you have diabetes, heart disease, or hardening of the arteries, your LDL (bad) cholesterol should be lower than 70 mg/dL.
  • Follow your doctor’s treatment plans if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or heart disease.

Your doctor may also recommend:

  • No treatment for amaurosis fugax. You may only need regular visits to check the health of your heart and carotid arteries.
  • Aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), or other blood-thinning drugs to lower your risk for stroke.
  • If a large part of the carotid artery appears blocked, carotid endarterectomy surgery is done to remove the blockage. The decision to do surgery is also based on your overall health.