4. Blood clot
Another one of the causes of sudden blindness is blood clots. While we often associate atherosclerosis and clots with the heart, these can affect our eyes and vision as well. Unlike other causes of vision loss like chemical or physical trauma, blocked vessels may not cause pain. Typically, a clot will affect one eye at first, but vision loss can occur in both eyes if there are separate clots.
As described previously in diabetic retinopathy, a blocked or damaged vessel can prevent oxygenation of eye tissue. The most common blood vessels affected by clots are the central retinal artery and vein. Additionally, the arteries that supply the optic nerve are commonly blocked, resulting in blindness.
Lastly, one of the less common but more serious causes of vision loss is stroke. A stroke occurs when a clot reaches the brain and blocks blood flow. These areas of the brain receive less blood, oxygen, and nutrients. The brain is especially sensitive to oxygen shortages and ischemic areas quickly die.
The symptoms of a stroke largely depend on the area of the clot. The occipital lobe is the back area of the brain, responsible for receiving signals from the eyes. This area controls how we see things and a stroke in this area can cause sudden blindness. Aside from stroke, trauma, high blood pressure, severe dehydration, and viral infections may also affect the occipital lobe function.
In summary, there are several causes of vision loss that are common and uncommon. Eyes are extremely sophisticated yet delicate organs that let us see the world around us. While accidents happen, other causes can be largely prevented. If you experience any sudden loss of vision, contact your doctor as soon as possible or seek emergency medical care.
Learn more about Vision Problems here.