Sudden Blindness: Its Causes And Its Need For Emergency Treatments

Posted on: 22 August 2016

It is a terrifying thing to have sight one day and be completely blind the next. In fact, there are situations where this can occur almost instantly, and with little warning. Eye doctors can see almost immediately what the cause is, but you will want to get to an emergency room right away if you have any hope of treating your sudden blindness. Here are some causes, and how your eye doctor may treat them, if they are treatable.

Retina Detachment

Your retinas at the backs of your eyes have literally detached. As such, your eye is not able to send images to your brain via the retinas and optic nerves, so the images cannot be interpreted as objects seen. This is almost always a very sudden occurrence, with little warning beyond a popping sound inside your head, and then everything goes dark. It is imperative that you first call for help and get to the hospital and then call for your eye doctor. If you do not have voice commands on your phone, seek out a neighbor you know is home or anyone within yelling distance. The doctors can do an emergency operation to reattach your retinas, but there is a very narrow window on which the success of such an operation hinges.


Sometimes there are warning signs, and other times most people do not even know they have high blood sugar. A very small percentage of sudden blindness via diabetes may be reversed, if your blood sugar can get under control within minutes of your episode of blindness. However, sadly, the vast majority of these cases are not reversible. The best treatment for these patients is prevention via annual physicals to catch diabetes and keep it in check.

Compressed Nerves

Compressed optical nerves, such as the kind one experiences when a brain tumor expands and presses down on the optical nerve, is another way in which you might experience sudden blindness. You will need an immediate CT scan and/or an MRI to ascertain if the optical nerves are compressed by a tumor, or have been compressed by some other abnormality in the head and brain. Once the problem has been found, you will undoubtedly need immediate face/head/neck/brain surgery to release the pressure on your optical nerves. Without the immediate surgery, you may permanently lose your sight, even if your eye doctor is able to relieve the pressure and/or remove the tumor/abnormality.

Click here for more info on this subject.