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If you experience sudden blindness, you should visit a medical professional immediately. Temporary blindness typically occurs in only one eye, and it lasts for a few minutes. It may be a complete loss of vision or an extreme blurriness. Because it goes away so quickly, you may shrug it off as a minor incident and go on the rest of your day as if there is no problem, but by doing this you may be ignoring a severe condition.

Temporary blindness can be a sudden symptom of conditions such as stroke, diabetes, sickle-cell anemia, and glaucoma.

WHAT DO I DO IF I EXPERIENCE SUDDEN VISION LOSS?

If you suddenly lose vision in one or both of your eyes, try not to panic. Sudden vision loss is not painful, so you shouldn’t stress over pain it may cause. When you experience this, you should visit a health care professional immediately. If someone else is available to help you, you should have them drive you to the hospital in case your vision fails again. If your vision doesn’t return after a few minutes or shows no sign of returning, you should call for an ambulance to get the help you need without posing a risk to yourself or other drivers on the road.

WHAT WILL THE DOCTOR DO ABOUT MY TEMPORARY BLINDNESS?

Since temporary blindness is usually the result of a blood or heart problem, your doctor will run a CT scan or an MRI to view your blood vessels and brain for any clogs. Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure and scan your heart’s efficiency at pumping blood.

In many cases, prescription medications can help regulate your blood pressure. Smokers are encouraged to quit as sudden blindness is directly linked to blood pressure problems. If your condition is more serious, your doctor may perform surgery to unblock a blood vessel.

WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER SEEING THE DOCTOR?

Make sure you take care of your body! As mentioned before, if you smoke you need to quit or it is likely you will experience the same problem, perhaps worse the next time it happens. Eat heart-healthy foods, maintain an exercise routine, and learn to manage your stress levels. If you drink alcohol, you should ask your doctor what a healthy level of consumption for you would be.

Are you concerned that your vision problems may be the sign of a more serious condition? Please contact Silverstein Eye Care Centers to make an appointment for an eye exam. We can serve you at our convenient location in Independence/Kansas City at (816) 358-3600.

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