Vision Loss

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Loss of vision can occur suddenly or develop gradually over time. Vision loss may be complete (involving both eyes) or partial, involving only one eye or even certain parts of the visual field. Vision loss is different from blindness that was present at birth, and this article is concerned with causes of vision loss in an individual who previously had normal vision. Vision loss can also be considered as loss of sight that cannot be corrected to a normal level with eyeglasses. The causes of loss of vision are extremely varied and range from conditions affecting the eyes to conditions affecting the visual processing centers in the brain. Impaired vision becomes more common with age. Common causes of vision loss in the elderly include diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/6/2012

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REFERENCE:

Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

Causes of Vision Loss
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      Amblyopia Article
      • What causes amblyopia?
      • How is amblyopia diagnosed?
      • How is amblyopia treated?
      • What is the outlook for children with amblyopia?
    • Birthmark Birthmarks and other abnormal skin pigmentation is caused by the body's inability to produce enough melanin. Abnormal skin...learn more »
      In This Article
      Birthmark Article
      • Birthmark facts
      • What is a birthmark?
      • What are the different types of birthmarks?
      • What are the characteristics of pigmented birthmarks?
      • What are the characteristics of vascular birthmarks?
      • What causes birthmarks?
      • Are any symptoms and signs associated with birthmarks?
      • What disorders are associated with birthmarks?
      • Can skin damage during delivery produce a birthmark?
      • Is it possible to remove or fade birthmarks?
      • Does insurance cover the cost of birthmark removal?
      • What is the treatment for birthmarks?
      • What is the prognosis of birthmarks?
    • Brain Tumor A brain tumor can be either benign (non cancerous) or malignant (cancerous), primary, or secondary. Causes and risk factors...learn more »
      In This Article
      Brain Tumor Article
      • Brain tumor facts*
      • What is the brain?
      • What are the tumor grades and types?
      • Tumor grade
      • Types of primary brain tumors
      • What are the risk factors for brain tumors?
      • What are the symptoms of a brain tumor?
      • How are brain tumors diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for a brain tumor?
      • What type of surgery is available for brain tumors?
      • Radiation therapy for brain tumors
      • Chemotherapy for brain tumors
      • What about a second opinion for brain tumor treatment?
      • Nutrition during brain tumor treatment
      • What supportive care is available for patients and caregivers?
      • What about rehabilitation after brain tumor treatment?
      • What about follow-up care after brain tumor treatment?
      • Sources of support
      • Taking part in cancer research
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      In This Article
      Cataracts Article
      • Facts about cataracts
      • What is a cataract?
      • What are the different types of cataracts?
      • What are causes of cataracts?
      • What are risk factors for cataracts?
      • What are the symptoms of cataracts?
      • What are the signs of cataracts?
      • How are cataracts diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for cataracts?
      • What are the different types of cataract surgery, and what risks are involved?
      • What are complications of cataracts?
      • What is the prognosis of cataracts?
      • Can cataracts be prevented?
      • Where can people get more information on cataracts?
    • Coats' Disease eye. Read about symptoms, signs, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. Coats' disease is a rare eye condition that typically...learn more »
      In This Article
      Coats' Disease Article
      • What is Coats' disease?
      • What are causes and risk factors for Coats' disease?
      • What are symptoms and signs of Coats' disease?
      • How is Coats' disease diagnosed?
      • How is staging of Coats' disease determined?
      • What is the treatment for Coats' disease?
      • Can Coats' disease be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis of Coats' disease?
      • What research is being done on Coats' disease?
      • Where can people with Coats' disease get support?
      • Where can people get more information about Coats' disease?
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      In This Article
      Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Article
      • What is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)?
      • What are the symptoms of the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease?
      • How is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease diagnosed?
      • What causes Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease?
      • How is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease transmitted?
      • What research is taking place with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease?
      • How can I help research?
      • Where can I get more information about Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease?
      • How is the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease treated?
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      In This Article
      Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) Article
      • Diabetes facts
      • What is diabetes?
      • What is the impact of diabetes?
      • What causes diabetes?
      • What are the different types of diabetes?
      • Type 1 diabetes
      • Type 2 diabetes
      • Other types of diabetes
      • What are diabetes symptoms?
      • How is diabetes diagnosed?
      • Why is blood sugar checked at home?
      • What are the acute complications of diabetes?
      • What are the chronic complications of diabetes?
      • What can be done to slow diabetes complications?
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      In This Article
      Diabetes and Eye Problems Article
      • Eye problems and diabetes introduction
      • Cataracts and Diabetes
      • Glaucoma and Diabetes
      • Diabetic Retinopathy
      • Preventing Eye Problems With Diabetes
      • When to Contact Your Doctor About Eye Problems in Diabetes
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      In This Article
      Glaucoma Article
      • Glaucoma facts
      • What is glaucoma?
      • How common is glaucoma?
      • What causes glaucoma?
      • What are glaucoma risk factors?
      • What are the different types of glaucoma?
      • What are glaucoma symptoms and signs?
      • How is glaucoma diagnosed?
      • How often should someone be checked (screened) for glaucoma?
      • What is the treatment for glaucoma?
      • Glaucoma medications (eyedrops)
      • Glaucoma surgery or laser
      • Can glaucoma be prevented?
      • What is in the future for glaucoma?
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      In This Article
      Leprosy Article
      • Leprosy (Hansen's disease) facts
      • What is leprosy?
      • What is the history of leprosy (Hansen's disease)?
      • What causes leprosy?
      • What are the risk factors for leprosy?
      • What are leprosy symptoms and signs?
      • Are there different forms (classifications) of leprosy?
      • How is leprosy transmitted?
      • How is leprosy diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for leprosy?
      • What are the complications of leprosy?
      • How is leprosy prevented?
      • What is the prognosis (outcomes) of leprosy?
      • Where can I find more information on leprosy?
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      In This Article
      Macular Degeneration Article
      • Macular degeneration facts
      • What is macular degeneration?
      • What is the retina?
      • What is the macula?
      • What is age-related macular degeneration (AMD)?
      • What is wet age-related macular degeneration?
      • What are retinal drusen?
      • What is dry age-related macular degeneration?
      • What causes macular degeneration?
      • What are risk factors for macular degeneration?
      • What are macular degeneration symptoms?
      • What are signs of macular degeneration?
      • How is macular degeneration diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for wet macular degeneration?
      • What is the treatment for dry macular degeneration?
      • What are complications of macular degeneration?
      • What is the prognosis for macular degeneration?
      • Can macular degeneration be prevented?
      • What research is being done on macular degeneration?
    • Migraine Headache Migraine headaches are severe headaches that are accompanies to sensitivity to light, sounds, and smells. They are often...learn more »
      In This Article
      Migraine Headache Article
      • What is a migraine?
      • What are the risk factors for migraine?
      • What causes migraines?
      • What triggers migraines?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of migraines?
      • How are migraines diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for migraines?
      • What self-care treatment measures work for migraines?
      • How are migraines managed during pregnancy?
      • How are migraines managed in children?
      • What is the prognosis for migraines?
      • Can migraines be prevented?
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      In This Article
      Multiple Sclerosis Article
      • What is multiple sclerosis?
      • What causes multiple sclerosis?
      • What are the risk factors for developing multiple sclerosis?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis?
      • What are the different types of multiple sclerosis?
      • How is multiple sclerosis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment of multiple sclerosis?
      • What is the prognosis and life expectancy with multiple sclerosis?
      • Can multiple sclerosis be prevented?
      • What research is being done on multiple sclerosis?
    • Onchocerciasis Onchocerciasis, or river blindness, is a parasitic disease that may cause blindness. It is transmitted by the bite of a female...learn more »
      In This Article
      Onchocerciasis Article
      • Onchocerciasis facts
      • What is onchocerciasis?
      • What causes onchocerciasis?
      • What are onchocerciasis symptoms and signs?
      • Is there an incubation period for onchocerciasis?
      • How is onchocerciasis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for onchocerciasis?
      • What are risk factors for onchocerciasis?
      • Can onchocerciasis be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis of onchocerciasis?
    • Polymyalgia Rheumatica Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a disorder of the muscles and joints that causes pain and stiffness in the arms, neck, shoulders,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Polymyalgia Rheumatica Article
      • Polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis facts
      • What is polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • What causes polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • What are symptoms and signs of polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • How is polymyalgia rheumatica diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) for patients with polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • Can polymyalgia be prevented?
      • What are complications of polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • What is giant cell arteritis?
      • What causes giant cell arteritis?
      • What are symptoms of giant cell arteritis?
      • How is giant cell arteritis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for giant cell arteritis?
      • What is the prognosis for patients with giant cell arteritis?
      • Can giant cell arteritis be prevented?
      • What are complications of giant cell arteritis?
    • Pseudotumor Cerebri (Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension) Pseudotumor Cerebri (intracranial hypertension) is a condition where there is an increase in pressure of fluid surrounding the...learn more »
      In This Article
      Pseudotumor Cerebri (Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension) Article
      • What is pseudotumor cerebri (Idiopathic intracranial hypertension)?
      • What are the symptoms of pseudotumor cerebri?
      • How is pseudotumor cerebri treated?
      • What is the prognosis for patient's with pseudotumorcerebri?
      • For more information about pseudotumor cerebri
    • Retinal Detachment Retinal detachment is the separation of the retina from its attachments to the underlying eye tissue. Symptoms of retinal...learn more »
      In This Article
      Retinal Detachment Article
      • Retinal detachment facts
      • What is the retina?
      • What is a retinal detachment?
      • What are retinal detachment symptoms and signs?
      • What are retinal detachment causes and risk factors?
      • Which diseases of the eyes predispose to the development of a retinal detachment?
      • How does cataract surgery lead to a retinal detachment?
      • What other factors are associated with a retinal detachment?
      • Why is it mandatory to treat a retinal detachment?
      • What is the treatment for retinal detachment?
      • What are complications of surgery for a retinal detachment, and what is recovery like after retinal detachment surgery?
      • What are the results of surgery for a retinal detachment?
    • Retinitis Pigmentosa Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a genetic condition that causes retinal degeneration and eventual vision loss. Symptoms include...learn more »
      In This Article
      Retinitis Pigmentosa Article
      • Retinitis pigmentosa facts
      • What is retinitis pigmentosa?
      • What causes retinitis pigmentosa?
      • What are retinitis pigmentosa symptoms and signs?
      • How is retinitis pigmentosa diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for retinitis pigmentosa?
      • How long does retinitis pigmentosa last?
      • What are complications of retinitis pigmentosa?
      • What is the prognosis for retinitis pigmentosa?
      • What research is being done for retinitis pigmentosa?
      • Where can I find out more information about retinitis pigmentosa?
    • Strabismus (Crossed Eyes) Strabismus, or crossed eyes, is a condition in which the eyes do not align in the usual way. The condition may be congenital or...learn more »
      In This Article
      Strabismus (Crossed Eyes) Article
      • Introduction to Strabismus
      • What causes Strabismus?
      • How is Strabismus treated?
      • Is surgery and option to treat Strabismus?
    • Stroke A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding...learn more »
      In This Article
      Stroke Article
      • Stroke facts
      • What is a stroke?
      • What are the different types of stroke?
      • What causes a stroke?
      • What are the risk factors for stroke?
      • What is a transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
      • What are the warning signs of a stroke?
      • What are the symptoms of a stroke?
      • How is a stroke diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for stroke?
      • What is the prognosis for stroke?
      • Is recovery after a stroke possible?
      • What is stroke rehabilitation?
      • Can strokes be prevented?
    • Trachoma Trachoma is an infectious disease caused by the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. Symptoms and signs include redness and irritation...learn more »
      In This Article
      Trachoma Article
      • Trachoma facts
      • What is trachoma? Is trachoma contagious?
      • How does trachoma manifest itself?
      • What is the cause of trachoma?
      • What are trachoma symptoms and signs?
      • How is trachoma diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for trachoma?
      • How long does trachoma last?
      • Can trachoma be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis for trachoma?
      • What are complications of trachoma?
      • What research is being done on trachoma?
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      In This Article
      Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA, Mini-Stroke) Article
      • Transient ischemic attack (TIA) facts
      • What is a transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
      • What are the causes of transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
      • What are the risk factors for transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
      • What are the symptoms of transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
      • How is transient ischemic attack (TIA) diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for a transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
      • What is the prognosis for transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
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      In This Article
      Usher Syndrome Article
      • What is Usher syndrome?
      • Who is affected by Usher syndrome?
      • What causes Usher syndrome?
      • What are the characteristics of the three types of Usher syndrome?
      • How is Usher syndrome diagnosed?
      • Is genetic testing for Usher syndrome available?
      • How is Usher syndrome treated?
      • What research is being conducted on Usher syndrome?
      • What are some of the latest research findings?
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      In This Article
      Uveitis Article
      • What is uveitis?
      • What causes uveitis?
      • What are symptoms of uveitis?
      • What are the signs of uveitis?
      • What are the different types of uveitis?
      • What other medical conditions are associated with uveitis?
      • How is uveitis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for uveitis?
      • What is the prognosis for uveitis?
      • What are the complications of uveitis?
      • Can uveitis be prevented?
Other Causes of Vision Loss


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