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The term Amaurosis is taken from Greek meaning dark or obscure. It is loss of vision or weakness that occurs without any apparent lesion affecting the eye. Amaurosis is often a short lived episode of blindness in one eye and is referred to as 'fleeting blindness'. An episode of amaurosis if often frightening. Although the visual loss gradually resolves, it is advised to seek medical attention immediately as this may be one of the warning signs of a stroke. Amaurosis is caused due to blood clot or a small piece of cholesterol that breaks off from a large artery and travels upward to the brain or eye. This gets lodged in the main artery supplying blood to the eye. Amaurosis is also caused by blood clots from heart valves or the heart itself due to underlying heart disease.

There are various types of amaurosis. The Leber's congenital amaurosis is inherited. This results in optic atrophy and results in severe vision loss. Amaurosis fugax is a temporary loss of vision in one eye. This is caused by decreased blood flow to the retina. While the majority experiencing amaurosis have a complete symptom abeyance within a few minutes, there is a minority who experience a stroke or a vision loss as a result of amaurosis.

Diabetes, hypertension and smoking tend to aggravate this condition. Sometimes, surgical repair of the mitral valve may result in amaurosis. Deficiency of Vitamin B1 due to Thiamine related cerebrocortical necrosis can also result in amaurosis. Treatment of amaurosis depends mainly upon identifying the source of blood clots and cholesterol that have caused this block in the artery. An ultrasound of the carotid arteries of the neck, a study of the electrical system of the heart and a magnetic resonance angiography scan of the head and neck, an echocardiogram of the heart are often included to reveal the source of the problem and decide on the treatment options.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: April 20, 2024