Read below about loss of vision in one eye, including causes, treatment options and remedies. Or get a personalized analysis of your loss of vision in one eye from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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Loss of Vision in One Eye Symptoms

Very often a temporary loss of vision in one or both eyes is not caused by a problem in the eye itself, but by an illness of the heart, circulatory system, or nervous system. Head injuries and some other illnesses can also have a direct effect on the blood supply, nerves, and tissues of the eyes. Temporary blindness in one or both eyes is also called transient loss of vision, eye stroke, or amaurosis fugax [1].

Characteristics:

  • Loss of vision in one eye, along with headache and severe weakness on the same side of the body.
  • Sudden and painless loss of vision in one eye, sometimes upon waking up in the morning.
  • Difficulty seeing after a head injury.
  • Difficulty adjusting to dim light.
  • Trouble focusing.
  • Painful sensitivity to light.
  • Dry, burning, swollen, or encrusted eyes.
  • Change in eye color.
  • Blurred vision or seeing double images.
  • Seeing halos around objects.
  • Blank spots in the field of vision.

Duration:

  • May happen suddenly and unexpectedly.
  • May come on gradually but grow increasingly worse.
  • May resolve within an hour or less in some cases.

Who is most often affected by loss of vision in one eye symptoms?

  • Women under 40 [1].
  • Anyone with diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • Anyone with a family history of migraine headaches.
  • Anyone with circulatory problems, such as hardening of the arteries or inflammation of the blood vessels.
  • Men taking Viagra, as well as anyone on high doses of blood pressure medication.

Is loss of vision in one eye serious?

  • Any loss of vision, even with few or no other symptoms, should be seen by your medical provider as soon as possible.
  • Loss of vision in one eye, along with weakness throughout the same side of the body and a severe headache, is a medical emergency and must be treated immediately.

Loss of Vision in One Eye Causes Overview

Interference with normal blood flow to one eye.

  • Abnormal very high systemic blood pressure.

    • This can lead to increased pressure within the eye itself and cause interference with proper vision.
    • High blood pressure can lead to stroke, which is the blockage or rupture of an artery within the brain that causes weakness and loss of use in one side of the body, including the eye [2].
  • Abnormally low blood pressure within the eye.

    • An "eye stroke" means there is too little blood flow to the eye tissues. This will eventually result in tissue death and permanent loss of vision. Abnormally low blood pressure may be caused by an anti-hypertensive medication that is too strong and makes blood pressure drop too low especially while sleeping, so that the person wakes up with vision loss in one eye [3]. Viagra may also be a risk for this as it can lower blood pressure.
    • A blood vessel spasm cuts off most of the blood supply to the eye and makes the pressure within the eye drop. This causes brief attacks of blurring and dimming of the field of vision, sometimes with blank spots in it. This usually lasts less than an hour and then the vision returns to normal. It may strike every few months and usually affects the same eye every time.

Injury

  • Direct trauma to the eye itself, or to the surrounding bony structures and tissues, with resulting damage and destruction that interferes with vision. A foreign body may or may not be involved.
  • Vision loss can happen after any head trauma, due to damage to the nerves running from the brain to the eyes. This can happen with a closed head injury or after a traumatic brain injury.

Disease

  • Cataracts are related to aging and may affect one eye more than the other.
  • Migraine headache may cause disruption of vision in one or both eyes during the "aura" which precedes the actual headache. About 25 to 30 percent of people with migraines experience this symptom [4].
  • Neurologic disease may disrupt the pathway between the brain and the eye and cause temporary blindness in one or both eyes.
  • Autoimmune disease causes the body to attack its own tissues, creating widespread inflammation and other disruptions in normal function.
  • Irregular heartbeat and other heart abnormalities will interfere with normal circulation and blood flow.
  • A brain tumor can cause pressure and disruption on the nerves and their pathways.

A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Loss of Vision in One Eye

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced loss of vision in one eye. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Acute Close - Angle Glaucoma

    Acute, close-angle glaucoma is caused by a rapid or sudden increase in pressure within the eye that occasionally results in permanent blindness.

    If treated promptly, permanent vision loss can be avoided. Laser therapy or surgical therapy are frequently used treatments

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    headache, nausea or vomiting, vision changes, being severely ill, eye pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  2. 2.Optic Nerve Disease

    This condition, officially known as non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION), refers to loss of blood flow to the optic nerve (which is the information cable that connects the eye to the brain). This condition typically causes sudden vision loss in one eye, without any pain.

    Vision can worsen over the next 2 weeks, but usually will improve by 6 months.

    Rarity:
    Ultra rare
    Top Symptoms:
    loss of vision, blurry vision, eye pain
    Symptoms that always occur with optic nerve disease:
    loss of vision
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  3. 3.Stroke or Tia (Transient Ischemic Attack)

    A stroke is a medical emergency. Strokes happen when blood flow to the brain is stopped.

    Indefinite

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dizziness, leg numbness, arm numbness, new headache, stiff neck
    Symptoms that never occur with stroke or tia (transient ischemic attack):
    bilateral weakness
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service
  4. 4.Carotid Artery Dissection

    A carotid artery dissection is the tearing of the walls of the carotid arteries, which deliver blood to the brain from the aorta. This is a medical emergency.

    About 10% have recurrence

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    new headache, history of headaches, steady headache, neck pain on one side, headache near one temple
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service

    Loss of Vision in One Eye Checker

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  5. 5.Wegener's Granulomatosis

    An inflammation of the blood vessels by the body's immune system is a rare, but possibly dangerous problem. The inflammation can happen anywhere, but often in the sinuses, lungs, and kidneys.

    Uncertain

    Rarity:
    Ultra rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, loss of appetite, joint pain, shortness of breath, fever
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  6. 6.Diabetic Retinopathy

    Retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that causes progressive vision impairment.

    Outcome is dependant on severity of disease.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    blurry vision, eye pain, difficulty transitioning from bright to dim environments, floating spots in vision, loss of vision
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Retinal Detachment

    The retina is a layer of tissue in the eye. When the retina detaches, its normal position is disrupted causing vision changes.

    Outcomes depend on extent of detachment and time to treatment.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    floating spots in vision, flashing lights in vision
    Symptoms that always occur with retinal detachment:
    floating spots in vision
    Symptoms that never occur with retinal detachment:
    eye pain, eye redness, eye itch, wateriness in both eyes
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  8. 8.New Migraine

    Migraines are headaches of moderate to severe intensity, which happen when blood vessels in the brain swell up. They are episodic and thus can recur often. Most migraine sufferers experience increased sensitivity to sounds and/or lights and become nauseous and vomit.

    Migraine symptoms may resolve within a day or two, but the condition can come and go for a year or more. If any particular episode is unusually severe or does not respond to your customary treatments, you may want to see a doctor urgently.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    new headache, fatigue, nausea, mild headache, headache that worsens when head moves
    Symptoms that always occur with new migraine:
    new headache
    Symptoms that never occur with new migraine:
    fever, diarrhea, productive cough, headache resulting from a head injury
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  9. 9.Giant Cell Arteriis

    Giant cell arteritis is a disorder that causes inflammation of arteries of the scalp, neck, and arms. It narrows the arteries, which keeps blood from flowing well.

    Chronic but curable with variable duration

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, joint pain, new headache, fever, muscle aches
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Loss of Vision in One Eye Treatments and Relief

Seek immediate loss of vision in one eye treatment in the emergency room or call 911 if:

  • You have a sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes, with or without pain.

Schedule an appointment for:

  • Regular eye examinations to detect any vision problems as soon as they arise, so that any needed treatment can begin as soon as possible.
  • Annual physical examinations to detect problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or autoimmune diseases so that treatment can begin as soon as possible.
  • Discussion of help with smoking cessation.

Remedies that you can try at home:

  • Make improvements in diet, sleep, and exercise in order to improve overall health, normalize blood sugar, and lower blood pressure.

FAQs About Loss of Vision in One Eye

Here are some frequently asked questions about loss of vision in one eye.

Why is my vision blurry in one eye?

Painless blurry vision in one eye can be caused by ischemia or decreased blood flow to structures of the eye. This occurs more frequently in patients with atherosclerotic disease, including coronary artery disease or peripheral vascular disease. Other causes of sudden vision loss include infection, inflammation, vasculitis, and trauma.

Can you lose vision in just one eye?

Yes. This can happen if the blood vessel to one eye becomes temporarily or permanently blocked. This is most commonly caused by an atherosclerotic plaque that dislodged from the carotid artery [5]. It may also be a sign of an impending or ongoing stroke. You should seek medical attention immediately if you experience vision loss in one eye or both eyes.

Can high blood pressure cause blurred vision in one eye?

Yes. High blood pressure can damage the retina or the region in the back of the eye, leading to a condition known as hypertensive retinopathy. Patients with this condition may experience decreased vision or headaches. More commonly, patients do not experience any symptoms of hypertension and the condition is found incidentally during routine eye examination.

Does a lack of sleep lead to blurred vision in one eye?

Yes. Staying awake for long periods of time may contribute to eye fatigue and irritation which can manifest as blurred or double vision. Try to get 7–9 hours of sleep every night to give your eyes enough time to rest.

Can a stroke cause sudden loss of vision in one eye?

Yes. A stroke can cause blurred vision or loss of vision in one or both eyes [6]. When light enters the eye, it is focused onto the back of the eye, from where the images are carried by nerves to the brain where they are processed. A stroke can lead to impaired vision by causing insufficient blood flow to the eye, the optic nerve, or the visual processing centers of the brain. Some patients are able to recover part of their visual function in the weeks following a stroke.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Loss of Vision in One Eye

  • Q.Do you have high blood pressure?
  • Q.Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?
  • Q.Are you experiencing a headache?
  • Q.Did you faint?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our loss of vision in one eye symptom checker to find out more.

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Loss of Vision in One Eye Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced loss of vision in one eye have also experienced:

    • 9% Headache
    • 7% Blurry Vision
    • 5% Dizziness
  • People who have experienced loss of vision in one eye were most often matched with:

    • 36% Stroke or Tia (Transient Ischemic Attack)
    • 31% Acute Close - Angle Glaucoma
    • 31% Optic Nerve Disease
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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