Temporary vision loss

Amaurosis Fugax. Temporary vision loss...What should I do?

We call temporary vision loss AMAUROSIS FUGAX.

Amaurosis fugax is a Latin term for "fleeting blindness”. Patients with amaurosis fugax characteristically have a loss of vision in one eye that may last from seconds to minutes.  Occasionally, it may last several hours and often returns to normal.


Amaurosis fugax generally occurs from an abnormality not with the eye, but within the blood vessels that supply and nourish the eye. Sometimes, amaurosis fugax can be caused by systemic conditions such as heart disease and abnormalities in the blood.

Amaurosis fugax can be thought of as a transient stroke in the eye. It can be a warning sign of a tendency towards strokes and thus, patients should be carefully examined by their internist promptly. You should make an appointment to see your medical doctor as soon as possible to rule out treatable causes associated with amaurosis fugax.

The treatment of amaurosis fugax generally involves treating the systemic condition responsible for the transient blockage of blood flow to the eye. One aspirin a day can be taken until evaluation by your internist unless you have a reason to avoid aspirin (i.e., peptic ulcer disease or a tendency towards excessive bleeding).

 For more information or to book an eye exam with one of the doctors, call us at 20/20 Vision Care (403) 526-2020

(This article was adapted from Optometry Practice Information Systems)