Overview Of Vision Disturbances
There are a variety of eye issues that all impact a person’s vision and are all classified as vision disturbances. These issues can then include blurred vision, blind spots or scotomas, halo shapes that obscure vision. As well, vision loss and blindness are the most detrimental vision issues.
Commonly Associated With
Blurred vision; Impaired vision; Vision impairment.
General Causes Of Vision Disturbances
Vision changes and problems can be caused by an array of medical conditions. Some of these conditions include:
- Night blindness
- Brain tumor
- Bleeding into the eye
- Inflammation, Eye infection, or an eye injury
- Presbyopia, or difficulty focusing on close range objects. This problem most often noticeably emerges in your early to mid-40s.
- Diabetic retinopathy (eye disease). This can develop from negative side effects from unregulated diabetes.
- Temporal arteritis: Inflammation of an artery in the brain that supplies blood to the optic nerve.
- Migraine headaches: Spots of light, halos, or zigzag patterns that appear before the start of the headache.
Serious Vision Disturbance Conditions
- Macular degeneration, which can take the form of central vision loss; blurred vision that is particularly present while reading; distorted vision in the form of straight lines that appear wavy; and also seeing colors that look faded. Most forms of blindness occur in people over the age of 60.
- Cataracts, or a cloudiness over eye lenses. This will cause poor night-time vision, halos around lights, and sensitivity to a glare. Cataracts are common in people over the age of 60.
- Glaucoma, which is an increased pressure in the eye. This is most often painless. Vision will generally be normal at at the start, but over time with the condition, you can develop poor night-time vision, blind spots, and an overall loss of vision in either eye. However, some types of glaucoma can happen suddenly. A sudden emergence of glaucoma is a medical emergency and should be examined by a medical professional as soon as possible.
- Floaters, which are particles that drift inside the eye. These can also be a sign of retinal detachment.
- Retinal detachment occurs when an optic nerve detaches itself and may look like a shade or dark curtain that is obstructing part of your field of vision. Some other symptoms of this may also appear as floaters, sparks, or flashes of light in your vision.
- Optic neuritis is an inflammation of the optic nerve, due to an infection or multiple sclerosis. You may then feel pain when moving your eye or try to touch it through the eyelid.
Exams & Tests
A specialized medical provider, like an ophthalmologist, can observe your vision, eye movements or pupils, the retina – or back of your eye, and your general eye pressure. An overall medical evaluation can be needed to identify the causes of any vision disturbances.
It will be helpful to describe any symptoms accurately to a provider. Questions like these are help to considered when identifying any visual disturbance:
- Is it constant or does it come and go?
- How often does it occur? How long does it last?
- When does it occur? Evening? Morning?
- Is there anything that makes it better? Worse?
- How has (any health problem) affected your vision to your knowledge?
- Is there blurring, halos around lights, flashing lights, or blind spots in your eyes?
- Do colors seem faded to you ?
- Do you have pain in an area of either eyes?
- Are you sensitive to light?
- Is there tearing or discharge in your eye?
- Do you feel dizziness, or does it seem like the room is spinning?
- Do you have double vision?
A provider may also ask about anyvision disturbances you have had in the past. Some of these questions could include:
- Have you ever had eye surgery or injuries?
- Have you recently traveled out of the country?
- Has this experience ever happened before?
- Are there new things you could be allergic to, such as soaps, sprays, dust of any kind, lotions, creams, cosmetics, laundry products, paint, or pets?
A provider may also ask about your general health and family history:
- Have you been diagnosed with any medical conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure?
- Do you have any known allergies?
- When did you last have a general checkup?
- Are you taking any medicines?
- What kinds of eye problems do your family members currently have?
The following tests may also be performed to determine any causes:
- Refraction (test for glasses)
- Tonometry (eye pressure test)
- Dilated eye exam
- Slit-lamp examination
Treatment Of Vision Disturbances
General treatments depend on the overall cause of vision disturbance. However, surgery can be needed for some more severe conditions.