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Vision Loss


(Show Disclaimer) Note: I copy the "definition" of something straight from the book. I find it's best to have an all-encompassing definition in order to better orient myself when I am studying.

Also I could not find one source for this topic but felt it was necessary to cover. Merged sources from multiple topics...so it may be a little incomplete.

Show Definition Acute Vision Loss (from UptoDate): Acute persistent visual loss is defined as lasting at least 24 hours and is typically not caused by transient ischemia. Acute transient visual loss is defined as a sudden deficit in visual function in one or both eyes lasting less than 24 hours. It is caused by a temporary vascular occlusion in the circulation to the eye or visual cortex, or by neuronal depression after a seizure or migraine.

Note: Otherwise all else is chronic, this note attempts to cover at least superficially chronic vs. acute vision loss.


Likely not important for the NAC OSCE Exam:

(If you're a keener click here)

Predisposing factors


The cornea and the lens account for the refraction of light coming into the eye onto the retina. The cornea accounts for more (~2/3) of the total load, but pathogenesis may involve either structure.

Common Findings

Other Signs and Symptoms


  1. HPI: onset and severity of symptoms, Is night time vision impaired? Are there flashes of light? Is there floaters or sparks in the vision?
  2. ROS:
  3. ALL/MEDS/HIITS: (What are HIITS? - Click to expand), Rx history
  4. PMH/FAMHx/OBGYN: especially peripheral vascular disease, diabetes.
  5. SOCHx:

Physical Exam

Coming soon.

Diagnostic Tests





Opthalmology for acute emergency.

Individual Considerations

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