Flickering vision (scintillating scotoma), flashes of light, bright spots, blurred or distorted images, blackening before the eyes, visual-field restrictions or tunnel vision – visual impairments are diverse in their nature and complexity. Here, visual impairment can be transitory and disappear by itself, or can persist for a long time and require a thorough investigation by the ophthalmologist.
Not every visual impairment requires therapy. What treatment is required for a visual impairment, if any at all, is decided by the specialist based on the diagnosis.
In the case of flickering or blackening before the eyes, the cause is often hypoglycaemia. Here it can help to eat a piece of sugar or drink a sugary drink.
If discomfort and visual impairments continue, the cause could be the following:
- Anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (AION): this describes an acute circulatory impairment of the optic disc
- A retinal arterial occlusion: this is the closure of the central artery in the retina
- Bleeding in the vitreous body of the eye
- A retinal detachment
- An inflammation of the optic nerve
- A stroke or striation
- An inflammation of the arteries in the head
In the case of painful, severe visual impairments, the cause could be the following:
- A case of glaucoma
- A malformation of the cornea
- An inflammation of the uvea (uveitis)
In order to provide a clear diagnosis, a personal discussion is extremely important in addition to a thorough examination. In the process, the specialist may explore the following details:
- How long have you had the visual impairment?
- Has the visual impairment deteriorated since then?
- When do the visual impairments occur?
- How exactly do the visual impairments present themselves?
- Is your visual field restricted? Do you see light flashes, blurring or double?
- Do you have any other discomfort at the same time, such as sickness or headaches?
Depending on the direction of the diagnosis, other methodologies such as eye tests, blood tests, X-rays, ultrasound examinations and even neurological investigations may also be employed during the consultation.