Temporary Causes of Blindness and Blind Spots

When most people think of visiting an emergency eye doctor in Pittsburgh, PA, they think of things like traumatic wounds to the eye. However, a vision health emergency can actually be less obvious. This is the case when it comes to sudden changes in visual capabilities. From blind spots to temporary instances of blindness, any major vision changes should be treated as an emergency. Take a look at a few causes of temporary blindness and blind spots.

Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches have the ability to cause changes in your vision. Many migraine sufferers report having light sensitivity, but some people can also experience temporary changes in visual capabilities. An ocular migraine, which affects the retina, can cause short-term vision loss.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is one of the most common causes of temporary blindness. A spike in blood pressure affects the blood vessels that feed oxygenated blood to the retina and other parts of the eye. If this blood supply is disrupted, you may see spots in your vision or even temporary blindness in the most severe cases.

Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma

When fluid in the eye is not capable of flowing as it should, it causes a buildup of pressure. This condition is what is medically referred to as acute angle-closure glaucoma. If the pressure within the eye is not treated immediately, you could be facing permanent vision loss. Signs of acute angle-closure glaucoma include blurred vision, halos around lights, and eye pain.

Talk to a Pittsburgh, PA Eye Doctor About Vision Concerns

Any major changes in your vision are a sign that something is wrong, and a Pittsburgh, PA eye doctor needs to take a look. Have you experienced blind spots or changes in your vision? Reach out to Lappen Eye Care to schedule an appointment.

What Are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a serious condition that, if left untreated, can cause permanent blindness. The only way to protect your vision from glaucoma is to seek treatment from an eye doctor in the Pittsburgh area.

Seeing an eye doctor and getting treatment as early as possible can help save your vision. Knowing the symptoms of the signs of glaucoma is important, so you’ll know how to protect yourself from this serious problem.

Early Stages

Unfortunately, in the earliest stages of glaucoma, many people have no symptoms at all. During the early stages, the damage may be occurring slowly and without patient awareness.

Depending on the type of glaucoma affecting the patient, they may also experience one or more of the following:

  • Severe pain in the eyes
  • Redness in the eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Foggy vision
  • Dilated pupils
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Halos around lights

Some types of glaucoma can seem to come on very suddenly, with permanent damage to the vision following shortly after. If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact your eye doctor immediately or go to the emergency room.

Later Stages

If glaucoma is left untreated, it can lead to permanent vision loss. Vision loss from glaucoma is not reversible.

Why It’s Important to See the Eye Doctor

While glaucoma can’t be cured, it can be treated, and in many cases, vision loss can be avoided. This is why it’s important to see an eye doctor on a regular basis, and get checked for glaucoma periodically. If your eye doctor detects glaucoma, it’s important to get glaucoma treatment in the Pittsburgh area. Getting glaucoma treatment can help you manage this condition and avoid blindness and other permanent damage. Call Lappen Eye Care today to make an appointment for an examination today.

Am I At Risk for Glaucoma?

Are you at risk for glaucoma? You might be and not even know it. Glaucoma is a condition that you might develop without ever realizing it, until permanent damage is done to your eyesight. If you’re at risk for glaucoma, it’s very important to see your eye doctor in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area. Only your eye doctor can catch glaucoma in its earliest stages. Catching it early can help you avoid potential loss of eyesight.

Glaucoma Risk Factors

Everyone can get glaucoma, but some people are at higher risk than others. Genetics is one risk factor. If members of your family have been diagnosed with glaucoma, you may be at higher risk as well.

Below are some more risk factors that can make you more likely to get glaucoma.

  • Age. People over age 60 are more likely to get glaucoma.
  • Eyesight. If you’re extremely near-sighted or far-sighted, you may be more likely to get glaucoma.
  • Medication. People who take corticosteroid medications (especially for a long time) are at increased risk to get glaucoma.
  • Health. Some conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease put patients at an increased risk of getting glaucoma.

For a full list of risk factors, speak with your eye doctor at Lappen Eye Care.

How to Know If You Have Glaucoma

Since the early stages of glaucoma may have no symptoms, the only way to tell if you have glaucoma may be to get an eye exam in Pittsburgh. At Lappen Eye Care, we provide eye exams for patients in the Pittsburgh area. During the eye exams, we’ll check your eyes for glaucoma and other chronic conditions that could dramatically impact your eye health. To make an appointment, call today.

What Are the Early Signs of Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease that causes vision loss due to pressure on the optic nerves. The two most prevalent types of glaucoma are angle-closure glaucoma (ACG) and primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). Each has unique symptoms and treatment approaches.

Diagnosing and Treating ACG

This type of glaucoma causes angle closure in multiple areas, leading to optic nerve damage and eye pressure. Complete or total vision loss may follow. The most common symptoms associated with ACG include:

  • Blurry or hazy vision
  • Seeing rainbow-colored circles when exposed to bright lights
  • Severe head and eye pain with or without nausea and vomiting
  • Sudden loss of sight

Increased eye pressure with ACG can develop slowly over time or come on suddenly. During the early stages of ACG, one or more angles may close but you do not yet feel increased pressure in your eyes. Please contact our optometry practice in Pittsburg, PA for an immediate appointment if you have any of the above symptoms. The most common way to treat OCG is with prescription eye drops to decrease eye pressure and optic nerve damage.

Diagnosing and Treating POAG

POAG typically presents no warning signs in the early stages. This type develops slowly over many years before you notice a decrease in your visual acuity. Unfortunately, optometrists cannot reverse vision loss from POAG with medication or surgery. Regular eye exams in Pittsburgh, PA are critical at detecting this disease before it robs you of sight.

When one of the optometrists at Lappen Eye Care detects glaucoma during a routine eye examination, we can prescribe specialty eye drops or other medication to help protect your vision. People of Latino or African-American heritage have a higher risk of developing POAG, as do those with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or who have a close family member with the disease.